Thursday, 15 December 2011

Lancaster Brewery Copper Cider


Having been rather spoiled for choice recently, I headed back to the supermarket to see if I had covered everything. I thought I had covered most of them, but found this in the local Asda. Labelled up as 'Red Rose' cider, 'hand selected' by the Lancaster Brewery, this is one of those ciders that Asda pulls in as a guest from time to time in order to offer an alternative to the mainstream obvious ciders.

Looking at this cider label, there is not a whole lot to say about the description. The description is a little 'beery' - but as the producer is a brewer I guess that is OK. The label also clearly says that the cider is made 'for' the brewery... which is pretty honest (but doesn't go on to say who makes it!). Finally, of note it claims 'Traditional cold fermentation'. Again, this must be a beer-ism; in the cider world it is rare to find a cider that hasn't gone through an ambient 'fermentation' - cider is pretty much always filtered at the ambient temperature... if the yeast gets too cold it goes dormant and wouldn't ferment anything.

However, to the drink itself. True to its name, this is a copper coloured cider. It also smells very pleasant and is very definitely west country in style. So far so good, although when tasted, my opinion is that its a little engineered. It definitely has the 'right' taste for a west country cider - tannin a plenty (I think) and bittersweet fruit coming through - tangy and with a good body. However, it has a tailored taste to it that I cannot escape from. A bit safe I think but any rough edges that you would expect from this kind of cider have been well and truly rounded.

This isn't helped by the fact that it is very sweet. Perhaps this is the difficulty I am having with it. The aftertaste is pleasant and tannic, the smell is too... but I am not sure what is going on with it. I am a bit disappointed - the bottle stating that this bottle was a 'premium dry'. It must be the curse of that silly word 'premium', but its very definitely not dry at all!

I will put my money on this cider being reverse tamed - it is clearly filtered and back sweetened (although this is not a sin!), though it is quite heavily done. As a score, it fetches a bronze apple with 70/100. Which I think is fair.


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