Ross-on-Wye – Foxwhelp – Reviewed

Producer:  Ross-on-Wye http://rosscider.com
Cider Name: Fowhelp (2021 – Pressed 2019)
Region: Herefordshire
ABV:6.0
Taste: Bittersharp and Acidic
Served:  500ml Bottle Chilled
Smell: Fruity, citrus
Colour: Golden
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review / Tasting notes

“Foxwhelp must surely be the most iconic cider apple: a lovely fruity aroma leads immediately into a burst of acidity that has sharpness, intensity and depth like no other variety can offer.”

This is not for the faint-hearted at all. Imagine you are sucking on an alcoholic lemon that tastes of apples…that’s Foxwhelp!

In our opinion, Ross sets the standard for single variety cider and perry. Foxwhelp looks fabulous in the glass: golden and clear with a buttery shine. The aroma is mostly fruity, a little phenolic, and a little citrus.

On the palate, Foxwhelp is like no other. Upfront bittersharp turns to sour acidity on the tongue leaving a lemony aftertaste that lingers pleasantly for an age.

Verdict:

This is an extremely challenging cider for most but highly rewarding for those who can rise to the challenge at least once to appreciate the complexity, intensity, and acidity of this iconic apple.

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

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)

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)

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)