Thatchers Cheddar Valley Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Thatchers
Cider Name: Cheddar Valley
Region: Somerset
ABV: 6%
Taste: Medium
Served: Pint at room temperature
Smell: Lightly sweet apples/Rustic
Colour: Bright orange
Clarity: Cloudy
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Cotham Porter Stores, Bristol
Date: 17/01/13

I’m completely out of new ciders on the cider shelf now. Arghhhh! Well I could resort to some borderline ciders near the top shelf, but I don’t think I really feel in the mood for that. I have gone off out for a live review in the field and I popped in to the Cotham Porter Stores to see what they have on offer today. They have a good few ciders, which are mainly Thatchers and is a real old-school pub. As I was only talking about it on Twitter the other day, I thought I’d give Thatchers Cheddar Valley a go to see how it is nowadays!

If there’s one thing you will notice about Cheddar Valley, then it is definitely its colour. It’s bright orange and very in your face. If I turned the lights off now it would probably nearly glow in the dark! I’m not 100% certain, but I’ve been told it gets its colour from food colourings and I’d definitely tend to believe that.

Now that I have got over the colour, it has a lightly sweet apple aroma about it with a touch of a farmhouse and is completely still. Onto the taste and it’s a complete disappointment. It tastes a bit like a watered down Thatchers Traditional and has not much to offer. There is some light fruity flavour, bitterness and light sharpness/lemon zest, but it’s just too bland and awful. Once you have sipped your drink, the taste has pretty much gone immediately and left with bugger all. I want to try and name one thing this has done well but I’m struggling! All this has is a bright colour and not much else. Possibly they have been messing with the recipe, as I can never remember it this uninspiring before. I’ll only be touching this again as a last resort.

Would I buy this again?: Only if I’m that desperate and don’t want a Magners
Overall Rating: 4/10

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5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    sooty torques said,

    Spot on review – so why do so many pubs / festivals (even CAMRA ones!!!) think this watery weird-coloured garbage is pukka and will excite drinkers of real cider…? All I ever see is comments that it looks like Tizer – is that supposed to entice you to drink it? Well done for flagging this poor stuff up.

    • 2

      TheCiderBlog said,

      Cheers for the comment and glad you agree. I still struggle to see why they love to promote this cider at festivals myself too. Maybe it’s that cheap to purchase that it goes thrown in as well? It certainly doesn’t have a great taste to it anymore. A few years ago it was palatable. Now it just feels way too watered down.

  2. 3

    sooty torques said,

    I think the main reason it’s seen at pubs and festivals is that (along with the even worse Broadoak AKA Lilleys Cider Barn junk) it is ubiquitous on beer wholesaler lists in the “Trad Cider” section. Add to that the fact that these are usually cheap offerings and those who pick the ciders often have no imagination and/or knowledge of what a good real cider or perry really is.

  3. 4

    Ash said,

    You sir, are an imbecile! This cider is fine, fine, fine!

    • 5

      TheCiderBlog said,

      You should try some other proper real ciders out there. You would be surprised how bang average this one really is in comparison. If you enjoy it though, then happy drinking! Not for me though.


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