Gwatkin Kingston Black (SV) Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Gwatkin
Cider Name: Kingston Black (SV)
Region: Herefordshire
ABV: 7%
Taste: Dry
Served: Lightly chilled 500ml bottle
Smell: Apples/Dry
Colour: Copper/Golden orange
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Bristol Cider Shop
Date: 24/01/13

Blimey today has been a long and tiring day for me. I had to make the trip over to Wales for work and then to top it all off I have had to do work in the evening well past 8pm too! Certainly no rest for the wicked, but I will be rewarding myself with a cider for all those efforts. I lined all my new ciders up on the wall and closed my eyes, which ended up with myself picking the Gwatkin Kingston Black (Single-Variety) Cider.

As you may have gathered from past reviews, Gwatkin is a cider producer I fairly like but they always seem to make their ciders sweeter than you think they will be. Some of them have tasted absolutely spot on though, like their Yarlington Mill (SV) and Blakeney Red (SV) Perry, which were both very tasty! Up today is their SV version of the Kingston Black cider apple. Kingston Black is one of the more famous and better vintage cider apple varities out there. It seems to work a treat in a blend and one of the few that actually tastes great just on its own too.

This cider is labelled as a dry cider, which hopefully means it should be at least a medium or medium/dry in how it tastes for me. Further information on the bottle says it is only made with apple juice & sulphites and is matured in oak barrels with the natural yeasts from the apples. All in all it’s just good old fashioned honesty, which incorporates a simple yet effective design. That’s enough of my blabbing for now and it’s now time to get on with the drinking!

As I pour this into the glass there a high amount of fizz to begin with and settles very quickly to a gentle few bubbles floating up here and there. I did notice on the bottle it said to watch out for natural sediment, however I can’t seem to see any in there at all. Maybe I got unlucky/lucky, depending on how you feel about sediment! It has a bright copper/golden orange colour, with a dry apple, tannin filled aroma. It smells just how I was hoping for it to and not sweet at all! Result! I take my first sip and when they meant it was dry, they actually weren’t lieing this time! From the off it is crisp, dry, has lots of tannins, a distinctive bittersharp taste and finishes with a gorgeous oak/nutty aftertaste. I personally do quite like this one myself, but I feel the dryness and bittersharp taste could be too much for someone who likes their cider more on the sweeter side. Overall, the cider is decent and I like it, however I think their Yarlington Mill (SV) just pips this one to my favourite Gwatkin cider.

Would I buy this again?: Yes
Overall Rating: 8/10

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