Pilton Cider – Tamoshanta – Reviewed

Producer:  Pilton Cider http://www.piltoncider.com
Cider Name: Tamoshanta
Region: Somerset
Taste: Medium sweet and smokey with a whiskey and charcoal infusion
Served:  750ml Bottle Chilled
Smell: Smokey, Fruity, vanilla
Colour: Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review / Tasting notes

“A fruity keeved cider, partially fermented in oak barrels.”

This cider takes its name from the epic poem Tam o’ Shanter by Robert Burns, as on Burns Night, the young keeved cider is transferred to Scotch whisky barrels to finish and mature.

In the poem, Tam journeys home on his horse in a storm after a long drinking session to face the wrath of his disapproving wife, Kate, “Gathering her brows like gathering storm, nursing her wrath to keep it warm.”

I’m sure many of us have experienced that particular scenario…no…just me then!

Pilton’s Tamoshanta is a wonderfully presented cider: amber in colour and as clear as spring water. On the nose, there are notes of smoke and vanilla alongside lots of fresh apples.

The taste is clean and crisp before the smoke and tannins add body. Like Burn’s epic poem, this cider has depth; the Scotch Whisky barrel fermentation really works. I’m sure that Tam would have approved.

In the last stanza of the poem, Burns warns his readers to think carefully before turning to drink and women with short skirts…what does he know anyway?


This is an easy-drinking, clean, crisp cider with plenty of smokey depth. At 4.7%, a 750ml bottle is perfect for two on a summer evening.

Rating: This is a Cider of great Merit in the category (Craft cider)

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

Skyborry – Pommage – Reviewed

Producer:  Skyborry Cider & Perry
Cider Name: Pommage 2019
Region: Powys
Taste: Medium Sweet
Served:  375ml Bottle Room Temperature
Smell: Fresh Apples
Colour: Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review / Tasting notes

“Fruit from the main cider orchard harvested at Hawkswood Farm: a short distance from the town of Hay on Wye on the Welsh border. Stoke Red (bitter sharp), Kingston Black (bittersharp), Bulmer’s Norman (bittersweet), Chisel Jersey, and Dabinett (both bittersweet) were blended throughout the pressing season.”

This is vintage 2019 Medium Sweet cider produced in limited numbers, which is a blessing if you can find a bottle, and a curse if you can not, as it is a real treat.  The aroma of fresh, ripe apples – which have been expertly blended – gives a lovely, smooth, sweet taste that you will not get bored of in a hurry.


Never judge a book by its cover and never judge this cider by its bottle.  The bottle itself, only giving the basic information, belies the delights within.  This is an extremely moorish, beautifully balanced, crisp, clean, refreshing cider with just the right hint of sweetness.  It smells and tastes great and well worth finding those extra pennies for, as you won’t be disappointed.

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

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)

Healeys Cyder – Cornish Gold

Producer: Healeys Cyder https://healeyscyder.co.uk/
Cider Name: Cornish Gold
Region: Cornwall, Uk
ABV: 4.5%
Taste: Medium sweet
Served: 500ml bottle (chilled)
Smell: Pleasant delicate fruit aroma
Colour: Straw
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly Sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

Although this is a refreshing and crisp sparkling cider, it lacks depth.

The fruity and crisp up-front flavours dissipate quickly leaving a dryness and little aftertaste.

Verdict: Cornish Gold promises much but lacks punch. It is crisp and refreshing – that’s about it.

Rating: 6.4

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

Apple County Cider Co. Vilberie Medium Dry reviewed

Producer: Apple County Cider Co. Website
Cider Name: Vilberie Medium Dry
Region: Monmouth, Wales
ABV: 6.0%
Taste: Medium Dry, fruity
Served: 500ml bottle served at room temperature
Smell: Pungent, cheesy
Colour: Straw
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: lightly sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

This cider was rated as ‘The Independent’s Best Buy’ in 2017 and we can appreciate why it was so highly rated.

It has a creaminess and smooth all round mouth feel. Low in acidity and subtle, this is a quality and subtle cider.

Verdict: Although Vilberie is unlikely to feature in our Top 10, expect to see it feature highly in our Top 100.

Rating: 8.5

Rank: To be confirmed (expected 01/07/2021)

Hunts – Wobbler – reviewed

Producer: Hunts Cider Website
Cider Name: Wobbler
Region: Devon, Uk
ABV: 6.0%
Taste: Medium sweet well-balanced
Served: 500ml bottle at room temperature
Smell: Pleasant aroma of apples
Colour: Dark yellow/Light Brown
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

Hunts Wobbler is a delightfully complex yet well balanced still apple cider. It’s pleasant aroma promises little more than a dessert wine might but there is enough in the nose to tempt you further.

Despite it’s sweetness there is just about enough acidity to balance the big two flavours. But, what separates this from ciders of a similar ambition is the presence of enough tanins to give a slightly toffee-apple flavoured mouth feel that lingers.

Verdict: Expect Wobbler to find it’s way onto the top 100 list, perhaps towards the upper end.

Rating: 8.25 (Bronze Award)

Rank: To Be Determined (01/07/2021)