Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Skidbrooke Cyder Farmhouse Sweet


I ought to be honest about this cyder. It’s the last of the three examples of Skidbrooke that I got last year and it is last for a reason: sweet. To be fair, I quite like the eastern style of this Lincolnshire cyder, although have found the plastic caps allow a bit of air through. But then I guess they aren’t meant to sit around for months before being drunk… although the crown cap solution to this is easy (and probably cheaper).

So, once again, I like the Lincolnshire-ness of the label. The bottle, which is clear, shows the cyder to be more yellow than gold (eastern cyders are generally much lighter in colour than the western style). It is also filled to the brim (as with all the others). I have been thinking about this a little – how are the bottles filled where there is no gap between cider and lid? All bottles have a tolerance for a gap built in – both to do with pressure and the nature of filling bottles. Well, I can’t figure it out, short of a bit of topping up before capping.

Looking at the bottle, I would say that it could have been filtered, but appears more naturally clear than forced clear. I also see a little sediment too.

This is a flat cider. OK, it has a very slight fizz, which almost certainly comes from it having sat around on my shelf for several months – its not enough to even dome the lid on top of the bottle. The smell seems to be sharp, though you can smell sweetness coming off it too. I don’t detect any tannins – which fits with the style I have experienced from this producer so far. There doesn’t appear to be any ascetic smell from it either, which is nice.

Oh. Oh my word. This is why I saved it till last. Perhaps it should have gone first so I could finish on a high with Skidbrooke. This is waaaay too sweet. Its beyond sweet. Not only that, but the sweetness seems to be coming out of artificial sweetening (again, not a bad thing in itself) – I would say sucralose as its not particularly offensive but does have a slight aftertaste. And, boy you get the aftertaste in this cyder – it’s a lesson in what sucralose tastes like!

The sweetening is so intrusive within this drink that I am struggling to make sense of any cyder taste beneath it. From what I can get, it is not that bad – very similar to the standard eastern counties.

However, after a glassful I couldn’t really get much of this going on as I struggled to get any more than sweetness. Forget acid. It is there, but its drowned out and way in the background.
The aftertaste is all sweetness.

OK, so perhaps I shouldn’t have done this cyder. Its neither aimed at me nor my cup of tea. However, even if I was a sweet cyder drinker, this is just too much. Its almost sweet for sweetness sakes as opposed to trying to enhance and lift the cyder. In fact, I doubt that Diet Cola has as much sucralose in it than this drink!

It scores a sad 54/100, and I think (to be honest) its lucky to have got over 50 for me.



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