Thursday, 22 November 2012
Tutts Clump Diamond Jubilee Cider
Well, 2012 was the year of the Diamond Jubilee and, I must say I was very happy to take the day off. We even had a little party on the neighbours drive, with Union Jack cupcakes and Pimms. Very British. Actually, I thought it was a good, modest celebration. Now, there had to be one cider maker who succumbed to the temptation to produce a Jubilee cider. In fact, two were. One I failed to buy, which was (I think) a Sheppy's.
The other is this, from Tutts Clump in Berkshire - the same Tutts Clump that produced a 'Royal Wedding' cider the previous year (after all, isn't Berkshire the 'Royal' county?) Hold on, let me just check what's on in 2013! Who knows, I may predict a new Tutts Clump cider before it is made:-) OK, sorry. Lets get back to the cider. So, Diamond Jubilee ciders... I think they are a bit of a gimmick... really good cider surely stands up on its own and doesn't need a crutch? Well, yes. However, judging with a clear head and a measure of objectivity, a grand name like Jubilee cider ought to be an opportunity for a celebration of cider, eh.
The first (sensible) comment I have to make about this is that it is 4.5%. Thats not so much a cider as a lager strength. A little unfair as that may sound, this surely must have been cut to get to that strength. Still, in the current environment, where producers are being encouraged to 'knock' alcohol content by percentage points it could be justified. I am surprised though from a traditional cider maker.
It pours out very pale gold with something of a large fizz about it. I also notice that there is some sediment at the bottom of the bottle, so some bottle conditioning is present (it has been sat around since July/August, which could mean it has conditioned all the more.
Tutts Clump commonly produce cider from dessert and culinary fruit - they are very similar to Mr Whiteheads in this respect. The smell on this cider confirms that Diamond Jubilee is along those lines. It also seems to be pretty sweet smelling too.
Being as straight as possible about this cider, I have to confess that I am disappointed with the taste. It is quite watery (remember the 4.5%) and actually rather cloying from the sweetener used to make it, what I believe, far too sweet. There may be a touch of tannin in here, but for the most part it is sweet and acid... to he point that if I did detect tannin it must have been by accident.
The aftertaste is merely an extension of the same, and the sweetener really does grab you for a long time!.
Sorry Tutts Clump. I really don't like slating real cider producers (well, I don't like slating any cider producers really) but I don't feel the celebration in my glass this evening. I like the sentiment of the cider, but to be honest that is about as far as I can go. I think the score reflects my tastebuds pretty well - 58/100.