Wednesday 19 October 2011

Sheppy's Taylors Gold Cider

Yet another of the Sheppy's single variety range - my they do a lot of them. Taylors Gold is actually made from Taylors Sweet, which is an early sweet cider apple.

Having said that, this is not why its a sweet cider - sweet apples do not make sweet ciders. Sweet apples (as in, high in sugar) make stronger dry ciders. All ciders end up dry unless there is intervention either before the cider finishes fermentation (i.e. keeving or low nitrogen) or after the cider finishes by sweetening. If that is done with sugar or apple juice, the cider will require pasteurisation to stop it refermenting. Alternatively, many cider makers these days add sucralose (recently allowed in commercial cider) or aspartame (more common than you might think!).

Anyway, the point is that although this is a medium cider, its almost certainly not because of the apple (though that is not to say that Sheppy's are not clever or skilled enough to halt a fermentation by keeving or reducing the nutrients somehow - they certainly are).

Sitting on the table in front of me whilst I write this, the carbonation has all but gone, and it remains a lovely golden colour - inviting! A fairly light cidery smell is also pretty welcoming. When I say light, I mean that I am expecting the tannin to be light and maybe even a touch of acid to it.

First taste confirms this. It is a lightly bittersweet cider. No sign of any real acids (well, I would not expect a sweet cider apple to contain much acid). So its true to its single variety pitching - but it is still fairly balanced. And sweet!

My word it is a little too sweet for my taste. I am sure there are many that would love it. Thinking about it in a market where sweet ciders are the most popular still, this must sit at the high end of that - its not obscenely sweetened and has a good character behind it. It makes some, where they are just sweetened to hit a market, a bit bland.

OK. Judgement. I like it. Not so much the sweetness, but I don't mind it at all. I think I have been fairly hard on Sheppy's so far, but there are a few than do really show off the skill of the cider maker.

A score of 79/100

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