Friday 1 March 2013

Lilley's Firedancer Medium Cider

Lilley's. They are a bit of a mystery - both to me and within the cider industry. Do they actually make cider or simply relabel it? Are they Broadoak by another name? Will their cider be full juice or just another cider concoction where the advertising doesn't quite match the practice?

I know some people have got a real bee in their bonnet's about Broadoak. It was rumoured earlier this year that they no longer exist. I am not sure of the truth in this, although I seem to recall it is all just a change of management and a renaming of product... it is all a bit unclear to me. And so, for my second cider at the Euston Cider Tap I figured now would be a good time to try a Lilley's for the first time.

Oh, and in answer to the questions above, I do not believe Lilley's actually make cider but relabel Broadoak ciders - although that is a bit of an educated guess (you could always call them and ask them... OK, I say that knowing that someone has and didn't get a straight answer).

Fortunately, I am writing this review up from the comfort of home, having already done the objective bit of actually trying the cider:-)

Firedancer comes from the 'Sparkling' cider list, so comes to me fizzy and actually quite hazy. This is their medium version, so I was expecting it to be filtered and pasteurised. It doesn't give off a whole load of smell in the glass - even for a sparkling cider. I am getting some low level cidery notes, although not so much bitter or tannic.

The taste is a little surprising. It lacks any real tannins and is rather sharp in the mouth... there really is quite a lot of acid going on. However, it is like a fizzy golden drink of flavoured water - rather bland and lacking any huge amount of character to it. OK, there is a tiny bit of tannin going on but you do have to hunt for it. Its just sweet and, well, sweet.

The aftertaste is pretty short too.

To some degree, I kind of expected this from a Broadoak cider. However, I am glad I have tried it - perhaps I should seek out a named Broadoak cider to try against it and compare. It scores 55/100, which is no apple and a disappointing 0/2 for my latest visit to Euston Cider Tap.

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