Tuesday 26 February 2013
Snail's Bank Dry Cider
I am nothing if not lucky. I get to travel about a bit for my work. This time, a trip to London presented a chance for a few quick glasses of cider at the Euston Cider Tap. To be honest, its really just a way of letting rush hour pass before running to catch my train... although that sounds like an excuse!
A few things have changes at the Tap since I was last there. The most obvious is the gigantic chalkboard displaying the list of 16 ciders and perries that they have on offer. The other chance that was possibly more informative was the sheer number of medium and sweet ciders compared to the very limited dry choice. I guess that says a lot about Londoners drinking habits - you are not going to change them into cider drinkers over night! Mind you, at least it was all made from apples and pears... not a blackberry in sight.
I also noted a distinct Broadoak tendancy within the list. I know some that will be unhappy at this - although I think the time of year is not great for a broader choice. However, you don't have to drink the Broadoak or Lilley's... there are other ciders on. Mind you, I am due to return in a few weeks and will end up reviewing them if the list remains the same (well, that or chicken out and go to the Bree Louise instead:-)
To start with, I thought I should try a cider that I have never even heard of before. Snail's Bank Cider Company (or snailbank cider, as the Tap calls it) is a producer from Herefordshire that really doesn't have much of a web presence at all. Search for them and you will only find the Ratebeer site - which describes cider producers as cider beer brewers. Nice - enough to make me think its a CAMRA conspiracy (ha ha ha).
As I tend to, I ordered a half - well, responsible drinking and all that!!. Its a flat, golden and bright. At 5.2 it seems to be a full juice cider, although this couldn't be confirmed - I guess I was happy but I suspect others will require more proof.
There is very little smell to it. That could be just because the Tap is a fairly cold venue, but more likely it is because there isn't much smell and the fact that it is still doesn't help.
Now, this is not a dry cider. Its a medium. Its a very juicy medium too - so it has been sweetened, filtered and pasteurised... the usual. The taste is clean - too clean in fact - it doesn't really taste of much at all except juice, with a hint of tannin and a very dull acid that lurks in the background.
I don't really buy into this drink so much as work my way through it. Don't get me wrong, there are no faults as such - it just comes across as a manipulated cider. The aftertaste is short and quite sweet.
I am sorry, Snail's Bank. I am not sure if it's me or the cider but I felt that there had simply been too much removed from the cider to make it great. It scores 58/100.