Cranbourne Chase – The Whitewigs – Reviewed

Producer:  Cranbourne Chase Cider http://www.cranbournechasecider.co.uk
Cider Name: The Whitewigs
Region: Dorset
ABV:6.0
Taste: Sweet
Served:  500ml Bottle Chilled
Smell: Sweet Apple
Colour: Golden
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review / Tasting notes

“Enriched by our own Dorset Apples, our crafted ciders reveal delightful, refreshing fruitiness, coldly fermented exposing their natural yeast and sugars.”

Sweet apples greet you as you open the bottle and this aroma remains as it settles into the glass.  However, the sweet apples are not evident in the taste which, whilst refreshing, is quite watery.  It is clear the sugars are present, not so much in the taste which has a faint sweetness, much more so in the aftertaste.

Verdict:

This is an easy-drinking, clean, crisp cider with a small hit of sweetness.  It lacks depth, as there is little apple fruitiness to be found, having more in common with a weak apple cordial.  It also leaves a sugary aftertaste that coats your teeth and mouth.

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

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

Gwatkin – Game Cock Cider – Reviewed

Producer:  Gwatkin https://gwatkincider.co.uk/
Cider Name: Game Cock Cider
Region: Herefordshire
ABV:4.5
Taste: Sweet
Served:  500ml Bottle Chilled
Smell: Sweet Apple
Colour: Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Still

Review / Tasting notes

“The game cock cider, like the bird, is handy and dauntless in character and won’t take long to rustle your feathers.  Your only instinct is to try the plucky sweet cider that mates well with the game of the land.”

Aroma of sweet, mellow apples will gently glide your way as you pour this into your glass.  The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that whilst the sweet apples get top billing, this cider is a little more complex with a touch of honey giving way to cinnamon spiciness.

Verdict:

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and you won’t be disappointed to have this as your cider in hand.  It is a rather pheasant, sweet, still cider with a nice hit of warm, woody spice nesting in the taste.

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

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

Purbeck Cider – Forgotten Orchard (Garden Mint) – Reviewed

Producer:  Purbeck Cider  http://purbeckcidercompany.co.uk
Available to buy from https://orchardexplorers.club/
Cider Name: Forgotten Orchard Garden Mint Cider
Region: Dorset, Uk
ABV: 4.0%
Taste:  Garden Mint, Bittersweet Apple
Served:  500ml Bottle Chilled
Smell: Garden Mint, Fresh Apple
Colour: Golden
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review / Tasting notes

“An intriguing blend of our finest sweet cider infused with fresh garden mint, to produce a refreshingly long, gently sparkling delight.”

The Isle of Purbeck is a peninsula on the Dorset Coast. It is the home of Corfe Castle, the seaside town of Swanage, and was infamous for being the regular holiday destination of Famous Five author Enid Blyton…cue lots of Enid Blyton references!

“Lashings” of fresh garden mint dominate the nose, but not to such an extent that the apple is lost. The taste is of sweet apple and garden mint; they complement each other like Noddy and Big Ears! The high quality of the sweet cider makes this delightful fusion possible.

One of the (not so secret) seven Purbeck ciders in their range, Garden Mint is one of a celebration of new ciders inspired by Dorset’s forgotten orchards. It is fruity, refreshing, and very well blended.

Verdict:

Whilst Julian, Dick, Anne, and George (not forgetting Timmy the dog) might extol the virtues of a refreshing ginger beer on a balmy summer afternoon in the countryside, one can imagine their parents guzzling bottles of Forgotten Orchard Garden Mint, firing up the BBQ and wandering what in the hell their kids were getting up to.

Rating: This is a cider of Merit in the category (Fruit and Innovations 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)

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)

Cranes – Blueberries and Apple Cider- Reviewed

Producer: Cranes https://www.drinkcranes.co.uk/
Cider Name: Blueberries and Apple
Region: Cambridge, Uk
ABV: 4%
Taste: Fruity, naurally sweet fruit of cranberry blueberry and apple
Served: 750ml bottle (Chilled)
Smell: Fruity
Colour: Red (cranberry juice colour)
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review / Tasting notes

“Ben & Dan brew the finest cranberries alongside apples to deliver this refreshingly crisp cider with blueberries and apples for that delicious fruity taste. We have managed to create a naturally light cider by utilizing the sweetness of the fruit..”

This is a delicately balanced collection of complimentary flavours that culminates in a refreshing cider. At just 4% ABV it isn’t syrupy like some fruit ciders.

The upfront fruitiness of the blueberries and cranberries remains throughout. The apples bittersweet tones are overwhelmed by the berries a little too much for this to be regarded as an apple cider but we loved it nevertheless.

Verdict: From the first sip, the fruit quality was extremely high. Although destined for a commercial market, this is a thoroughly enjoyable and refreshing fruit juice cider.

Rating: 7.85 (Bronze Award)

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

Lilleys Cider – Crazy Goat – Reviewed

Producer: Lilley’s Cider https://www.lilleyscider.co.uk/
Cider Name: Crazy Goat
Region: Somerset, Uk
ABV: 6.8%%
Taste: Sweetened Pyder
Served: 500ml bottle (Room Temperature)
Smell: Pear, Apple
Colour: Hazy Yellow, golden
Clarity: Cloudy
Carbonation: Still

Review / Tasting notes

“A medium sweet mix of a cider and perry, hazy yellow/golden cloudy cider. This has been expertly blended to give a mouth watering, juicy flavour and deceptive in it’s taste for the strength”

Crazy Goat is to cider what a squash drink is to freshly squeezed orange juice. It’s not that it isn’t nice to drink…it just isn’t that high in cider/perry quality.

The overwhelming taste in Crazy Goat is the artificial sweetener and chemical sulphites. This is rather unpleasant and detracts from the more pleasing blend of apple and pear on offer.

Verdict: A pyder that looks good in the bottle but delivers little on the palate.

 Rating: 5.25

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

Dudda’s Tun – Perry – Reviewed

Producer: Dudda’s Tun https://duddastuncider.com/
Cider Name: Perry
Region: Kent, Uk
ABV: 5.5%
Taste: Subtle pear, lingering honey notes / Crisp and fresh
Served: 500ml bottle (chilled)
Smell: Light Pear, Honey Notes
Colour: Pale, chartreuse hue
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review / Tasting notes

“A lightly sparkling, well balanced perry, with subtle honey notes produced from super ripe Comice pears”

A good perry can be a highly prized, multi-faceted drink bursting with flavours. Dudda’s is a delightful, refreshing perry that leaves a nicely balanced pear taste, though struggles to release the more subtle honey notes.

Verdict: A clean, crisp, refreshing perry that will only disappoint those looking for more than a clean pear taste.

Rating: 7.6 (Bronze Award)

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

Dudda’s Tun – Elderflower – Reviewed

Producer: Dudda’s Tun https://duddastuncider.com/
Cider Name: Elderflower
Region: Kent, Uk
ABV: 4.0%
Taste: Smooth and floral
Served: 500ml bottle (chilled)
Smell: Fresh apple and elderflower
Colour: Pale, gold
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review / Tasting notes

“The perfect blend of cider and fresh elderflower with a gentle sweetness and light sparkle.”

Gentle elderflower floral tones are ever present in this likeable cider from Dudda’s Tun. It’s probably not one for the purists but we found it difficult to fault. The aroma is floral and the taste is pleasant and softly fruity. A delicate balance is achieved but like the ‘Sweet Apple’ it lacks in complexity of cider flavours (bitterness, acidity).

Verdict: A very likeable and subtle sweet cider. Scored well with quite a difficult to please group of tasters tonight.

Rating: 7.4

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