Twisted tree vintage cider review (7.5/10) ” Mature and complex but not sweet or fruity”

The Good

” Mature and complex”.
” Medium-dry as advertised and full bodied”.
” Pleasantly carbonated”.

The Bad

” Limited acidity and tang”.
” Not enough sweetness or fruitiness”.
” Not the cheapest for a canned cider”.

Packaging

A rather traditional looking can featuring a tree with roots twisting their way through the letter “S”. The branding seems appropriate for a cider which is quirky therefore; Perhaps like trees which are leaning in an orchard.

Those which don’t quite fit in with the crowd which grow straight…

The price was reasonable at Aldi with a price tag of just £1 for a 330ml can of 7.4% ABV. This certainly made it one of the stronger varieties I have tasted; Even stronger than recently reviewed Westons’ old Rosie at 7.3% and the premium Jonathan Blair vintage also at this percentage.

Whilst not quite as strong as white star (but this cannot be called a cider as mentioned in that review) Per can you still receive 2.5 units which is frustratingly close to the 3-4 recommended amount but not near enough for you to be truly satisfied with just the one can. Bit of a shame really. This means you would have to consume 2 putting the price up to £2 for a drinking evening. This is still cheaper than Savannah yet twice the price of capel road putting it amongst the better tasting ciders on cost.

The blurb, other than describing English apples and stating this as a medium-dry drink does not go into any depth with the varieties of apple used. That said neither does Capel road and this is a very good cider in my opinion.

It does not boast with a striking appearance which allows it to fade into the crowd even with Aldi’s limited selection. This does leave you not expecting much but this may result in greater surprise value for an appealing drink.

The story then doesn’t really do much at all. The blurb doesn’t state why a twisted tree is used and barely mentions where it is produced or how old it is except the word “vintage” and high alcoholic strength. This potentially leads you to believe it has been produced using oak vats or using a traditional process as is the case with many westons ciders which are vintage.
This word in relation to cider labelling refers to the year the apples have been harvested and means that vintage cider only uses apples from a single, usually specified, year. This product does not specify the year though which is again a little disappointing.

This is not however a westons’ product and in the small print does mention a site of production in Warwickshire. Those of you with elephant-like memories may remember how another cider called pure hopped was also rooted in Warwickshire in calla oration with westons’ company which tasted quite horrid … unless you like beer.

I sincerely hope this is nothing like that and perhaps this similar production site is why I have taken till now to take the plunge with the review.

As for the website then … It doesn’t seem to have one !

So there we go. Expectations have to be for a medium-dry. A drink with a vat-matured impression of prestige. Sweetness, acidity and carbonation has not even been mentioned so therefore I am not expecting much except dryness and character.

Let us see how good the drink was …

Smell

On opening, a sharp crack followed by a rather enthusiastic symphony of bubbles emerged. The smell was very pleasant. Natural and smooth and certainly not artificial with a certain element of apple sweetness.

Taste

On tasting, the cider was very smooth yet not quite as appley as anticipated. It was highly smooth and mature and didn’t possess the acidity or tang of Capel road. The sweetness was highly subtle and hardly noticeable suggesting a well balanced drink. The carbonation as heard did not manifest strongly and was kept at a low level throughout drinking. The body of the cider was good without any real worry of watery ness as can be the case with ciders such as the Cornish rattler.

On waiting, the aftertaste was not moist and was pleasantly warming. It left me swallowing suggesting a certain element of dryness although this was not as noticeable as some types suggesting a good level for a medium dry. What i did like was a lack of bitterness which can be present and off putting in stronger ciders.

That kept things rather pleasant.

Summary

Overall then twisted tree is a subtly carbonated warming drink with a full bodied character and complexity. It would be nice to taste more of the apples and the sweetness was a little too subtle for my palette. It is a medium dry as advertised and seems clearly quite good value, albeit not good enough to be twice the price of capel road.

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