Wednesday 26 September 2012

Sarah's Cider Medium Dry Cider

Staying in Herefordshire for this one from Sarah's Cider. To a degree, do expect quite a few reviews to come from Herefordshire over the coming months. I have a bit of a backlog of them sitting on my shelf, which I guess is a nice problem to have really. Mind you, I do have cider from other counties too (especially as typing the word Herefordshire is fiddly and long winded!) Not being from Herefordshire, I do like to stock up - after all, there seems to be a cider maker every few yards so there are plenty to try!

In fairness, I have been planning (and buying) ciders with a 'single variety' moniker over the last couple of months. With these, I want to do a little more with the reviews and make them almost an exploration of the characteristics that a variety of apple offers to a cider. For my own personal interest, I hope that it will help me identify characteristics within blends and perhaps even help me learn the art of blending myself. Well, if someone else has gone to the trouble of pressing and producing these things it saves me several years of experimentation, doesn't it?

Of course, there is a lot more to the character of cider - and the character of individual varieties within a cider - than this. I have mentioned it before, but 'terroir', which is nicked from the wine industry, does come in to play with apples too. For example, I use a fair amount of Yarlington Mill in my cider. I expect to be able to 'read' Yarlington Mill as a result. However, I have tasted some ciders which are indeed heavy in YM but almost unrecognisable to me. So its not going to be as simple as I would like. Therefore, please don't expect some kind of masterclass. I am not a expert either in describing cider or tasting cider... I am just willing to have a go!

Anyway, lets not jump ahead of ourselves - I have a couple of bottles of Cidre to review before I get all clever with single varieties!

One of the first things I noted about this cider was the drawing on the front. Not your 'traditional' cider image really... not even an old farmer looking squiffy with bottle in hand. Nope, this provides a far more contemporary commentary. I assume the lady in the little red dress on the label is Sarah... and I also assume that the barrel of cider she is consuming happily is her cider. So in that sense it works and is fairly self explanatory. Good artistry too. I think we should leave it at that...

Its a nicely golden ('old' gold is the comment I have on the colour) cider with a moderate and persistent fizz to it. Its also (once again) bright with no sediment in the bottle. So, about standard for a lot of ciders.  It has a very fruity smell too - almost berry like. Bearing in mind the fizz, its quite a strong smell and not unpleasant.

At tasting, I understand the smell. Its sweet. more medium than medium dry. This pushes the lovely fruity taste into an almost berry like profile - although I should add that no berries were harmed in this cider! It does taste a little thin. Not in texture, but in flavour and profile. The tannins are very gentle and light and this is coupled with very gentle and light acidity. Overall, its the fruit and the sweetening that win through.

The aftertaste is very short, although given that its a bit thin on the palatte I am not that surprised at this. Saying all that, it is a good cider - not so much challenging or unique but more as a session cider that is drinkable (though not sure I would go straight for the barrel!)

A score of 73/100 gets Sarah's Cider a bronze apple.

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