Monday 24 March 2014

Hecks Kingston Black Cider

Wandering back to my recent Hecks 'stash' I find myself drawn to their version of the Kingston Black single variety cider. I do find their simple design and use of colour on the labels attractive... although as a cider, this is a medium and so I am going to have to adjust my tastebuds accordingly:-)

So, opening this very smart bottle of cider, it gives of nothing more than a 'pfst' and pours with a low carbonation. As you will see from the photograph, it is pure golden brightness - obviously filtered and highly polished.

It has a rather nice smell - the Kingston Black seems understated. It isn't reaching out and grabbing me by the throat like some other versions I have tried. It is gentle and pleasant - mature and inviting.

I am not known as one who thinks single varieties are all that they may be for wine. A complete cider is a blended cider as far as I am concerned. With nearly 400 ciders under my belt on this blog alone, I am still of that opinion (mind you, us cider makers can be a belligerent bunch!!) Kingston Black is meant to be the 'perfect' single variety apple... actually, I rather prefer a Yarlington SV being more funky - but I still quite like the good ol' KB.

The Kingston Black in this cider is somewhat sidelined by the sweetening. It is dulled quite a bit, and I understand why it is understated. Don't get me wrong, the flavour is rich and smokey - well matured with a tannin and a sharpness to underline it. However, over the top of this is a sweetness that is all of it's medium description.

There are so many factors in liking a cider to take into account: do you like dry or sweet? Tannin? Acid? Do you like a 'thick' scrumpy like cider or a clear, vineous cider? All are valid and there are excellent examples of all of these. I am very glad that we do not require our cider makers to conform too much... well, I guess they wouldn't if asked!

The aftertaste is fairly short - a consequence (I think) of the filtering. However, it is a nice cider and I enjoyed it.

A good cider with a good score of 71/100 and a bronze apple for Hecks. If you like sweet ciders you may score it more.

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