Friday 30 August 2013
Springfield Cider, Wobblymunk Cider (GBBF)
I must have missed this off my initial passes by the cider bar - it was at the top of my list to try, being the Champion CAMRA Cider of 2013 n'all. And why shouldn't the best CAMRA have to offer get the Cider Pages treatment eh?! Thankfully it is described as a medium dry on the number chart of sweetness. I would have been massively disappointed if this one had been on the sweeter end of the scale.
Springfield are another of the Welsh producers represented here. Based in Monmouthshire - the Welsh 'Ciderland' (or is it just a continuation of the UK 'Ciderland' - I guess that depends on whether you are Welsh and a member of WCPS!) Anyway, they have been making cider for the last 15 years and this year it really paid off for them at the national CAMRA Cider and Perry Competition...
I guess my current thinking is that there are too many competitions and awards floating around for cider/perry producers these days. Many companies cite 'award winning' on their banners and in their marketing guff... to me, my concern is that this becomes worthless - although if you are someone like Olivers, Once Upon a Tree or Burrow Hill then the sheer volume of awards must say something! The CAMRA competition should be up there with the best of them - Bath and West and 3 Counties (note, personally I don't count those sponsored by magazines or claiming to be 'international' whilst pricing all but the largest producers out). However, it suffers from poor planning and structure and, whilst I am sure this is going to be a great cider, the problems present within the competition means that this is unlikely to be the same stuff that won at Reading earlier this year.
Oh well, something for APPLE to get round to if they are open to such things.
This cider comes to me as a fairly bright (clear) and golden cider. As with all the draught ciders here it is flat, although it has a really good smell to it. Ooh, it smells rich and fruity - a good one if the smell is anything to go by. It is curious how we tend to lead through the nose, isn't it, and I am really getting last autumn in this glass - fruit, weather, cut grass with a deep wood note in the nose.
The taste leads with a good fruity tannic body. This is a little drying although the sweetening (well done and understated) offsets this a lot. On the whole, this drink is all apple fruitiness and bittersweet undertones - there is not that much acid and certainly not enough to prevent this cider from being deep and rich. However, the acid does play a supporting role to an extent - this is really a good cider and I am starting to agree with CAMRA's judgement on it.
The aftertaste is long and satisfying. A real delight.
So, for this cider... think autumn, leaves turning brown, bonfires, wet grass, ripe apples and cuttings. What isn't to like about this cider? It has charisma - not stacks of it, but it is good and it is there. I like
A very strong silver apple with a score of 88/100.