Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Hogan's Medium Cider

On my travels around the country I do like to pop in to a supermarket from time to time to see if there are any ciders on offer that I haven't tried before. Why supermarkets? Well, believe it or not the cider choice is slowly improving. OK, most of it is tat. Maybe not exactly tat, but thy are waking up to the fact that there is a broad variety around. Some, like Waitrose, often will source local suppliers. Others, like Tesco or Sainsbury's, sell a similar variety as each other but occasionally the odd 'unusual' producer crops up. In this case, somewhere near Nottingham, I found this Hogan's cider.

A medium is not exactly my idea of an idyllic evening, but I have only tried Hogan's once before and it was good. Hogan's is another producer that has grown recently - alongside the likes of Henney's, Hogan's has expanded to meet the demands of the awakening public to artisan cider that isn't commodity cider. Its difficult to position them, but I personally see them as a bridge between the mass produced ciders and the small artisan producers who can only reach a small market.

Anyway, this cider has a great big bit on the label saying "100% fresh pressed English apples". Great. No easy get out from that one (except for the fact that I read in the not too distant past that a certain producer who made pear cider won a case for stating 'made from 100% pears' in an advert - it wasn't 100% of the content by a long way, but 100% of the juice in it was pear!!!) Anyway. Scepticism aside!

With a low fizz and a nice golden colour this cider really smells of tannin and lovely cider apples. Its fairly light - not light as in faint, but light as in a light cider smell.  Oddly, the taste is almost exactly the same as the smell initially. Its light and not particularly acidic. Its also fairly sweet. This covers the tannin and acid for a while I think, although they do come out in the end - primarily in the aftertaste. This makes it a subtly cider and really quite drinkable.

Moving on through the glass, its not too subtle. There is a nice measure of body in this cider and a background acid that underlines the tannin. However, it is still really too sweet for me.

Hogan's presents a difficulty for anyone trying to pin it down to a regional style. The fruit comes from near enough all over the three counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire - its the first cider I have tried with this characteristic. I find this a good thing though - a good cider from not one place. As its pressed and produced in Warwickshire, its just a nice west country cider.

Its scores a good Bronze apple with 75/100. I think I ought to hunt down a dryer version of their cider!

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