Monday 12 April 2010

Herefordshire Cider Trip... Part 3

This isn’t meant to be a ‘book on Herefordshire cider’, although there was so much to say about it it had to be split up to save any readers from boredom!

One of the purposes of making the visits was to try the cider that I would be up against come the Putley Cider Trials. Not that I think I stand a hope of taking a rosette, but it was very worthwhile finding out how others styled their products and went about crafting their ciders. A bonus was a definite introduction to the world of perry which I hadn’t bargained for, but will now make sure I look out for them. Incidentally, I believe that the new use of the term ‘Pear Cider’ gives a distinction between the real thing and the carbonated, flavoured and mass market stuff... I wish we could get the larger producers to start calling their cider ‘Apple Cider’! Westons even make Raspberry Cider...

However, having bought bottles from Westons, Greggs Pit, Once Upon a Tree and Lyne Down Cider I also wanted others that I hadn’t had time to visit (apologies to Tom Oliver!!!) In order to get a full range, we bought some Gwynt y Ddraig and Dunkertons from a local Waitrose and found some others at Truffles Deli in Ross on Wye (a great place to buy Herefordshire cider, by the way!). I added a bottle of Gwatkins, Amazing Cider Company and Ross on Wye Cider Co to make up a decent representation.

Come our final night, I figured I would get my friends to blind taste several ciders including my own. A bit ambitious, I figured that mine would stand a chance! So I opened 3 other bottles alongside one of mine and dished out the glasses. What a mistake! Mine had the aroma of egg and was really quite foul! I am not even sure why, as we had consumed two other bottles of mine which were fine (I am now doubting whether I can sell the 2008 vintage). This aside, the Dunkertons Black Fox unanimously came out on top of the 4 ciders we tried (Roaring Meg from Lyne Down came second, with the Gwent y Ddraig and Westons Extra Dry following up... mine was firmly last!) I have brought the others home to go through them at more leisure.

Was there a lesson in all of this? I think there might be, coming from the visits this week. The 2008 cider was played around with – I back-blended another cider blend into my main blend once it had finished, which at the time I had hoped wouldn’t be a mistake. On the whole it hasn’t been. However, there have been several bottles with a eggy problem now, so I shall have to take a decision whether to bin it or keep it for personal use only.

Ho hum!!

1 comment:

  1. Yep - one of our favourite bottled ciders there: Dunkerton's Black Fox is just so good. Glad to know they we have good taste too!