Friday 11 February 2011

Magners Original Cider

Magners. Yup. The place to start. A lot of ciderati would scream 'infidel’. However, why not? Because its an 'industrial’ cider? Sure its produced as a manufactured commodity, which is a mile away from the artisan cider producer. But that is the price of catering to the masses and we have to start somewhere. As a cider commodity, Magners represents a huge part of the market for cider worldwide. Its looking at a totally different market space than the artisan producer. Quantity over quality? Well lets see about that.

Its hard to be totally objective about ciders like Magners. I spent my late 20’s and early 30’s consuming the stuff before discovering what many describe as real cider (although a number of the large producers make cider in similar ways). Since then, not a bottle has passed these lips – so this is both a step back in time, and also time to be serious for at least a minute and put preconceptions aside.

So, to drink 'over’ ice or not? What a silly concept! And surely its drink 'under’ ice? Ice floats in liquid  ergo the cider is under the ice! Anyway, I wouldn’t put ice in my beer, or in my wine, so no thanks. However, as a gesture to this feat of marketing, I chilled it.

And what of Magners as a drink? Well, its a cider. Its probably better described as a session cider... kind of like the 4 pack of lager that you buy to take over to your mates house for a Barbeque. Easy going and undemanding. And generous too (though I smell a whiff of marketing in the pint sized bottles too).

At 4.5% its a bit lighter than most ciders, and it has a watery consistency – these set it apart from traditional, full juice ciders (yes, yes, I know, there are other factors too). However, it looks like cider - a bit orangey maybe. Its carbonated; though a little too heavily for me, and it tastes like cider. It’s not an inspiring taste though, with little aroma or distinctive character about it. In fact, it is an average cider in just about every way I can think of. Maybe average is not the right word here. Simple is probably more accurate - without wishing to cause offence to the good people of Clonmel, it is a bit of a dumbed down cider.

And that is probably the best summary of Magners – it has an average taste, with average sweetness, average style and average character. Maybe that is the secret to its success - its not challenging. Exceptional, however, it is not. Well, except for the marketing that it:-)

The score of 49 pretty much sums up how I felt about it.

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