Friday, 7 December 2012

Orchard Pig, Reveller Cider (Medium)


I have been worried that these Orchard Pigs - the redesigned ones - are simply renamed versions of their very excellent medium and dry versions that I raved about a year or so back. Not so, and this one proves it. 'Reveller', for a start, is a good 2% weaker than its medium cousin that earned itself a silver apple.

4.5%. This is the second or third I have come across recently and, I have to say, I am pretty certain that at that % it's not going to be full juice. Apples contain more fermentable sugar than that. In fact, pretty much all sugar in an apple is fermentable. That isn't meant to sound an obvious and daft statement. Pears contain sorbitol, for example, which is non fermentable. So there:-)

So, is this Orchard Pig 'dumbing' down, or is simply a more easily accessible version of their good stuff? Well, I do have an opinion... and it involves marketing people. I recall the splash that was made about the new range of ciders and it was all controlled via a marketing company. So I can only really conclude that this is Orchard Pig's 'commodity' range of ciders.

I have just had a thought though, in relation to the current concerns around CAMRA, SIBA et al's campaign to realign duty. IF they get their ill thought out way and cider makers are dragged down to beer levels of duty (which hands beer a huge competitive advantage as it is traditionally a weaker drink); cider duty being charged' per' % vol. you are going to see a lot more watered down ciders. After all, it won't be cost effective to produce the real thing any more as the duty, going by current rates of beer duty, would be over £60per hl for a 6.5% cider (and thats for a small producer with a discount of 50% - as per beer duty). Just to compare, a 4.5% beer is around £40 - which, according to CAMRA, is pushing brewers to the brink. Says a lot really, doesn't it. Please note, these are illustrative figures and could be a quid or two out either way.

Lets get back to this cider though. On opening it is, sure enough, golden, bright and sparkling. A marketing mans dream of a cider (OK, I will lay off that train of thought for now). The fizz is moderate though and doesn't offend me at all. It smells good though; bittersweet, sweet and full of fruit. Surprising given that it has been adjusted for the lower alcohol range for cider.

Well, Reveller is all of its medium description, and the fizz is persistent even in the mouth. It also retains its fruitiness all the way though, with a mild tannin and good acid that balance each other out. I come back to the sweetness though - it really is! As I go through the glass I get a better feel for the acid, which is actually understated and underlines the tannin more than competes.

I would like to know what this is sweetened with as I am getting an aftertaste from it. I suspect I only noticed as the rest of the aftertaste is short to medium in length (though it still holds its fruity cideriness).

Not a bad cider at all from Orchard Pig. I would settle for their full juice ciders any day, but this is not a bad showing for a cider that has been weakened. A score of 73/100 is still a bronze apple:-)

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