Taste Test: Cider

  • The List
  • 9 July 2009
Taste Test: Cider

Thistly Cross Cider

Belhaven Fruit Farm, from Edinburgh Farmers’ Market and Cornelius Beers and Wines, 18–20 Easter Road, Edinburgh, £2.70 ••••
Scotland’s first cider from the makers of Belhaven Fruit Ice, this cider is described as ‘Scottish and Strong’, and certainly puts the ‘o’ in ‘oft’ thanks to its impressive 7.2% ABV. But despite its unexpected kick, Thistly Cross manages to be tangy, sweet and the same colour as Irn Bru all at once. Put simply, it’s lovely stuff.

Magners Pear Cider

Available at stores nationwide, see www.magners pear.com for more details, £2.09 •
The second cider from the brand that made cider ‘cool’ again, promises ‘100% pear, 0% disappointment’ – and fails. Behind all its packaging and promises, this is a bland and unsatisfying beverage that although made from pears, doesn’t have any other exciting features, meaning it just can’t compete with its tastier and altogether more exciting predecessor.

Jacques Cider with Fruit

Available at stores nationwide, see www.jacquescider.co.uk for more details, £4.59 •••
For a drink that smells like a bag of melted boiled sweets, it’s no surprise to discover that it tastes just as artificial, and about as alcoholic, as a kids carton of juice. In truth, this cider tastes more like an alcopop than any of its apple and pear decended bretheren. On the plus side, its large size and screw top make it ideal for carrying around the city on a hot summer’s day.

Kopparberg with Mixed Fruits

Available at stores nationwide, see www.kopparberguk.com for more details, £2.45 ••
More alcoholic-tasting than Jacques, Kopparberg’s addition to the busy cider shelf is dominated by the strong smell and taste of raspberry, with a slightly chemical aftertaste. But while this variety is the weaker sibling of the Kopparberg family, it’s ideal for those who like their cider just that little bit sweeter.

Weston’s Perry

Cornelius Beers and Wines, 18–20 Easter Road, Edinburgh, £2 ••••
Despite a surge in popularity in the 90s, Perry has never quite recovered from its association with bargain basement fizz like Lambrini and Babycham – that is, until now. Weston’s perry is tangy, dry and refreshing without being too foamy or artificial tasting. A proper drink for real grown-ups, it’s also suitable for vegans and coeliacs. But at 7.4%, you’d better go easy.

Dunkerton’s Organic Cider

Peckham’s, 49 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh, £1.79 •••••
Made by the-award winning Dunkerton’s Cider Mill in Hertfordshire, this golden and sparkling cider makes for a truly unique experience thanks to its distinctive earthy scent and deliciously crisp and fruity taste. Not too overpowering or sharp, Dunkerton’s have succeeded in creating a delicate and timeless cider that deserves your full attention and appreciation.

A Cornelius Beers and Wine
18-20 Easter Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5RG
Cornelius harbours one of Edinburgh’s most comprehensive beer selections, from bog standard £1-a-bottle swigs to tiny microbrewery Luckie Ales’ latest invention. Not in the most obvious location for an Aladdin’s cave of fine alcohol, nevertheless they…
B Belhaven Fruit Farm / The Store
Thistlycross, Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1RG
Home of Thistly Cross cider, Belhaven Fruit Farm now has a specialist retail outlet to add to its popular PYO summer berries operation. The Store offers a hand-picked range of relishes, chocolates, oils and jams alongside Belhaven’s own luscious dairy…
C Thistly Cross Cider
The Works, Implement Road, West Barns, East Lothian, EH42 1UN
Based at the Cider Shed in West Barns, in the heart of the East Lothian countryside, we're involved in every aspect of making our award-winning Scottish farmhouse cider. From pressing the Scottish apples and strawberries, to achieving the smooth…