Wednesday 11 September 2013

Hartland Whisky Cask Cider (GBBF)

Moving onto my 9th 3rd pint of cider at the Great British Beer Festival and, checking back, I have given out 5 apples already. Certainly above average (and it was a real shame about the Ventons - which I am sure should have got one!) After another break - this time sausage roll and half a pack of pork scratchings (I never eat these things in normal life and I think I need to save the remainder or this salty pack for the journey home!!)

Looking at my list, I am doing about right. There are still one or two that I have to try whilst I am here, so lets move on to the next one - another Whisky Cask cider, this time from Gloucestershire. The markers on the label say that it is barrel conditioned and sharp. Oh well, its on the list and it is dry - so here goes.

Hartland Cider are, well, I don't think I can really do any better justice to them that to provide this link from Roy Bailey's website (I hope he doesn't mind my using it). It says everything: 

There is nothing unusual about the smell of this cider - no real smell of whisky, but a bit of fruit and not much else. It seems to be good so far. Incidentally, it is a golden and hazy cider (obviously still, as served out of a polypin).

I have to confess I am not so sure I agree with CAMRA on the sharpness. It is moderately sharp, and that is nicely balanced and there is no sourness to it. I can see how it can build up though - it is intense in parts and I would guess it is the dominating characteristic of the cider. Mind you, with that little sticky label, is it just what I was expecting?

Sure enough, progressing through the glass it does stand out - and it mustn't be forgotten that there is a nice fruit and a bit of tannin in here too.  It is just that the acid dominates - so I will let the bar staff off. Tangy; that is possibly the best way to describe it. As with the other spirit cask cider, I couldn't/don't really care about the container - it simply doesn't leave any real impression or feature within the drink.

The acid does have a touch of petroleum about it. This is a bit like Janets Jungle Juice from a couple of years ago. I am not convinced that I am a fan of this note, but there is nothing really wrong with it.

The aftertaste is long and acidic - and the petrol taste persists.

A score of 68/100 is just shy of an apple, but not a bad score (or cider) at all.

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