Wednesday 11 January 2012

Scrumpy Dog Apple and Pear Cider

OK, whilst I am waiting for this cider (well, its an apple and pear affair, so not entirely sure where this sits) to settle down from its rather effervescent start, it may be a good time to have a closer look at Scrumpy Dog.

At first, I thought this must be the brewer 'Brew Dog' having a go at cider. I have heard of them from others who know much more about brewing than I do... which isn't much! However, Scrumpy Dog is made by Broadlands Wineries in Norfolk. I have to say, the eastern side of the country hasn't featured very much in my reviews of cider so far and I am pleased to add another one to the list! Incidentally, the tradition of cider making in the east of the UK is as long and distinguished as that of the west. In fact, I have seen some discussion historically that it may be a longer history. But lets not open that box, shall we!

Looking on their website, they choose not to mention their cider. That will be due to the fact that it has its own website. It all looks pretty 'cool' - five mates make the cider in Norfolk - I presume this is somehow via the Winery. One note I would make (not that it has anything really to do with the cider itself) is that the marketing looks much in the same vane as Rattlesnake from Cornwall... super cool and surfy. Well, we all have to pitch ourselves somewhere eh!

Now, to the cider (which shows no sign of letting up on the bubbles). Needless to say, its a high fizz. Its also very pale in colour. The smell, well I have to summarise by saying its a touch of sulphites and boiled sweets. I ought to add that I am no expert on perry either... so that could explain the smell.

Going for a glug, it has stacks of acid and, unlike Rattlesnake, it actually does have a bit of bite:-).Its actually rather tart in fact... perhaps its the Bramley thats in it - I have used Bramley in cider before now, and it has that tangy acid that is unlike most else. The pear is there too though - pear drops which sweetens the cider and reduces the acid kick quite a bit. However, this is not a dry cider. Its much more medium. This in itself is not a bad thing though... dryness and acid is just stacks of acid. I have tasted a Tom Putt SV cider from the Great British Beer Festival that had more acid and it was quite a tough drink.

In all, I am not disappointed with this drink. It has clearly been treated like a wine (which aint really that surprising eh!) but is actually quite refreshing at the same time. Overall then - not exactly totally my cup of tea but I wouldn't say no to another.

It scores 73/100 and gets a bronze apple. Fair, I think.


  1. Smells of pears and sweets, but it's suprisingly acidic. The bubbles are bothering me a little. You are right that it has a bite, but I think that the taste is too much watery. And it has nothing to do with the acid and no tannins really, as I don't mind east country or spanish types of cider. No long finish. I guess it feels too thin for me.

  2. That's fair enough - and to be honest I haven't had this since reviewing it...

  3. We've not found the fizz. Ours is marked slightly sparkling and is exactly that. It carries a hint of oak and we found it very easy, despite the bite which quickly dissipates. It does taste like almost like two drinks with the initial apple taste giving way to the sweetnes of the pears rather than a mixed flavour. Over all we liked it and will have it again.