Saturday 24 March 2012

Hecks Port Wine of Glastonbury Cider

Time for something special. No, I am not judging this one before I have tried it - although I have tried it before. I have only ever heard good things about both Hecks and about this particular product. I must admit that I am sure it was dry the last time I tried it though... this one is labelled as medium sweet. Oh, I do hope that the sweetness doesn't ruin it!!!

Hecks are a Somerset cider producer, found in Street, who make the real deal - heritage English cider through and through. No, not in the street - the place is called Street. And boy do they make some ciders. I don't think that they can really be compared to Thatchers in terms of volume, but certainly in terms of the number of potential ciders they produce. Just visit their website and see how many single varieties they have... I am sure they can't always all be available! I have to say that it also includes a Bramley cider... so Hecks are not afraid of trying stuff out!!

Port Wine of Glastonbury is not a wine. Nor is it port. Its a cider apple variety that has a reddish colour to its flesh (which makes the cider an odd colour). I don't know a huge amount about this apple, but would guess that by the end of the review I will know more - whether its a bittersweet or sharp etc.

Now, this pours out with  low carbonation and you can smell it from about a foot away. Fruity, cidery and a little bittersharp. Remember that this is a single variety - It is brightly orange and I have to say I am looking forward to it.

OK. The taste. Sweet:-( Very sweet. There is a stack of flavour as well though. It just leaps out of the glass at you. A moderate and fruity tannin - its really a fruity cider! There is an acid as well which is nicely balanced against the tannin. Not knowing how the variety performs for acid, I cannot tell if its been adjusted... I expect its been 'tweaked' a little. Saying that, it is really good. The only down side is that it is far, far too sweet. It doesn't overpower the flavour, so its either sensitively done or else the flavour is just huge! For the sweetness of the drink it is still very good. However, it would be better a little more dry (and I knew it was a medium sweet when I opened it... although I would say its maybe more than just medium sweet).

The aftertaste is moderately tannic, although there is always that undertone of sweet. The acid dies away fairly quickly. Overall, this is a very interesting cider. Superbly produced and delicious (although I have had to leave some gaps between sips so as not to overdo the sweetness.

A score of 83/100 Hecks earn their first silver apple from me. If it had been dry or medium dry, I am sure it would have been a gold!


  1. I sampled this cider at the 2013 nuneaton & bedworth CAMRA beer festival, and was very impressed. The aroma it gave of was intoxicating in itself and the taste was excelent. You could virtualy taste every apple the makeing. I have sampled many ciders and to me this is the best one ever, but have never seen it on sale any where.

  2. Well, it is funny you should ask as I have a bottle on my shelf currently having recently visited Hecks.

    To be honest, the only places I have seen it are at Hecks and also at the Bristol Cider Shop. I am sure that the Essex Cider Shop would get some in too (if they haven't already got it).

    Generally, when I see Hecks at festivals it is their main blend of cider...

    Sorry that isn't a huge amount of help - you could try calling Hecks and asking them