Sunday 5 January 2014
Olivers Cider and Perry Co., Classic Perry
What to follow the Magners Pear Cider then? Well, with a name like 'Classic Perry' and made by arguably one of the foremost perry makers in the world, this should be an excellent example (and one that sets the bar fairly high for this style of drink).
Scavenging information from the bottle, I can see that it is both carbonated and pasteurised. OK, I do have some issues with these processes although the proof itself is in the drinking. Pears are a difficult and unpredictable fruit - I have heard that it can remain hazy following fermentation. So some form of filtration is probably almost inevitable if you want to guarantee something clear. As for pasteurisation; well, it depends on whether/how the perry is sweetened. So, without wishing to undo things I have said in the past about both processes it really does depend on how they are done. Let's get on with it then.
Oh, one more thing. I confess to knowing a little about Olivers and the description of the production fits nicely with that - ripe fruit being pressed and fermented in barrels before bottling... simple yet seemingly so difficult for many producers!
This perry is moderately carbonated - it has been sat on my shelf for some months and still is clear and not excessively sparkling... it hasn't developed further on my shelf (the result of both filtration and pasteurisation). It is a light golden colour and has a strong aroma - almost cidery. It has citrus notes and wet hedge too... ok, nettles and berries. I am not getting a heavy pear smell from it - well, not pears I am familiar with.
Wow. This is as different from Magners as you can get. It is a full smooth taste with floral notes as well as a slightly lemon note too. The pears have developed during fermentation - in the same way that cider doesn't really taste of apples (if you are drinking a cider that just tastes of apple juice... not mentioning Westons:-) then it is worth considering this fact). I am getting some tannin too and yet there is very little acid to balance against it.
This is quite complex - and I am not an expert on perry. However, it is really very good. Taking a few more gulps I am starting to get more of the pears in the taste... this is a bit of a quaffing perry. Very nice.
There is a moderate length aftertaste which is a touch warming yet also satisfying. There is still no real acid but it does taste more juicy in the mouth as an aftertaste.
OK, this was exactly the comparison I was hoping for as a second perry. A score of 87/100 and a silver apple for Olivers!