Tuesday 15 January 2013

Tutts Clump Five Counties Cider

This is the last of the Tutts Clump ciders that I bought to review mid last year and, to be honest, I am kind of glad I am moving on. I am sure Tutts will release new ciders for this year and I will want to try them but lets be honest: I have had a bit of a hit and miss relationship with these ciders so far.

Lets not judge before trying. The name of the cider, "Five Counties" relates to where the apples come from - Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire. OK, only two of these are known for their cider fruit so I guess its going to be another heavily eastern style of cider once again. Lets hope that Bramley does not make a huge contribution!

Opening the bottle, the smell is one of bitter fruit - there are some cider apples in here. Positive start! There is also some acid in here too though. Mind you, I could only discover this after allowing the foam settle! It opened with a flourish, so it has fully conditioned in the bottle (it has been sat around for a while). The haze confirms this - its the one thing with proper bottle conditioning, the carbonation forces the yeast off the bottom and into solution once again.

Its got some really nice cider flavour going on. Although the cider errs on the side of acidic - there are a lot of dessert apples in this cider too... possibly more than the cider apples. In fact, I would say this is an Eastern cider which is cut through with a modest and mild tannin and earthy body that gives it an extra dimension. Nice - should have tried this one sooner!

There are a few funky tastes going on and I would hazzard a guess that there are some Bramley apples in the mix. I also reckon there are some bittersharps going on too. These add to the sharpness of the cider but alter it a bit to make it more interesting than the usual Tutts Clump acidic cider.

The aftertaste is modest and gently tannic. I am not sure whether it is meant to be on the dry side of medium dry (it is labelled as med dry) but I find this pleasing too.

In all, a score of 74/100 for this cider - which must be Tutt Clumps best yet. And a bronze apple too.

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