Oliver’s Vintage Fine Cider (Dry, Season 2018) – Reviewed

Producer: Oliver’s https://www.oliversciderandperry.co.uk/
Cider Name: Vintage Fine Cider (Dry, Season 2018)
Region: Herefordshire, Uk
ABV: 8.4%
Taste: Burnt Oak, Vanilla, blue cheese
Served: 750ml bottle (Cool room temperature)
Smell: Oak
Colour: Dark Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Still

Review / Tasting notes

“Still, dry cider matured in a vanilla oak cask for 18 or more months. Plum pudding nose, rich burnished colour and full of apple skins, autumnal orchard floor and the old oak barn, got a touch of blue cheese too.”

The high alcohol content of this vintage cider allied by the subtlety of it’s oak barrel-infused flavours, makes this a cider for only the most discerning of palates. Whilst we enjoyed the subtlety of the flavours, we found the fruit taste to be overwhelmed and almost lost.

The up-front bitterness is replaced by smoky burnt oak and vanilla. Smooth and full-bodied, this feels more like an after dinner spirit than a cider. The after taste doesn’t really linger long enough to savour the flavours.

Verdict: This is a mature and very dry cider. It is full of intriguing subtle notes and high in alcohol content (for a cider). We found it a little too subtle and lacking in fruit flavour to score well.

Rating: 4.9

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

Oliver’s – Pomona Rolling Blend (Season 2019) – Reviewed

Producer: Oliver’s https://www.oliversciderandperry.co.uk/
Cider Name: Pomona Rolling Blend (Season 2019)
Region: Herefordshire, Uk
ABV: 6.5%
Taste: Bittersharp, dry
Served: 330ml bottle (Cool room temperature)
Smell: Musty, Woody
Colour: Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review / Tasting notes

“Dry, lightly sparkling bittersharp cider. Refreshingly satisfying.”

Bittersharp ciders are arguably an acquired taste and a little too acidic for some. Whilst, this rolling blend may not be to everybody’s taste, we enjoyed it.

The upfront bitterness and brief sweetness is soon followed by mouth puckering sharpness. Although not unpleasant, the acidity does dominate a little too much in our opinion but it’s fair to say that this is a feature of bittersharp cider. The aftertaste lingers on the palate for an age.

Verdict: This is a very fine bittersharp cider with an aftertaste that lingers like morning dew on a spider’s web .

Rating: 7.15

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

Oliver’s – Bottle Conditioned Medium (Season 2018) – Reviewed

Producer: Oliver’s  https://www.oliversciderandperry.co.uk/
Cider Name: Bottle Conditioned Medium (Season 2018)
Region: Herefordshire, Uk
ABV: 5.4%
Taste: Bittersweet, well-balanced, great depth of apple flavours
Served: 750ml bottle (Cool room temperature)
Smell: Strong nose, earthy, cheesy
Colour: Amber
Clarity: A little cloudy
Carbonation: Sparkling

Review / Tasting notes

“Sparkling through conditioning in the bottle with a full, natural apple sweetness. Hints of clove and spice and red apple skins. Beautifully integrated. The cork and wire is back.”

An exquisitely well balanced sparkling cider with incredible depth. This poured like amber champagne and gave off a distinct aroma which we felt was quite pungent and not as pleasing as the great taste.

The upfront sweetness is followed quickly by earthy bitter-sweetness and broad tannins. The level of acidity never dominates the overall flavour leaving a smooth and delicate mouthfeel. The aftertaste is stunning and should be savoured as the hint of spice and tannins linger on the palate.

Verdict: This is an early contender for a position near the summit of our Top 100. Oliver’s Bottle Conditioned Medium (Season 2018) is the first cider to be awarded the silver medal by our reviewers.

Rating: 8.71 (Silver Award)

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