Gwatkin Original Dry Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Gwatkin
Cider Name: Original Dry Cider
Region: Herefordshire
ABV: 5%
Taste: Medium
Served: Lightly chilled 500ml bottle
Smell: Sweet apples
Colour: Copper
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Bristol Cider Shop
Date: 25/02/13

I’ve been a bit quiet on the new cider front again, which is mainly down to not getting my hands on anything new lately. That’s a bit of laziness on my part, as I could have gone to a cider farm or 2, however I had too many things to pack into last weekend and that one got the cut this time. Luckily the Bristol Cider Shop came to my rescue and I’ve found a couple more new ciders to keep me going for a few days. Up tonight is the Gwatkin Original Dry Cider.

Gwatkin are another producer that shouldn’t need much introduction to most people who like their ‘real cider’. They are Herefordshire based and tend to make a decent cider. Not all are to my taste, as they are usually a bit too sweet for my palate, but some of them are spot on like the Yarlington Mill (SV).

This Gwatkin cider is a completely new one on me. I can’t say I have ever seen it before and really don’t know too much about it. The blurb on the bottle says the following:

“This is a unique blend that time nearly forgot. The recipe for this cider has been passed down through the generations. This gives the original blend a nice crisp finish”

Other than the above, it really doesn’t tell you anything about it at all. The website has a bit more information and says it is made with Apples, Natural Sugars & Sulphites. So that’s pretty much standard for them and I’m guessing maybe some dilution too to make it a 5% and a dry cider? I’m actually looking forward to trying this one and fingers crossed when it says dry, that they mean it this time!

This poured bright copper and had a very frothy white head, but this seemed more of a natural sparkle than a forced carbonation. After a minute the head had gone and a few bubbles were slowly making their way to the top. What really takes your eye initially is the colour. It sure is a dark copper colour. You don’t usually get many ciders looking like this! As with most Gwatkin ciders, it has that same distinctive sweet apple smell. I much prefer the farmhouse smell, but as they say, it’s all in the tasting!

After taking my initial sip, it has a really rich, sweet apple feel to begin with. This initial sweetness then takes a tangy sour twist, as the acidity comes into its own, a good level of tannins shine through and has a dry finish wanting to come out, but seems held back by the sweetness. Although this is a little on the sweeter side for me, it does feel an exciting cider and keeps you on your toes. The mix between sweetness and an acidic sour tang works well for me, but might not be to everyone’s taste.

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

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