Cider Name: Premium Reserve Cider
Served: Lightly chilled 660ml bottle
Smell: Sweet apples
Colour: Dark golden/Amber
Purchased From: Supermarket (Unsure which one)
Today has been all about the snow. Wherever I have turned it has just been mentioned everywhere! Because of this snow, it has also helped try to ruin my weekend, as my curry tonight is now cancelled and the football tomorrow is also postponed. So much for a fun weekend ahead and now it is in just disarray! To make matters worse, it meant my trip to the Bristol Cider Shop today has been put off and the only new cider I am left with is the 2nd to top shelf. I closed my eyes and hoped for the best and I ended up with the Knights Premium Reserve Cider.
This cider is one of many cider brands under the Aston Manor umbrella. As a company they have had a fairly shady history (click here for more details) and have in my experience have made fairly poor ciders such as your Frosty Jacks. This one however sounds like it is their premier product and could actually be a proper cider. Well I can live in hope at least. I’m still a bit dubious about it and hence I have held off trying it for so long!
It mentions it is made in Worcestershire on the Crumpton Oaks farm, which is at least not at their industrial base in Aston. Apparently it has been made as Knights Cider since the 1970s by Keith and Mark Knight, so I guess maybe Aston Manor just bought them out? Well, whatever happened, I hope this is a step up from the usual stuff that Aston Manor churn out! The cider itself is made from a blend of local bittersweet cider apples and when I googled the address of the farm it actually shows an orchard nearby! Maybe this is the real deal? I live in hope at least…
The first thing you notice about the bottle is that it is not of a standard size. You get a whole 660ml of cider instead of your usual 500/750ml. God knows why they want something unconventional, but hey whatever makes them happy! It poured with a large foamy head, which settled down pretty quickly. It’s definitely a sparkling cider, but it doesn’t look over fizzy from what I could see. Maybe that’s because it has been on the shelf for so long? The colour is of dark golden/amber and clear. I am actually smelling this expecting chemicals and I have been quietly surprised I can smell sweet apples! So far so good for it, but how will the taste rate?
I found the taste to be fairly pleasant and drinkable, but not amazing either. It has a nice sweet apple taste to begin with and finished with light sour/tarty & dryer feel to it. It doesn’t really have too much depth or longevity to it, but it’s a certain step up from other Aston Manor ciders you get. I won’t be running out desperate to buy another, but equally I won’t just ignore it either when options are limited.
Would I buy this again?: Possibly
Overall Rating: 6/10