Cider and Perry Tasting: Part 2, more drinking….

So I have finally got around to tasting 5 more ciders for the next instalment of this blog (the terrible research I must do) and this time I’ve plumped for 3 ciders, 1 perry and 1 fruity mix.

The five ciders tasted this time

Aspall Classic Organic Suffolk Cyder – 7%, 500ml bottle, 3.5 units, around £2.40 a bottle.

This had a lovely sunset yellow orange colour and on pouring smelled strongly of both fruit and alcohol.  Drinking it there was absolutely no sweetness to this cider (or cyder) at all, but there was a good apple flavour followed by a slightly sour aftertaste; a nice drink for a sunny afternoon, and one to sip slowly.  The bottle design is a nice touch, elegant and sleek it makes the product stand out and appear very grown up (“premier” as their website puts it), however as pretty as it may look on a shelf, I found it quite difficult to fit in my fridge which was slightly frustrating.  I found it interesting when choosing my ciders to see that this Organic cyder is cheaper than any other in the Aspall’s range as organic products usually cost a bit more.  I have to say I would never have guessed that this cyder was organic, but then I’ve never quite known what being organic is supposed to taste like….

7/10

Gwynt Y Ddraig Perryvale Pear Cider – 4.5%, 500ml bottle, 2.25 units, £1.67 in Asda (or 3 for £4)

The blurb on the bottle says that the perry is made from the juice of freshly pressed fruit of three varieties of pear, which sounds promising but it turned out that this was a drink to forget!  The bottle’s first claim was that it has an “abundant pear aroma” however pouring a glass revealed a pale (almost colourless) perry which smelt only of alcohol, with the hint of something a bit winey, maybe due to the oak casks it’s matured in.  The bottle also claimed that the drink “lingered on the pallet” but this was not true.  The perry had very little flavour at all (if I was feeling generous I would call it subtle) and was a bit floral.  It felt more like a soft drink (appletizer crossed with elderflower cordial) than a perry and what little flavour there was definitely did not linger.  I suspect that the person who wrote the label had not tasted this drink, but merely described a nice perry they had encountered once upon a time.  It was not unpleasant at all; it was just unforgettable to the point that you could drink the whole bottle without noticing.

4/10

St Helier Pear/Blackcurrant – 5%, 500ml Bottle, 2.5 units, £1 in Lidl, normally about £1.70

This was the last of my cheap ciders from Lidl and once again I was surprised by it.  As soon as I took the lid of the bottle a great smell of sweet blackcurrant came forth making me think I was about to drink something more akin to Crème de Cassis than Cider.  The colour of the cider also did nothing to allay my fears being a deep blue/purple hue.  However it turned out that my fears were misplaced, the cider had a nice sharp tang and was not sugary at all.  There was actually a slight medicinal taste which reminded me of tunes, but I enjoyed the drink.  As with the raspberry and lime I think it’s one to keep in the bottle since the colour is a bit off-putting, but this was really quite a pleasant drink.

7/10

Symonds Founder’s Reserve – 5.5%, 568ml bottle, 3.1 units, £1.70

This had a deep honey colour and a lovely fruity smell.  It was crisp and dry with plenty of apple flavour. I’m struggling to write anything for this cider because it was just like a lovely cider should be!  Lots of fruit, not too sweet and a bit of an alcohol bite.  Just plain lovely!

9/10

Morrisons Dry Cider – 5.3%, 3 Litre Bottle, 15.9 Units, £2.79

I don’t normally go in for the large cheap bottles of cider (aka “tramp juice”) due their tasting of chemicals and nothing more, however this particular cider was recommended to me by my dad.  I was fairly sceptical at first, but trying a glass over his I was pleasantly surprised.  After buying my own bottle (for the purposes of research of course!) I confirmed that my first tasting was not a one off but that this was not actually a bad cider.  It has a colour very similar to the Symonds above, a lovely golden hue and has a great apple aroma.  It’s dry and it does has  bit of a chemical tang (which gets worse if it’s a bit warm) but was still pretty fruity, and far above the standard I would expect from a 3 litre bottle costing less than three quid.  It’s not the nicest cider in the world, but for the price it’s great.  I even felt generous enough to share it!  It would be great if you get smaller bottle as it was a bit flat by the time I finally finished the bottle a week after opening but that may not be a problem for everyone and anyway, it would probably cost a lot more if it came in 500ml glass bottle.  A great bargain cider, and for the connoisseur, maybe a drink for the second bottle when the taste buds aren’t so sharp.

7/10

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3 Responses to “Cider and Perry Tasting: Part 2, more drinking….”

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  2. Arlene Says:

    I like your cider tasting experiment, very entertaining to read. You’ve definitely awakened a craving for a tall, cold glass of some right now since it’s about 35 degrees out!

  3. Rhiannon Jenkins Says:

    Hi Rhi

    I came across your blog in the longlist of entries for the Blog Awards. I work on behalf of Rachel’s http://www.rachelsorganic.co.uk and would really like to send you some products to try for your blog.

    can you email me rhiannon.jenkins@quadrant.uk.com with some contact details

    Many thanks

    Rhiannon

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