Monday, 12 December 2011
Perry's Morgan Sweet Cider
Perry's Morgan Sweet is described thus: "The Morgan Sweet apple produces a sweet cider with a strong persistently fruity flavour." Ummm. Now, I am not going to pretend to be as much of a ciderist as the Perry guys but I would like to set one thing straight about this before I have even tried it. Sweet apples do not produce a sweet cider. If you want to halt the fermentation to produce a sweet cider, or if you want to back sweeten a cider, then that is how it would be done. Sweet apples ferment to dry in the same way that all other apples do.
More and more cider makers are putting sweet apple = sweet cider and I find this misleading and (to be quite frank) bloody annoying. Note to cider makers. Please stop it! I know its a niggling thing, but marketing can really nark me when its just trying to be clever!
The apple variety, Morgan Sweet is an old cider apple variety which is classed as 'sweet'. What that means is that it has a lot of sugar and very low acid in its makeup. As a cider variety, I would also expect it to have a modicum of tannin to it as well. It was/is popular in Somerset... which would make sense as that is where Perry's are based. It is also a pretty early apple.
OK. Apples aside. I have the bottle open and there is no holding me back now:-)
Sure enough, the fizz is there to start as a flourish but settles down quickly to next to nothing. Getting your nose into the glass whilst the bubbles are working does help with the aroma a bit (generally), and this has a light cidery smell that is appealing.
On the taste, there are some gentle tannins with very little acid to counter them (in this case that is probably a good thing as the tannins are very subtle). Its rather nice actually - not too sweet, but more than a medium dry. In the mouth it is fairly tamed to the taste - there is nothing wild about this cider and it is all very civilised.
I cannot help but criticise the single variety-ness of it though. Sure it is an interesting cider that is different from quite a few ciders. However, if I am being honest with things, I would almost go as far as to say its a very nice Magners. This is by no means a bad thing though - if Magners drinkers could turn on to this cider, which is going to be pretty much full juice then their journey to more individual and crafted cider realms would be fairly well assured.
The aftertaste is pleasant, which sums the cider up for me. Pleasant. Doesn't knock my socks off, doesn't really challenge me or need me to do much work with it.
Would I drink it again? Yes. It scored 70/100. This is in my opinion quite a harsh scoring and I may think about coming back and trying it again at some point soon. However, it hits the bronze apple list which I think is about right. However, the next time I see "sweet apples = sweet cider" on a label, its getting docked 5 points! (and this cider proves you don't always need clever statements - the cider more than speaks for itself!)