Friday, 26 April 2013

King Brain Sweet Cider


My final review of the night – well, being responsible, it was the last review I think I was fit for… and I didn’t want to review ciders in an irresponsible way:-) This King’s Brain was labelled as sweet; the barman was convinced that it was in fact medium dry (hence that hand written note on the label). That is quite a difference, so I figured I would try some to see what the fuss was about.

Sweet ciders are not really my thing. In fact, I was pleased to hear that the more popular ciders at the festival were medium dry, and even the dry ciders were getting a fair showing. Perhaps (in Winchester at least, the sweet tooth is giving way to the search for something with more flavour?! Well, I guess it could be read that way – probably more likely is that those seeking to satisfy a need for sugar were not drinking cider or even at the festival.

Other than being made in or near Yeovil, Somerset, I can find very little about this producer online. Having said that, as I have already said for at least one of these ciders - I like the fact that the internet has passed some businesses by almost completely.

This cider came nice and golden and really quite clear. Not bright, but clear. This is possible without filtration (and lets face it, if it were last years cider it has had plenty of time to clear). The aroma had plenty of fruit in it too, which is pleasant, although I didn’t get much of a ‘western’ feel of it at first.

The taste is delightful. It is a western style of cider, fitting for a Somerset cider with a good balance of tannin and acid going on. ‘Delightful’ sums it up nicely, as it is not odd or challenging – it is in fact pretty good on all levels; a medium tannin with a medium acid with a small earthy component and moderate fruit. There isn’t anything that leaps out and grabs you, but it is well put together.

Incidentally, the medium dry nomination from the bar staff seemed to me to be wrong. It wasn’t sweet, but was much more medium than dry. However, this suited the cider well – and if the maker did feel it was sweet, then perhaps they are a dry cider drinker (“If I have to make it sweet, then it will only just be sweet”).

My scoring by this time was starting to develop signs of weakness, so a second eye was cast over the figures to make sure that I wasn’t just being lazy. Sure enough – “all 7’s” seems to have been the joint conclusion – albeit that I feel this was a little harsh given that I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Perhaps I will revisit this cider some day.


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