Back to cider bought from the Bristol Cider shop. No, it’s not a never ending supply (I wish) but I did get a fair few bottles to try (well, gotta make it worth the travelling eh).
It’s also another Herefordshire cider, this time from Dorstone. Not having ever been (or, to be honest, heard of it before) I am not entirely sure where abouts they are... though they are somewhere near to Hereford. Mind you, has anybody bothered to count the number of cider makers in Herefordshire? Must be must be well into the hundreds by now; more variety that way:-)
Now, this cider came in a 75cl bottle, which is actually something I like for cider. Being a social drink, I cannot think of a better presentation for a drink that is, in its natural/traditional form, pretty strong. At 7.5% this cider kind of demonstrates my point pretty well. It is a shame that so often drinkers associate cider with beer and go for a 500ml bottle.
What to expect of this cider then (no, I haven't taken to second guessing the drinks... too much fun in trying them! However, its crystal clear (so likely to have been filtered), golden in colour (so, in the true Herefordshire tradition lots of bitter sweet and sharp fruit). But, I suspect that the filtering has tamed the tannins so it won't be bone dry. Lets see how I fare:-)
OK, to go with its crystal clear golden-ness, it is also moderately carbonated (not a huge amount). It has an odd smell though - at first I thought it might be washing up liquid... like the glass wasn't rinsed properly. However, it comes out of the bottle too. Now, in order to prove that whilst I can pick up an odd smell I am rubbish at defining it, it then smelt of marzipan?! I really can’t place it; its not unpleasant, but very odd and I wonder if the cider has been oaked or fermented in some kind of spirit barrel?
The taste confirms the odd flavour but also makes me wonder what varieties were used to produce the cider. Again, its not unpleasant but I was a bit distracted with it which limited my enjoyment. Just as well its in a bigger bottle too, as it gives me the chance to get a second opinion.
So. My second opinion.
In all I did enjoy this cider. There is a warm glow in the tannic aftertaste which makes the oddity really rather OK. If you can get through the strange taste, then its got a good balance of tannin and acid from the pretty much full on cider fruit used. It certainly is dry (not bone dry but not bad!!) In my scoring, and remember you must try it and make your own mind up, I think it did get a little bit of a hit on the taste and smell. I have honestly never tried a cider like it before... not bad, just odd.
A score of 71/100. May be a bit light for a full juice cider, but a bronze apple nonetheless.