Saturday 12 January 2013

Skidbrooke Cyder, Skidbrooke Cyder

Books. Cider books. I have a few of them. Most of them are of a practical bent; how to make cider and, possibly more importantly, how to fix things when it goes wrong. A couple of others have pretty pictures of apples in - not (I have to say) any use for identifying apples in real terms. Last year, I played a small practical joke at an apple day, where an 'expert' was laid on to identify apples... I took along a Tremletts Bitter, a Yarlington Mill and a Dabinett. Needless to say they were all identified as dessert apples with odd names. OK, I found it amusing (I don't expect anyone else to!)

Why do I mention this? Well, I have just parted with a few quid to buy a new copy of The Naked Guide to Cider and also 'The History and Virtues of Cider' by Roger French. A bit of a broad difference between the two - but then sometimes I want a serious read and other times I don't.

And where did I get these from? Online from the Book Depository via the Cider Workshop website ( Not bad cost - the Book Depository doesn't have postage costs, although I believe the prices are different in various countries. And its all the main titles in one place.

OK. This wasn't intended as an advert, but I did think to myself (just before I started writing this) that there aren't many places you could find books on any aspect of cider making eh!

This, I think, is Skidbrooke Cyders' main blend. As with the last cider, I am glad it's a still cider given it is filled to the brim! I even quite like the wonkily applied label - it gives it a handmade feel. The label itself doesn't give too much away, although the 'Select Lincolnshire' is a nice touch. I am not so sure about the shiny green Golden Delicious picture though... well, it looks like a Golden Delicious anyway!

Pouring into the glass, this is again a nicely mature cider. It smells Eastern in style - nicely so too. A floral and not overly acidic smell. I am also getting something that perhaps shouldn't be there... it does smell a touch oxidised. This is almost certainly going to be due to the plastic lid on the bottle - plastic, although it will not leak, does slowly leach air in and over a period this will affect the cyder. Lets not judge it too soon though, on the whole it is all good so far.

To taste is is very mature and the acid is mellow and has rounded off very well. There is some good flavour coming through too. It was clearly made from quality dessert apples (not getting any Bramley). However, it has oxidised a bit and this lowers it all a bit - its a touch one dimensional (which comes from an oxidised cider) and there is a bit of an odd aftertaste. This is a huge shame as this is a refreshing and lovely cider that is definitely well made.

As already mentioned, the aftertaste is just a touch odd, although it is also long and fruity. This is an aromatic cider that is well made - albeit I think in this case the plastic cap has let this cyder down a bit...

Now, my standard position is that a fault means a score deduction of 5 points. However, on this occasion, because the cyder is really nice on the whole, I have deducted 4, which leaves Skidbrooke with a bronze apple at 70/100 points.

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