Ross-On-Wye Headless Man Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Ross-On-Wye
Cider Name: Headless Man
Region: Herefordshire
ABV: 7.4%
Taste: Medium/Dry
Served: 500ml bottle at room temperature
Smell: Sweet apples/Ethanol/Wood
Colour: Golden
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Bristol Cider Shop
Date: 13/11/12

After a rather dull day in the office and too much hard work, I had to try to balance that out by playing hard too…or drink a cider or 2 as I like to call it! Up today is the ‘Headless Man’ cider from Ross-On-Wye cider. One thing you get with all their smaller 500ml ciders is an interesting picture on the front. This time it’s a picture of a headless man sculpture, which was done by a guy called Alan Ross. It seems to add a bit of character to the bottle and just a good bit of fun really.

Ross-On-Wye is a producer I am quite fond of, but at times some of their ciders can rub me up the wrong way. I guess that’s the same with a lot of producers though, as different ciders suit different people in different ways and it’s great that things are like that. I’d be bored if there was only a few different types of ciders! One thing I have found they do really well is how they let their ciders mature well in their barrels. This cider is listed as being a medium/dry and has been fermented in an oak barrel. It doesn’t mention what type of oak barrel, but apparently the headless man version from a few years back was in rum barrels, so I can only assume it’s probably the same.

Just smelling this cider, it feels like there is a lot of sweetness in the apples and has a hint of rum in the air too. It actually smells bloody divine if I’m honest. After admiring the smell of this, I have finally got onto tasting it and it’s actually really good. It starts with a sweet apple taste, which is then followed with a touch of bitterness/oakiness, good levels of tannins and a hint of rum in the aftertaste, as it moderately dries your mouth. It doesn’t completely dry your mouth out, but it does go a fair way there to doing it. This cider is just so smooth, well-rounded/balanced and easy drinking, but also quite scary as it’s 7.4% and it does not even feel like it. This is not necessarily my usual type of cider, as I usually love them fairly rough and ready, but it’s damn fine for what it is and definitely worth trying.

Would I buy this again?: Yes
Overall Rating: 9/10

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