Thursday 5 April 2012
Gwatkin Kingston Black Cider
Back to Gwatkin's. A dry one this time (I double checked!) and another single variety too. The famous Kingston Black returns... again:-) I must say that it does seem to make fairly decent cider, if trawling through past reviews is anything to go by. However, I suspect that many have been adjusted to balance them out (well, I think that of most single variety ciders really).
But that is not the object of my attention for this review. Oh no. This cider has an ingredients list!!! Apple Juice and sulphite. And that would appear to be it. D'you know what? That is all it takes to make cider. Actually, that is all it takes to make brilliant cider. Honest! Its only when you start mucking about with it that you start adding things in like flavourings, aroma's and colouring. Compare this cider to the Marks and Spencers cider - they also have an ingredients list (and I have commented on it extensively already. So if you want to read that, look at the review of their Somerset cider).
OK, lets get back to this Gwatkins cider. On opening it has a low to moderate fizz. Possibly more fizzy than I had expected, although it is also pretty bright so it shouldn't have been a surprise.Its also a brownish golden colour; typical of Kingston Black. It has a deep and tannic smell which is also typical... In fact it has Kingston Black written all over it in very large letters, underlined and with an exclamation mark.
So, on tasting it I now understand the fizz - it lifts the KB from bone dry to merely dry. However, there is some huge tannin going on in this cider - a mild acid sits behind the tannin but doesnt really compete in any sense. But then, with all that tannin it also has a big taste and body going on. And in saying that it also has lots of character too.
If I am going to try and find something to criticise on this cider, it is solely that it is all tannin and body; Going on through this bottle it does become a bit one dimensional in the mouth (maybe I should have shared it).
I reckon that, apart from the New Forest Kingston Black cider (which in my reckoning is still pretty much the most hardcore and raw Kingston Black going), this cider is the second most Kingston Black Kingston Black cider I have tried and reviewed. More body than New Forest, but quite as much character.
SO, a stonking score and a silver apple. But. Not my favourite KB cider.