Thursday, 5 January 2012
Bristol Ciderworks Sparkling Dry Cider
I have had this cider on my shelf for a few months now - I have no reason at all that it hasn't been consumed yet, other than it didn't. Its a shame, although I am glad to have found it there at this time of year - when most craft cider is done and dusted and cider makers are waiting patiently for the current batch of cider to finish fermenting (though that won't happen until Easter... unless you're Thatchers:-)
The idea that this could be one of the last bottles of a hand crafted cider, from a small producer (I can only find their Facebook page by Googling them, and this doesn't offer that much information)... I am sure that the Bristol Cider Shop guy told me some things about them but I am afraid I have forgotten!
Anyway, this is about the cider, not necessarily the producer (though I ought to do more homework). Having already poured this out I can say a couple of things: Firstly. Wow. It is a very dark cider. It is actually darker than copper but not quite brown (hence the category it went in). In truth, if it had ben any darker I would have considered some kind of contamination... but I am sure its not. Secondly, it has a fine crop of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. A good sign that it is bottle conditioned and not filtered.
Essentially (for those who have opinions on cloudy vs. clear cider), if you have a bottle conditioned cider like this and want cloudy - shake the bottle. If you have a bottle like this and want a clear cider - don't!
Smell wise there is lots of fruit, although its a little odd. Could be some of the varieties that have been used - I am not familiar with them all personally. The carbonation is moussy - which backs up my bottle conditioned theory. It is quite persistant.
Anyway, lets get on to the taste - Again. packing fruit by the ton and with a large and heavy tannin to it. There is also quite a significant sharp in it too... which doesn't offset the tannins as much as go off in its own tangent. Its very complex. The acid wins through the aftertaste although it is a warming cider so the alcohol and fruit linger too.
One other note to add in is 'farmyard'. This has an earthy taste to it, often coming through in full juice crafted ciders that is commonly called 'farmyard'. This has that character too.
In all, it is as it says on the bottle - a unique cider. I am very happy to have tried it and would drink it again. However, it does have a few slight oddities that prevent it from being great (for me). Mind you, with 79/100 its a very healthy bronze apple!