Monday, 12 July 2010

Supermarket Cider Review

I've been saving this post for a while but seeing as we fly to New York very soon for our honeymoon food extravaganza I thought I should put it up now.

The weekend after our Spanish beer feast for the world cup beer sweepstake, Claire made the excellent suggestion that we should review some supermarket ciders the following weekend.
So we popped into our local supermarket during the week and ended up with six different ciders from a number of different brewers and suppliers. We sampled each of the ciders in turn and then sat down for dinner and finished some of the better ciders with the food. Ciders were scored out of 10.

So here they are from left to right on the following pictures with tasting notes:

1. Stoford Press 4.5%

This was our least favourite, light amber colour, a vomity aroma without any apple at all, the flavour was smooth and it was a pretty standard commercial cider. 6.5 points

2. Henney's Dry Cider 6.5%
A very nice drinkable cider with a dark amber colour, a delicious apple aroma, a fresh dry flavour. This is a cider I would happily drink on a summers day, a winters evening with or without food. 8 points

3. Waitrose Cox's apple vintage cider ?% (for some reason I didn't write the strength down)
This beat the Henney's by the slimmest of margins to be our joint favourite of the day. It pours a very pale, almost white colour. It has a very mild fresh appley aroma which doesn't prepare you for the incredibly fresh cox's apple taste. It is slightly sweeter than the Henney's but its refreshing acidity balances this perfectly. Perfect for a hot summer day. 8.5 points

4. Duchy's Original Organic Dry Reserve. 6%
This a strong contender. It has a pale amber colour and a dry apple aroma. It has a very apple fruit taste and could almost pass for a very dry apple juice. There is a slightly vegetal cardboardy aftertaste, but this didn't detract too much from the cider. 7.5 points

5. Aspall's Dry Premier Cru 7%
The Aspells has a golden straw colour and a strong smell of Strongbow. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as I find Strongbow has a distinctive appley acidity and can be a refreshing pint on a hot day. It a much higher carbonation than any of the other ciders which adds to it's champagne like branding. So we tasted and weren't disappointed, it has a very champagne-like effervescence on in the mouth and lovely light fruit taste which was balanced excellently with the acidity. The only reason it didn't score higher was because we preferred some of the other ciders. 7.5 points

6. Waitrose reserve cider 8.2%
This Hereford strong cider is a pale amber colour with a lovely sweet apple smell. It tastes fantastic, everything you could want from a strong cider. A great fruit flavour balanced with mellow acidity. The high alcohol content doesn't show in the same way as a classic scrumpy style can and this makes it a appealing flavour a dangerous thing if you are looking for a thirst quencher! 8.5 points

We finished off some of the ciders with a plate of charcuterie, followed by some pork kebabs with a potato and radish salad with a lemon and caper dressing. The drier ciders went very well with the charcuterie and I think it's a match I will use again. I have to admit that after finishing off the strong ciders I forgot to take any pictures of the food. Which I will try to make up for with our upcoming meals in the US.

Stay tuned for our American adventure!

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