Celtic Marches Abrahalls Medium Still Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Celtic Marches
Cider Name: Abrahalls Medium Still Cider
Region: Herefordshire
ABV: 6.5%
Taste: Medium
Served: Pint at room temperature
Smell: Apples
Colour: Dull yellow
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

From: Celtic Marches
Date: 07/03/13

Wow what a crazy week or 2 it has been. Work has just gone so crazy that I’ve barely had a chance to get around to getting some new cider, let alone drinking and reviewing it too. Thankfully today has been quiet and I’ve got a night in and the chance to take in the football. To keep me going during the game is a 3L bag-in-box of Celtic Marches Abrahalls Medium Still Cider.

The last time I had a Celtic Marches cider I was sitting on a balcony last year in Tunisia. Ah I’m having such good memories right now of being over there, just like it happened yesterday. Today isn’t quite the same though, as it’s a miserable day in Bristol and I’m stuck in my living room. How times change eh?

For anyone who has never heard of Celtic Marches before, they are a Herefordshire based cider company who make their cider the traditional way. This is made from 100% cider apples grown on their orchard and no artificial sweeteners are added. If you’ve ever had one of their ciders before, you’ll probably remember it by the hedgehog featuring on their branding. It’s quite distinctive and a good design.

Last year I had their Abrahalls bottled version, which was not a bad cider, but just too fizzy for my liking. Luckily for me today I can finally see what their still cider is all about and if it is more to my taste. The main difference from the info on the product is this is a slightly higher ABV (6.5% and not 6%) and we actually get to know what apples are in this cider. This is a blend of bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples, which include Dabinett, Michelin and Kingston Black. I can’t say I know too much about the Michelin apple, but the other 2 are quality and some of my favourite cider apples. This cider certainly looks to be talking the talk and now it’s time to see if it can walk the walk too….

The first thing I notice about the cider, once it had poured from the bag-in-box, is it’s fairly clear and has a dull yellow colour to it. It’s not completely crystal clear, but isn’t too far off it. I’m guessing that means they racked the cider off at some point. There’s nothing wrong with that at all though. The aroma is very distinctly apple and has an apple pie feel to it but you can smell a little dryness in the air too.

I take in my first sip and it’s very smooth, very appley and just an easy-going cider. It starts with a bittersweet taste and finishes with a drier, yet sharper, feel to it with some acidity and tannins. The aftertaste is fairly long-lasting and has a citric feeling about it. It reminds me of a Thatchers Heritage in some ways, but at the same time it has more oomph and je ne sais quoi about it. I wouldn’t say this is the most challenging or exciting cider I’ve ever had, but it’s a step up from their fizzy bottled version and is very pleasant to drink. From a personal perspective I’d like there to be a bit more acidity/tannins to it, a bit drier and a little less safe.

Would I buy this again?: Yes
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Disclaimer: This was a free sample from Celtic Marches, however this had no bearing on my review of this cider.

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Ray Blockley said,

    Michelin is known generally as a “bulking apple” – not much to recommend it, definitely not a variety for a SV cider, but useful juice for adding into a blend. Too much in the blend leaves the cider a little ‘flat’ in terms of flavour and bouquet. Michelin was widely planted by the big cider makers for bulk juicing, so is very common in those areas where Bulmers / Matthew Clark / Taunton, etc. operate and where their contract growers are (or were) situated.

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: