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.
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.