Friday 18 January 2013
Ross on Wye Cider and Perry Co. Eddie's Cider
To give this cider its full name - Eddie's Cider with Attitude and Bite. So this is a cider that is going to give me a bit of attitude and also going to have some bite eh. Now, could that be drying bite or acid bite? Only one way to find out eh!
Now, there is not much that I haven't already said about Ross on Wye or their cider. I like their ciders and only once have I had a less then positive experience of buying ciders from them (but then, on that occasion it wasn't Mike Johnson in the shop but some other less friendly guy... and that is now in the past). However, the label on this bottle has reminded me of something. No, not the cat (although Ross' pets are surely among the most celebrated of animals!) but the award on the table in front of it. This comes from winning the Blossomtime Cider Trials at Putley, run by the Big Apple Association. Ross on Wye won this in... 2011 (I think). Well deserved. Nice trophy too:-)
However, the cider isn't a celebration of the award. It's named after the cat! Its a naturally conditioned cider, which means that it should be carbonated through a little in-bottle fermentation. Looking at the small amount of sediment at the bottom of the bottle, I am expecting this to be fairly gentle (if you see a heavy crop of yeast at the bottom, you might expect a higher fizz and cloudy cider (although not always). Sure enough, it is a gentle, foaming carbonation with a low carbonation.
The cider itself has a very light smell to it - there are low level tannins in there but these don't seem dominant at all. It also smells a bit farmyard... an earthy smell which often has more to do with maturation and possibly malolactic fermentation (which rounds off a cider and can make it go a little 'smokey').
The first thing I get from this cider is sharp. Its quite harsh but not out of control, although feels quite light and free - possibly a few dessert or culinary apples alongside bittersharp fruit. The tannin itself is gentle and understated. This isn't competing with the acid at all, although compliments it well. Unlike the Tutts Clump Five Counties I tried last, this is a western cider with a sharpness to it as opposed to an eastern cider with a few cider apples in. It is totally different (and probably comes from access to really good sharp apples like Browns or Foxwhelp.
Moving through this glass, the acid does run away with itself a touch, so the bite part is correct. It also has plenty of character and individualism to it. On the aftertaste, the acid is almost sour too, although it is long and striking.
This is a very different cider from Ross on Wye Cider. I don't think its their best by a way although has huge doses of individualism that makes it worth trying. It will certainly offer something different if you are drinking standard western cider!
A score of 77/100 rewards Ross with another bronze apple. Not sure I have many more of their ciders to try!