Sunday 17 July 2011

Waitrose Vintage English Cider (2010)

So, another Waitrose own cider. This time we are firmly in England - the vintage having been made for them in Herefordshire (doesn't say by whom but it has to be either Westons or Bulmers me thinks). Its a strong cider, although it has been filtered and (probably) gone through the usual mass market processes of pasteurisation and back sweetening. I have come to expect this in a lot of ciders available through the supermarkets:-(

It has a fairly light aroma to it - although it is pleasant. The taste is good. Its definitely a Herefordshire cider with a balance of tannin and acidity that is found in the area. It also tastes pretty darn strong (which at 7.3% it is).

The sweetness kind of kills it a little, although without I think it would be pretty stark. Along with the fizz, the sweetness brings it down a peg or two. This all works well together and its an enjoyable drink. There be Yarlington Mill in this one I think too (I do like it when I can taste particular varieties within a cider - it just demonstrates that is must have seen an apple or two in its production.

The aftertaste is mostly alcoholic. Its nice but it does smother the flavours a bit. Having said that, I would buy this one again (that it, once I have drunk every cider available in the country and reviewed it on here!! Maybe I need a break!)

Just sneaks a bronze apple with 71. I might have been a bit tough on the aftertaste, but then it was a bit on the safe side too so I think its reasonable.


  1. Totally agree with you here, it tastes like they added the alcohol afterwards. Weird.

  2. Its not a bad cider though - there is a lot worse out there. Just felt it was erring on the safe (i.e. filtered, pasteurised, back sweetened and adjusted).

  3. Well I am not in agreement, the nose almost has a fizz of fresh pink ladies, not a cider apple of course but full of appley greatness with a magnificent alcoholic punch to remind you that you are drinking cider and not apple juice. Slight biscuity richness but jolly quaffable providing you dont have anything else to do that day. Cider should be strong otherwise there is no point,

  4. Apart from the bit about 'cider being strong else there is no point', thanks for the comment - ciders are a broad church and what I like or dislike others are free to challenge!

    But, no. The strength of a cider is not the 'point' of the drink. For a full juice cider there is little control of strength in any case. The point is that it is a great drink... the alcohol is what it is.

  5. it says on the 2013 vintage 'made with 100% fresh pressed juice' - I know people say the word to look out for is 'from' not 'with', so are they pulling the wool over our eyes here? Do they mean 'it is made with some 100% fresh pressed juice and some other things such as sugar, water etc' or do they actually mean 'there is nothing in this apart from fresh pressed juice' ? If it is the former, the label is very deceptive indeed and should be changed in my opinion.

  6. Sadly, a statement that says 'made with/from 100% freshed pressed juice' does not mean that it is full juice (as Magners proved with their Pear Cider..) The most you can say with these ciders is that, of the juice content, 100% is fresh pressed juice. However, the juice content can be as little as 35%...

    It is this lack of integrity that muddies that cider waters and makes everyone suspicious. Sad indeed and a fault to lay squarely at the feet of those PR companies who lack any integrity.

    Bottom line - if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, don't let the marketeers convince you its a swan!!

    1. It has taken me almost 2 months to get a reply from Waitrose (endless chasing-up on my part and delaying tactics on their part) but finally we have the answer - yes they do add water, sugar and sulphur dioxide to their vintage cider which says on the label 'made with 100% fresh pressed juice'. Their 'policy' apparently allows them to say this and get away with it. I personally can envisage that lots of customers have been led to believe that the cider contains nothing but apple juice.

  7. You go Taff!! I think it shows how cynical I am these days that I am more surprised you got an answer than the answer you got! Well done. Could you work your way through my reviews and find out:-)