So, we come to the Guvernor. Marco Pierre Whites idea of cider. Over the last year or so, this celebrity chef has created first a beer and now a cider for sale at his outlets... and at Wetherspoons to by the looks of it. There is a confliction of questions in my head about this - what does a celebrity chef know about cider production and yet, surely as a high end chef he should know and have respect enough for the real ingredients to make a good cider. We shall see.
I do find his choice of cider making partner an interesting starting point. Westons, whilst being a large and respected cider maker, are not exactly known for their full juice ciders, and some of their practices would be deemed 'industrial' by many, including me to a degree (ciders do not start life at 14% vol). But then, who else better to tailor a cider for a celebrity?
So, lets get down to it. I have my short hand notes in front of me as I write this (no, I do not sit in the pub on a computer... not hammering away at my phone. Not my idea of fun!)
It is a fairly light coloured, flat cider. Being Weston's its been filtered and is bright. There is not a huge aroma coming off of it, although it is particularly juice (again, a Westons trait). So, its filtered and pasteurised.
Its not a bad mouthful, sweetened by juice (quite a lot) but with a definite tannin and body to it as well. Acid is killed by the juice and there is no trace of it in the aftertaste either - which is all juice and not much cider.
Now, don't get me wrong. Its not a bad cider. Its just got far too much apple juice in it. For me, this is a mistake that Weston's make on other ciders. As I was sat in the pub drinking this and thinking about the juice problem it hit me to compare this review with that of Weston's 1st Quality cider. I am pretty convinced now, looking back, that this is a very close cousin to 1st Quality (and, 1st is the same thing as Marcle Hill - a cider renamed for Wetherspoons).
Go on, see for yourself. I reckon you won't find them both in the same pub at the same time but if you do get the chance to compare them then let me know what you think (I am happy to be wrong!)
A score of 54/100 is disappointing and suggests that there are better cider out there to try. Mind you, it is far better than some other ciders I will not mention found in many pubs.