Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Bath Ciders Bounders Cider
Bath Cider. Not heard of these guys before. It is described (on the bottle) as a 'lively and refreshing cider'. OK, so its going to have a bit of fizz behind it then. At 4.5%, it doesn't strike me as being all of the cider - full juice cider should be expected to come out at 6% or above (give or take).
Now, on a bit of a background search I find that the website on the bottle is dead. A bit more search and thinking find that Bath Cider is a subsidiary of West Country Ales. Its another brewer with a finger in cider too. These guys are based in Cheddar, not too far from Bath (or Bristol for that matter)... it will be interesting to see what their cider is like. Being in a bit of a silly mood, I have noted that they ferment their cider in 'age old vats'... talk about non committal! Does this mean 'age old' as in time immemorial? So, 6th July 1189 then (as that is the date when time immemorial was decreed to start from - incidentally the date of King Richard the Lionhearts accession). OK, move on!
Bath itself is a lovely part of the world. Having done an OU summer school there I am very fond of the place. It is also (nearly) home to the Royal Bath and West show - which by the time this is released you will have missed by about a month or so. Well, put it in your diaries for next year - its great fun and host to probably the biggest and most prestigious cider competition you will find anywhere in the world. And they have a great cider bar there too!
Public service announcements are not my strong point, so lets get on with trying this cider. Its a bright and filtered, golden cider with a rabbit on the label that reminds me of some stylised 'Watership Down' creation. The cider all but leaps out of the bottle when poured (stylised like the rabbit maybe?). Looking at it, I have to say that this cider seems to have received the works - filtering, carbonation and almost certainly pasteurisation too. Oh well, another one (although there have been some excellent ciders treated this way so lets not knock it too much).
Bounders has a good smell to it, although there does seem to be juice in there - perhaps to sweeten it up a bit. The taste confirms this to me. Although its a fairly light cider as a whole; the tannin is very mellow and the acid tamed, it has a good flavour. I have noted Yarlington Mill with a question mark - which has some strong flavours in itself. Its not exactly a challenge though - it all feels very controlled and fairly sweet.
The aftertaste is, as expected, more of the sweetness and less of the flavour. As I progress through the glass it does come across as being just a bit watery too.
Conclusion: On the whole it is just too played around with. It seems to have been designed to compete with a Magners type of cider, although there is a lot more to it than that alone. A score of 65/100 is about right in my opinion.