Orchard cider review (6/10)

” … It wouldn’t be my pick”

“It lives in the shadow of Rekorderlig”

Packaging
The bottle with its shimmering gold neck and dark glass body keeps things low key yet eye catching. The story is quite non descript also keeping you guessing since whilst Irish cider is specified not much is mentioned about the flavour of the apples used. The remark ” made with the best quality apples” is given in addition to a ” refreshing smooth taste” but this all says nothing about the experience you would expect. Jonathan Blair westons from Herefordshire has no trouble mentioning made with bittersweet apples nor does thatchers haze by stating how it has been made with the sweetest apples. This makes things a little intriguing, if primitive.

For the practical consumer this cider per bottle is 85p from Aldi and is served in pints. This equates to 2.6 units with an alcohol percentage of 4.5. Don’t expect to get away with just 1 for the night though for the reasons discussed below. 2 at this quantity would put you significantly over the do not regularly exceed limit of 3-4 for males. I would ask is it worth it ?

Smell
After lifting off the bottle top with a bottle opener (following a grapple with the sticky bottleneck label) you finally manage to get into the bottle. After a sniff you get very limited scent. A high level of acidity is clearly not present and the smell does not have any particularly potent notes. It does not smell dry however or lightly fermented but the explanation for this becomes evident during tasting.

Taste
The taste on the first sip appears pleasant. It leaves you with a fizzy carbonated feel typical of a good cider ( in my opinion) and provides you with non sickly, yet slightly sweet taste. The aftertaste is hardly existent and therefore not unpleasant.
After a while you begin to realise the experience does not get any better. There is not enough flavour for any real pleasant taste to accumulate during consumption and leaves things a little undramatic. It does give the illusion of being good for hydration however due to moistness left on your palette. This along with carbonation are 2 key positives with this cider.

The real let down is lack of flavour. There is no getting away from it. It is like drinking a watery and fizzy apple juice with the effect of alcohol. Whilst cider should resemble apple flavours, this does not give out enough of any flavour making it hard to distinguish between artificial sweetness or sweetness from the apples.

The drink appears to live in the shadow of rekorderlig therefore which provides more of a punch and has all the positive attributes of orchard with the added bonus of a fruity aftertaste to convince you that there is fruit in there …
It still remains subtle however so in my mind is superior to orchard as a fizzy, sweet and moist drink.

The lack of smell mentioned earlier therefore is just due to lack of concentration of flavour. It is not even due to low alcohol content because many other varieties with highly similar alcohol contents still pack more force. P.s Rekorderlig is also 4.5 percent …

Summary

A crowd pleaser. Pleasant in moistness and fizz with some sweetness. It does not have enough of anything though to be truly satisfying ( too watery) so after a few evenings I think most would be tempted to look for these attributes in more abundance elsewhere. Those with any sense at least …

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