Nempnett Piglets Choice Oak Matured Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Nempnett Cider
Cider Name: Piglets Choice (Oak Matured)
Region: Somerset
ABV: 7.7%
Taste: Medium/Dry
Served: Pint at room temperature
Smell: Rustic apples/Whiskey cask/Ethanol
Colour: Golden/Yellow
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Somerset Cheese & Cider Fayre, Ring O Bells, Compton Martin
Date: 09/05/13

Today really has been a miserable one hasn’t it? It’s been raining all day, I had to travel into the office in Wales and have only recently just got home. It’s time for me to turn that frown upside down and crack open a new cider tonight. There’s a never a better way to change the mood than with a good new cider. Hopefully the Piglets Choice Oak Matured Cider from Nempnett is the one to kick-start my day.

This is the final new draught cider I got from the Somerset Cheese & Cider Fayre last Sunday and I can’t wait to try it after the success of their Piglets Choice Perry earlier in the week. As mentioned previously, they are a local Somerset producer from Nempnett Thrubwell, near Blagdon in Bristol. It’s run by a chap called Keith Balch, who has been in the commercial game for around 3 years now. They source their apples locally at present and has planted a good few trees (196 Dabinett/122 Harry Masters Jersey) for future use. I can imagine they’ll be expanding rapidly in the next few years! Thanks to the book ‘In Search Of Cider’ by Alan Stone for that extra added information. The book’s worth a read if you haven’t seen it yet, as it’s a good source of information.

The particular cider I’m trying today is oak matured (in whiskey casks if I remember right) and comes in at a whopping 7.7%. This one certainly isn’t for the fainthearted at that ABV %! There’s not really any other information on the label about this one, so I’ll crack on and try it…

I pour out the cider and it comes out a bright golden/yellow colour and not even the slightest hint of being cloudy. That’s appealing for most people, though I have a bit of old-school edge about me and like a cloudy cider. That’s a personal preference thing to be honest. The aroma is of really rustic, farmyard notes and a strong hint of whiskey/oak/ethanol in the air too. It’s certainly a very appetising smell that has me dribbling at the thought of trying it.

I take in my first sip and mmm that’s decent! You get a sweet, juicy apple taste to begin with before the whiskey cask takes over and takes you on a great journey. There’s decent levels of acidity, though not overpowering, lightly sour and has a tasty drying finish. Tannins come through this one slowly but surely and just one of these ciders that is finely balanced, yet has that wicked acidity and cask taste that gives it that edge. I’m also getting a light nutty feel to the end, which I suspect is from the oak cask. Compared to the Piglets Choice Cider I had last year, this is light years ahead of that and was no doubt a slight dodgy batch at the festival previously. A top effort with this one guys and one I’ll be keeping an eagle eye out for this in the future!

Would I buy this again?: Yes
Overall Rating: 9.5/10

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