Thursday 19 September 2013
Sherston Cider Co, First Press Cider (GBBF)
I know the Great British Beer Festival reviews are taking a while to get through this year. I admit that I decided to do things properly this time and, if I was to spent the money on getting there etc., I spread the drinks over the course of the day. This cider was my eleventh of the day (and in 3rds that equates to nearly 4 pints in total...)
Whilst I am writing about this festival, it is only appropriate to recognise the efforts of the bar staff here. Not all are knowledgeable, but most are and I ought to make reference specifically to Dawn - from USA or Canada I am afraid I couldn't tell, but very enthusiastic and honest... a sterling job done!
For this cider I had intended on getting a look in at the Yardes cider. However, as this went off just as I approached the bar (as in off 'empty barrel' as opposed to off 'bad tasting'!)
So, off to Wiltshire this time. Sherston (or more properly, the Sherston Cider Co.) are found on the edge of the Cotswolds and appear to produce cider from apples grown on their own orchards. As with most small producers internet activity, the website doesn't give a whole lot more away than that - other than I recognise all the varieties they are using and therefore this should be a good cider!
It is a hazy golden liquid (I do realise that repetition is common in these reviews, but it is worth stating for anyone just dipping in). The smell is exactly as it should be, given the varieties that have gone into making it too. Actually, it is quite a strong aroma and there is a little acid in there too. Appetizing (well, I am desperate for a great cider!!)
The taste is all of its medium labelling. There is stacks of juice going into this cider too though, which is interesting. It is clearly well kept and fully matured. In reality this cider is made up of mostly bittersweet fruit and the acid really does play a background roll. But - the acid IS there, which works well. This cider really is a contender! There isn't tons of tannin, although this could be the effect of the sweetening. However, the fermented apples are really expressing themselves and, whilst it is a tad juicy (I suspect this is the sweetening) I am really picking hairs to find anything wrong!
The aftertaste is medium in length and delicious... bearing in mind it is a medium cider!
Well done Sherston. This cider is a real credit and deserves the silver apple with a great score of 85/100.