Cornish rattler cider review (6.5/10)

The good

“Good and interesting packaging with a pleasant smell”
” Fruity taste, carbonation and dryness apparent with huge subtlety”

The bad

“Too subtle to establish any real identity and too watery to truly enjoy”
” no potent flavour, sweetness, carbonation or acidity”
” does not live up to its name perhaps should be called Cornish panda”

 

Packaging

On the packaging the quirky bottle immediately caught my attention. Not only featuring a rattlesnake wearing sunglasses but also a reasonable head seated on a cloudy translucent fluid; All encased with a green bottle. Quirky and variable fonts are employed throughout with a capital letter yellow “Rattler original” set as the focal point. The Cornish label really surprised me in combination with the presence of the rattlesnake itself.

With my biology background I am quite familiar with certain species and with a bit of reading, my suspicions that rattlesnakes are found in North America but not the UK were confirmed ( Putman and Clark 2015). It seems interesting then to hear about the story of why such a magnificent beast would find it’s way onto a cider from the English south west.

On bottle rotation you get the link …

The Cornish rattler is apparently the type of Apple used and the snake is used to show that the cider has some bite to it. The properties of this bottles’ flavour are classified as crisp and fresh and the recommendation is to serve chilled. Bite refers to acidity in drinks suggesting acidity and apple flavours should both be apparent on sampling.

Joe and Sam Healey have been used for the signature encouraging further investigation due to a fancy writing style.

So there we have it, 3 units of 6% cider from Cornwall placing it on par with the likes of merrydown for strength and keeping things practical through sitting at the lower end of the recommended (do not regularly exceed) limit. This can be achieved with just one 500 ml bottle which I managed to find for £2 from Asda. This keeps things affordable and slightly cheaper than Savannah while being a little more dear than Orchard or certain canned varieties.

Smell

On opening a prolonged fizz is apparent. The smell is sweet and fruity and the head ducks a little to modest carbonation. After a short while limited smell is apparent, fading to just very slight acidity.

Taste

On the first sip the taste experience is certainly subtle. There is no real hit of apple or sweetness as perhaps would be expected. The aftertaste is hardly noticeable yet provides a slightly warming sensation like thatchers vintage. After a few more sips subtle carbonation can be detected with a very subtle tang. There is a lack of identity early on from the bottle perhaps due to the level of watered down flavour. It does lack a certain punch which is not made up for with a strong aftertaste.

The taste of apples is eventually apparent yet not clearly noticeable and still does not really produce anything to indicate anything impressive or good quality. It is reassuring though. The acidity does very slowly build up to something remotely pleasant yet does take a significant amount of sips and time to accumulate which is clearly disappointing. For a drink boasting bite, the acidity is very subtle. The rattlesnake with a bite like that would be killed by merrydown’s’ violin playing fox with far greater acidity and flavour present in the former.

Without specification on the bottle of dryness it was interesting to see the level of dryness from this drink. It left my palette with nothing. Almost like Thatchers haze which is another cloudy cider variety which also left my palette in that way. Perhaps it does not need classification as to dryness since it is not moist or dry really. This is not particularly exciting. It resembles nothing and detracts from a drinking experience with flare …

Summary

A cider with a slowly accumulating subtle acidity and carbonation which lacks flavour and any real dryness or identity. The packaging is definitely the highlight of the drinking experience, with only the occasional burst of warmth on the aftertaste for enjoyment. The Cornish rattler Apple therefore from this variety does not seem to provide the drinking experience the quirky bottle and rattlesnake suggest. Clearly then, a bit of a letdown.

Sources

http://www.bio.sdsu.edu/pub/clark/Site/Publications_files/rattlesnake_habitat_manipulation.pdf

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