- Please note this is not a post about the new cider Stella is launching, Cidre, but a post about actual drinks made from fermented fruits!
Yes I do drink ciders too. It may have been a while, a few years maybe, but that's because of an unfortunate night at uni where a drinking game involved a 2 litre bottle of cheap cider, my hands and a lot of selotape! - nuff said.
I can say I've never really had a 'good proper' cider before, I'm not sure why, maybe it is just an innocent ignorance or it's never appealed to me. So this will be my first official review of a few of these kind of drinks so go easy hey!
This selection of beverages was a Christmas gift from Ghost Girlfriends brother, and sister in law, and instead of writing a thank-you card, (I can never convey the right message in them) I thought it would be nice to tell them what I really think (of the drinks) in my little ol' blog - so Matthew and Jilly this one's for you.
I started out with the Perry thinking it would have the lightest flavour. If there is any of you out there scratching your heads, thinking "what's Perry?" then you aren't to be blamed. Blame companies like Kopparberg for producing drinks called 'Pear Cider'. There is no such thing as 'Pear Cider' - cider is made from apples, PERRY is made from pears! I tried to come up today with more examples of how stupid people are for saying this, but all I could come up with was "it's like saying I want a banana single malt!" ANYWAY... onto the perry. The producer is New Forest from Hampshire, the perry is a lightly sparkling 6.5% drink produced from perry pears gathered from the traditional orchards of the Malvern hills. You get an initial sweetness on the tongue, but it leads to a big drying body and finish. Flavours of pear skins and fresh cut hay, are mixed with summer flowers. a warming but refreshing drink. Hints of lemon rind, and something that's reminding me of fresh fruit pies. A little soapy in texture, but not in a bad way.
Next to come is the traditional farm house cider. Once again lightly sparkling, coming in at 6%, New Forest blends this beverage from a selection of cider fruits and local apples. It's a much smoother drink than the last. It's really oaky and woody. There is a massive dry-ness which sucks in your cheeks, giving that good moorish sense, making you long for the next sip. A cider with a good 'tang', other fruity flavours creep just in amongst the mix of apples present. A very respectable drink, and easily accessible as-well. Good enough to make the 'plaggy' bottle drinkers think twice about there purchases, and good enough to give Sam Smith's and big brands like Magners a run for there money.
Last but no means least - the New Forest 'Vintage Cider'. This 7.4% bad boy is made from 100% Kingston Black apples. It's a strong one, but being a 'proper cider' in my opinion, it's still quite refreshing, and once again very accessible. A very woody drink, fresh cut oaky dryness coming through, mixed with some dusty hay, leaving you (once again) wanting more from the big moorish quality finish. It would be a bit stupid to say that the quencher didn't have a great apple flavour as-well, I mean come on, I've got to state the obvious - Kingston's are really tasty. It doesn't exactly state what makes this a vintage cider, but it's the best of the three for sure.
So there you go, one night, and a revitalized intrigue into the rhelms of cider (and perry). I'd be really interested to try the new Stella Cidre before I completely wrote it off, but maybe I just don't like to bad mouth things without trying them. So thanks again to Matt and Jilly - it's been a very informative and intriguing evening! Will be seeing you guys some time soon in the future!