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)

Lilley’s Cider – Apples and Pears – Reviewed

Producer: Lilley’s Cider 
Cider Name: Apples and Pears 
Region: Somerset, UK 
ABV: 5.2% 
Taste: Sweet with caramel and honey notes 
Served: Chilled 
Smell: Caramel 
Colour: Straw 
Clarity: Clear 
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling 
Award Category: (Mainstream Apple and Pear) 

Review/Tasting Notes: 

“Made from 88% pear and 12% apple. Sweet in flavour with a moth-watering almost exotic taste.” 

Lilley’s Apples and Pears is another very sweet and refreshing drink that is perfect for the pub garden. The aroma is distinctly caramel with honey notes. The taste is both fruity and sweet but lacks in acidity, tannin and aftertaste.  

Bittersweet apple follows the upfront sweetness quite rapidly but neither flavour lingers for long enough.  

Verdict: 

Lilley’s Apples and Pears is a lovely sweet perry/cider. It is the kind of beverage that you could consume too much of quite easily, in a pub garden on a summer’s day with friends.  

Rating: This is a cider of merit (Mainstream Apple and Pear) 

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

Lilley’s Cider – Bee Sting – Reviewed

Producer: Lilley’s Cider 
Cider Name: 
Region: Somerset, UK 
ABV: 6.8% 
Taste: Sweet Pear and Honey 
Served: Chilled 
Smell: Honey, Caramel, Pear 
Colour: Golden 
Clarity: Clear  
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling 
Award Category: (Mainstream Perry) 

Review/Tasting Notes: 

“Sweet but incredibly refreshing with a glorious fresh tasting pear flavour and a wonderful pear aroma” 

Lilley’s Bee Sting is an incredibly sweet perry with a real sting in its tail. This is graced with honey notes from the sugary sweet upfront taste to the slightly bitter finish.  Beautifully golden in colour with a fizz to match, this perry presents elegantly in the glass. 

The aroma does have caramel and honey notes, but it is lacking in pear aroma. This theme is continued into the taste of the drink where sweetness and honey dominate the presence of any fruit. 

Verdict: 

The tasters agreed that this is a lovely perry drink but lacked in the qualities that would merit a higher award. Bee Sting is a perfect perry for the pub garden on a Summer’s day. 

Rating: This is a cider of merit (Mainstream Perry) 

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)

Angioletti – Rose Craft Italian Cider – Reviewed

Producer: Angioletti www.angioletticider.com
Cider Name: Angioletti Rose Craft Italian Cider
Region: Dolomites, Italy
ABV: 4%
Taste: Sweet, Fruity
Served: 500ml Bottle Chilled
Smell: Sweet Apple and Forest Fruits
Colour: Salmon Pink
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Slightly Sparkling
Award Category: Fruit and Innovations Cider

Review/Tasting Notes

“Fine bubbles: delicate salmon-pink colour, aromas of fresh apple with hints of wild strawberries are followed by complex refreshing flavours of orchard and forest fruits.  The aftertaste is long, clean, fresh with a hint of creaminess.”

An aroma of sweet, creamy, fruit swirls around the glass giving a clear indication of the taste to come.  When the taste arrives, it is of instant, sweet, juicy apples with the faint, though noticeable, wild strawberry creaminess coming through on the roof of the mouth.  This creamy sweetness though soon fades which is a shame as this is a different take on fruit ciders.  Angioletti Rose Craft offers a much more complex and refined taste compared to many fruit ciders. The Charmat Method of production provides the luxury prosecco style bubbles.

Verdict

Unlike the rose that does not lose its thorn, this ‘rose’ cider loses its sweet, creamy, well-structured taste a little too soon.  However, for the time the taste does linger, this is a real treat of a cider – providing a unique take on sweet fruit cider.

Rating: This is a good cider (Fruit and Innovations Cider)

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

Temple Cider – Milo’s Magic – Reviewed

Producer: Temple Cider https://www.templecider.co.uk/
Cider Name: Milo’s Magic
Region: Dorset, Uk
ABV: 6.5%
Taste: Smooth and Earthy, Spicy with a hint of brandy
Served: 500ml bottle (Room temperature)
Smell: Earthy, Spice, Christmas Pudding!
Colour: Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling
Award Category: Craft Cider (Apple)

Review / Tasting notes

“This cider is made from a blend of traditional bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples. Yarlington Mill, Kingston Black and a variety of unidentified apples from a timeless orchard are all to be found in Milo’s Magic. Named after our laid-back old rescue dog, Milo’s Magic is a well-balanced, easy-drinking, subtle and refreshing cider. This is our go-to cider here on the farm as it pairs so well with most foods. It’s absolutely delicious, if we say so ourselves!”

Paul and Jo over at Temple Cider have put together a super apple blend with ‘Milo’s magic’ lightly sparkling dry cider. This is another very smooth, well-balanced and honest cider.

The apple aroma has a distinct earthiness to it, alongside a trace of the familiar smell of Christmas pudding!

Fiery spice and clove dominate alongside the rich tannins of the whole apple. It really does taste like the whole apple is in this. The bitter-sharp Kingston Black is softened nicely by the bittersweets. The mouthfeel is typically (for Temple Cider) smooth and warming with those spices dominating the aftertaste and lingering for a good while. There is a definite and very welcome nip of brandy on the palate and perhaps a hint of rum.

Verdict: This is another cracking craft cider from Temple. Honest to the core; this is cider at its authentic best.

Rating: A very good craft cider (Craft Cider – Apple)

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

Oliver’s – Fine Perry (Wild Ferment, Rolling Blend) – Reviewed

Producer: Oliver’s https://www.oliversciderandperry.co.uk/
Cider Name: Fine Perry (Wild Ferment, Rolling Blend)
Region: Herefordshire, Uk
ABV: 6%
Taste: Pear, honey, citrus, elderflower, melon
Served: 330ml bottle (Lightly chilled)
Smell: Wildflowers, honey
Colour: Straw
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling
Award Category: Vintage and Fine Perry

Review / Tasting notes

“Bracing citrus acidity and fruitiness, think rhubarb and goosebery, hints of melon and elderflower mingle with honeyed sweetness and prickling sparkle. Drinks great straight from the fridge.”

Just as you should never judge a book by its cover; never judge a cider by it’s aroma.  This beautifully balanced perry, warms you initially with pear and honey, before a rush of citrus, elderflower and melon. The infused sweet taste lingers long on the palate, begging you to sample more.  

Verdict

A high quality perry, perfectly combining sweet and sour to create a memorable taste that never disappoints.  Summer in bloom, a comfy chair and this perry: the perfect way to spend a day!

Rating: Silver Award* (Fine Perry)

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

*A Silver award is awarded to only 5% of ciders reviewed by us. Therefore this is a highly rated perry in the category of ‘Vintage and Fine Perry’.

Angioletti – Riserva Craft – Reviewed

Producer: Angioletti www.angioletticider.com
Cider Name: Angioletti Riserva Craft Italian Cider
Region: Dolomites, Italy
ABV: 6.8%
Taste: Clean, crisp apples
Served: 500ml Bottle Chilled
Smell: Crisp apple
Colour: Golden
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Slightly Sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes

“Fine bubbles, rich and complex aromas, beautifully balanced by the characteristic delicate house style.  Ripe structured apple flavours give way to a long, clean, crisp aftertaste.”

This pours with a reassuring fizz that more than hints at the clean, crisp refreshment to come.  The smell of fresh, ripe, Italian apples is evident as soon as the sparkles start to form in the glass. A theme which continues as the taste of those Italian apples never diminishes, even long after the glass is empty.  There are no other distractions and none are needed.

Verdict

Definition of consistency, with clean, fresh, refreshing apples being evident at every turn.  It has a reassuring taste combined with a crisp refreshment provided by the native Italian applies.  A cider as finely tuned as an Italian sports car engine and as culturally refined as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. As exquisite in taste as a fine Italian, tailored suit.

Awards: Bronze Award

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