Back to cider from the Bristol Cider Shop.
Now, I hear all about Olivers Perries, which seem to win so many competitions that I think they must just have an honorary position. Oliver's ciders though... these are equally respected (and win competitions too) but I just haven't seen them around so much.
Oliver's as a company have a great rap. Tom Oliver is one of the key figures in the resurgence of perry as a quality, artisan product. In fact, this could be why his cider is overlooked in favour of his perry (well, thats my take on it). He is also another cracking cider bloke. Most cider people are nice enough - this should encourage consumers to meet them more. Travelling and visiting a cider company must surely be the best way to buy cider!
This cider pours with a very low sparkle - pretty much flat (but with a few bubbles) at the start. It also has a low fruity aroma, which smells slightly sharp smelling which is odd for a Herefordshire Cider (but then, am I just getting the whole county style wrong?).
Oooh - it has an extremely bittersharp taste to it. Sure there are plenty of tannins in here... but there is a very fruity acid to it too. Now, this cannot be desert fruit, as the tannin is high and the cider is full and dry. However, its also leaning away towards the sharp side. So that must makes the fruit bittersharp.
I have to say that the acids do rule this cider a tiny bit too much. The aftertaste is all acid - the tannins fall away fairly quickly but the acid is biting to the end.
Sure its unbalanced - but it stands out from the other Herefordshire ciders really well. Do I think my trainee cider drinker would like it though? I think they may need to think about it!
It scored 79/100, so it a bronze apple. I think it really ought to have nudged just into silver. But I don't like to nudge scores just 'cos I think so. I do try to be objective!!
Oh, and apologies for the awful photo that goes with this post... I will just have to buy another bottle to photograph it properly:-)