Friday 11 May 2012
Sainsbury's English Vintage 2010 Cider
OK, well I have a couple of reviews here that are either going to be dead simple but a little revealing or else going to be complex and hard to explain. Captured your attention? It's actually not that exciting - I have two bottles of cider that look identical to each other; this Sainsbury's and Weston's own English Vintage Cider. And I have provided a photo to prove how similar they look (well, they even have the same bleedin' name don't they!!)
So what? Well, aside the fact that one is 7.2% and the other is 7.3%, I get to try them together to see if in fact they are one and the same thing. OK, its not the first time Weston's have done this - see the review for 1st Quality and Marcle Hill (and possibly the Governor). And its not as if I found both these ciders on sale next to each other - the Westons was in a garden centre in Somerset, the Sainsbury's version I will let you guess at:-)
Is this OK though? Is it OK for companies to peddle stuff at us under two (or even three) different names but the stuff being identical? I guess it is, although it really is just more marketing crap really isn't it? No, there isn't anything to say 'this cider has been specially made for Sainsbury's'; although it does say 'produced and bottled for...', but that is just being picky. And why there is 0.1% alcohol difference I have no idea... But then, if this cider is not like the other then that would actually make this whole paragraph a waste of space eh!
So lets try the Sainsbury's one first and see.
It pours out fairly fizzy and golden in colour. Bright and clear as a bright and clear thing that has won the bright and clear competition. The smell is moderate - fruity and cider with a little tannin and sulphite coming through. It does seem a touch juicy... common for Weston's although it is described as medium dry, do hopefully not too much.
And the taste is good. Moderate. Safe. A nice cider flavour to it with an excellent balance between acid, tannin and sweetness. The fruit is there with not too much apple juice going on either. I actually rather enjoy it; although I am sure it is heavily related to most of their other ciders, it is distinct from the still and juicy versions I have tried recently.
There is a reasonable aftertaste to the cider too. Its not especially long, but it is tannic - not much juice coming through at all but a nice fruity taste.
This is not a 'normal' Westons. It is quite dry and whilst not entirely challenging or complex is a satisfying drink. A good score of 70/100 earns an apple for Sainsbury's and for Westons too... now, lets see if the Westons is identical (and do I mark it down if it is???)