Crumpton Oaks – Apple Cider – Reviewed

Producer:  Crumpton Oaks http://crumptonoaks.co.uk
Cider Name: Apple Cider
Region: Malvern Hills
ABV:5
Taste: Medium
Served:  500ml Bottle Chilled
Smell: Fruity Apple
Colour: Golden Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review / Tasting notes

“Our award winning crisp and refreshing golden apple cider. Full of fruity flavour from the finest bittersweet apples harvested from our orchard family and balanced with dessert apples for a perfect medium taste and crisp finish.”

This is the cheapest cider that has been tasted and reviewed though in some areas it punches above it’s weight.  Aroma is nice enough, it has a nice golden amber colour and the taste is pleasant though won’t set the world on fire.  Though it is cheap for a reason and the biggest reason is that the added sugar and sweeteners are very evident and whilst providing a level of sweetness, it is not the fresh, pleasant sweetness provided by the more natural apple sweetness present in some more expensive ciders.

Verdict:

For 85p for the bottle, you can forgive this cider for some faults.  The aroma is nice, it tastes pleasant enough and you could enjoy a few of these on the kind of hot day being experienced as this is being written.  In terms of those faults, the added sugars and sweeteners are very evident in the taste and after-taste as you are left with a sugary coating in your mouth.  It is also on the watery side and whilst sweet, this is from the added sugars and sweetener which over power the actual apples.

Rating: This is a Good Cider in the category (Mainstream cider)

Ranking: To be announced (01/07/2021)

Malvern Cider Co. – Malvern Gold – Reviewed

Producer:  Malvern Cider Co https://www.astonmanor.co.uk/products/malvern-cider-co/
Cider Name: Malvern Gold Medium Dry Herefordshire Cider
Region: Herefordshire, Uk
ABV: 6.0%
Taste:  Medium Dry
Served:  500ml Bottle Chilled
Smell: Apple, Hint of Straw
Colour: Golden
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Still Cider

Review / Tasting notes

“Grown in the shadow of the Hereford and Worcestershire Hills, blended bittersweet apples including Three Countries, Yarlington Mill, and Dabinett.  Taste is achieved without artificial colourings, flavourings or sweeteners”

This advertises itself as a medium dry cider though the first element to the fore is a nice, though brief, sweet taste before a quite mild dry finish forms in the mouth.  The dry side has a hint of smoke and oak which is quite morish whilst it lasts.

Verdict:

The Malvern Hills are famous for their water and Malvern also has a luxury spa.  Whilst this cider may not reach the famous heights of the water, it deserves some spotlight in the cider world and you would not be overly disappointed if you were served this at the luxury spa. Very smooth, with a hit of sweetness before a pleasantly dry finish.  The main fault is that the dry finish disperses all too soon.

Rating: This is a good cider in the category mainstream cider

Ranking: To be announced (01/07/2021)

Orchard Pig – Reveller – Reviewed

Producer: Orchard Pig https://orchardpig.co.uk/
Cider Name: Reveller
Region: Somerset, UK 
ABV: 4.5% 
Taste: Medium
Served: 500ml Bottle (Chilled) 
Smell: Fresh
Colour: Golden
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling
Award Category: (Mainstream Apple Cider)

Review / Tasting notes:

“Reveller has a generous apple aroma, drawing you into a crisp, refreshing cider with a tangy note of freshly squeezed lime in the finish.”

A celebration of somerset, snort in the hearty aroma of west country cider apples – a crisp refreshing and lightly sparkling cider with a tangy note of freshly squeezed lime. 

Verdict:

What starts well, with a fine aroma, disappoints with the lack of crisp apple flavour.  The taste is overpowered by the lime.  If you like that citrus flavour this cider will be right up your street, if not you may well be unsatisfied. Although this is not a particularly good cider, it is very drinkable. Great for the pub garden but not recognized as a particularly good cider by the good cider guide critics.

Rating: This is not a particularly Good Cider in the category (Mainstream Apple Cider)

Ranking: To be announced on The Good Cider Guide website goodciderguide.com (01/07/2021)

Henry Westons – Cloudy Vintage Medium Dry – Review

Producer: Henry Westons http://westons-cider.co.uk
Cider Name: Cloudy Vintage Medium Dry
Region: Herefordshire, UK 
ABV: 7.3% 
Taste: Medium Dry
Served: 500ml Bottle (Chilled) 
Smell: Fresh and Fruity
Colour: Dark Amber
Clarity: Lightly Hazy and Golden
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling
Award Category: (Mainstream Apple Cider)

Review / Tasting notes:

“Slowly matured, spending time in oak vats in Herefordshire to deliver a sparkling, fruity & full-bodied cider”

Popping the lid on this cloudy cider instantly reveals a pleasant fruity apple aroma.  The aroma though gives more fruity apple than the taste which provides only a faint hint of apple before quickly giving way to a dry finish.  A dry finish which is on the side of full rather than medium. 

Verdict:

A stratus cloud is flat, layered, and smooth whereas this Henry Westons cloudy cider is lightly sparkling, slightly fruity, and dry.  The lack of slightly more fruity apple in the taste, which the aroma points to, is a real shame and stops this cider from scoring more highly.

Rating: This is a Good Cider in the category (Mainstream Apple Cider)

Ranking: To be announced (01/07/2021)

Simon’s Cider – Browns Medium-dry (2017)- Reviewed

Producer: Simon’s Cider http://simonscider.co.uk
Cider Name: Browns Medium Dry
Region: Cambridgeshire, UK 
ABV: 6.4% 
Taste: Medium Dry, Tannic, Sharp 
Served: Room Temp 
Smell: Fruit and spice 
Colour: Golden
Clarity: Mostly clear with a slight haze 
Carbonation: Still
Award Category: (Regionally Produced Cider) 

Review / Tasting notes:

“Browns brings gentle tannins and a wonderful acidity, bottled as a medium dry this cider is a fantastic example of how good a cider apple can be.”

On pouring, my wife described this as an upside-down sunrise in a glass. A very apt description for this golden still apple cider from Simon’s Cider.

The nose is fruity with plenty of Christmas Spice and clove. Some vanilla and almonds add to this fantastic aroma. Tiny slithers of light pectin give this a raw and full body in the glass with a scrumpy-like quality on the palate.

Upfront tannic bitterness is followed by sharpness and a drying mouthfeel. Furthermore, there is a dirtiness and fullness to the mouthfeel which adds real depth to this exemplary cider.

The presence of acidity lends balance to an already complex flavour. If anything, the sharpness may be a little too sharp for some and some might prefer it if the aftertaste could linger a little longer.

Verdict: Browns Medium Dry is a superb Single Variety cider. We agree with Simon’s assessment that this 2017 vintage is a fine example of just “how good a cider apple can be.”

Rating: This is a cider of distinction in the category (Regionally Produced Cider)

Ranking: To be announced (01/07/2021)

Sxollie Modern Cider– Cripps Pink – Reviewed

Producer: Sxollie  
Cider Name: Cripps Pink Modern Cider 
Region: South Africa 
ABV: 4.5% 
Taste: Floral notes 
Served: Chilled 
Smell: Fresh Apple 
Colour: Straw 
Clarity: Clear  
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling 
Award Category: Mainstream Cider 

Review/Tasting Notes: 

“Retains all the clean crisp flavours of the apples, with a lovely balance of sweetness and acidity” 

The aroma and taste of Sxollie’s Cripps Pink is quite delicate. Subtle floral notes are present in a lightly sparkling cider. Once again, this modern cider lacks in depth. Tannins, fruit and acidity are all pretty much absent. This is a sweet floral drink that we don’t rate very highly. 

Verdict: 

A sweet floral drink that serves little purpose as a cider. You would be better off with a decent elderflower cider in our opinion. 

Rating: This is not a particularly good cider (Mainstream Cider) 

Ranking: To be announced (01/07/2021) 

Sxollie – Granny Smith – Reviewed

“Made in a wine style- crisp, tart and refreshing apple cider with a crunchy acidity”

Tasting notes:

Granny Smith cider is an extremely tart and sweet cider with a sharp and tangy crisp aftertaste. Although this modern cider lacks the depth and complexity of a traditional cider, it has plenty to offer in the modern urban context. Similar to the other Sxollie ciders, this is transparent in the glass. Granny Smith has plenty of acidity and sweetness but these are not balanced particularly well.

Verdict: This is not a cider for the traditionalists. Made using champagne yeast, this cider is best sampled at the dinner table, perhaps alongside fish or salad.

Rating: This is a good cider (just)

Ranking: To be announced (01/07/2021)

Sxollie – Golden Delicious – Reviewed

Producer: Sxollie https://sxolliecider.com
Cider Name: Golden Delicious
Region: South Africa
ABV: 4.5%
Taste: Sharp, apple
Served: 500ml Bottle Chilled
Smell: Fresh apple
Colour: Light straw
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Slightly Sparkling
Award Category: Mainstream cider

Review/Tasting Notes

“Made in a wine style –  a unique cider that gives you natural floral sweetness, subtle yeastiness and sour tropical fruit notes.”

A sharp and fruity taste up front gives way to a sweet and refreshing cider. Although this lacks in depth, body and complexity, it could be argued that the intention behind this cider is for it to be drunk alongside good food. The colour is lacking as this is almost transparent in the glass.

Verdict:

An enjoyable and likeable cider but not one for the purists. This could be a great alongside a nice spicy dish.

Rating: This is a good cider (Mainstream cider)

Ranking: To be announced (01/07/2021)

Healey’s Cyder – Rattler Original – Reviewed

Producer: Healey’s https://healeyscyder.co.uk/
Cider Name: Rattler Original
Region: Cornwall, Uk
ABV: 6%
Taste: Sharp, crisp, dry and acidic finish, hint of pear and pineapple
Served: 500ml bottle (Lightly Chilled)
Smell: Fresh Apple, pineapple, pear
Colour: Straw
Clarity: Cloudy
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling
Award Category: Mainstream Apple Cider

Review / Tasting notes

“Named after the feisty Cornish Rattler Apple and blended with Healey’s know-how, Rattler Cyder has a crisp, fresh flavour.”

An aroma of crisp apple with pear and pineapple is pleasant and appealing. The upfront taste is a sharp hit of acidic apple that fizzes briefly before pineapple and pear notes add a little sweetness to this dry cider. The mouthfeel is drying and doesn’t last for long, inviting another sip. After a while though, the aftertaste becomes a little sour.

The balance of the cider is just a little too acidic and on the sharp side for some. Clearly designed to be a crisp and fresh cider, it lacks in other areas.

Verdict: An enjoyable and refreshing cider with interesting tones of pineapple and pear. The aftertaste is a little astringent.

Rating: Respectable* (Mainstream Apple Cider)

Ranking: To be announced (01/07/2021)

*A ‘respectable’ ranking means that the cider has met the minimum standards of the reviewers on goodciderguide.com for its category. In this case ‘mainstream cider’. Therefore, this is considered to be a good quality mainstream cider.

Cornish Orchards – Gold – Reviewed

Producer: Cornish Orchards

https://www.cornishorchards.co.uk/

Cider Name: Cornish Orchard Gold

Region: Liskeard, Cornwall

ABV: 5%

Taste: Fruity Apple Tones, Crisp and Dry

Served: 500ml Bottle (Chilled)

Smell: Sweet Apple

Colour: Gold

Clarity: Clear

Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes

“An immensely refreshing cider, lightly sparkling, with fruity apple tones and a long dry finish”

This is as refreshing to drink as it looks in the bottle.  Desert and bittersweet apples immediately come to the fore, followed by a satisfying, morish, dry finish.

Verdict

An excellent cider, delivering on smell, taste and refreshment with a satisfying dry finish that will tempt you to open another bottle.

Rating: TBC

Ranking: TBC (01/07/21)