Lyme Bay Jack Ratt Vintage Dry Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Lyme Bay
Cider Name: Jack Ratt Vintage Dry Cider
Region: Devon
ABV: 7.4%
Taste: Dry
Served: 1 litre bottle at room temperature
Smell: Apples/Oak
Colour: Amber/Copper
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

From: Lyme Bay
Date: 20/09/12

Lyme Bay are a producer I have heard so much about, but I’ve not had a chance to try until now. I really should have done a cider trip to Devon by now, as there are a lot of decent producers down there. Right, that’s on my to do list now.

Anyway, back to Lyme Bay…they are a producer based down in Axminster, which is around the Devon/Somerset border. They obviously take their name from the nearby Lyme Bay. Ah to be by the sea on a hot summers day with a cider. That seems a distant memory now!

The cider to drink today is their Jack Ratt Vintage Dry. Apparently a triple gold winner in some great taste awards and in the top 50 food/drinks in the country. So by it saying it has won all that, then it has a lot to live up to! Oh and for anyone wondering why the name ‘Jack Ratt’, it is apparently named after a famous former resident of Lyme Regis called Jack Rattenbury, who was a sea smuggler from the 1800’s. There does always seem to be a connection with cider and a pirate. Oh to be on the seven seas with barrels of cider on board, that must be the life!

So now onto the cider…can it live up to all this hype or will it be forced to walk the plank?!? Well I have to say it starts really well with the smell. A gorgeous intense apple smell with a hint of oakiness. It reminds me of how a Burrow Hill smells.

After admiring the smell briefly, I now finally taste it and I have to say I do like it. It feels smooth and juicy to start with, which follows with a good level of bitterness/tannins and ends with a crisp dry, oaky finish. The taste also lingers for a good while and does have that excitement about it. It’s not on the lines of a farmhouse scrumpy, as the acidity isn’t there that I’m use to, but it does have a West Country feel to it. Like the middle ground between a Herefordshire cider and Somerset scrumpy. My only criticism from a personal point of view is I’d probably like it that slight touch less dry and I’d be interested to try an unfiltered version of this. Overall it’s a top job and well worth trying if you get a chance.

Would I buy this again?: Yea
Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Disclaimer: This was a free sample from Lyme Bay, however this had no bearing on my review of this cider.

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