Handmade Cider Company White Label (2011) Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Handmade Cider Company
Cider Name: White Label Cider
Region: Wiltshire
ABV: 5.3%
Taste: Sweet
Served: Lightly chilled 500ml bottle
Smell: Apples/Farmyard
Colour: Dull yellow
Clarity: Slightly hazy
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Bristol Cider Shop
Date: 14/05/13

After quite a hectic and slightly painful weekend, I’m back on the cider again now. The weekend was full of the delights of going to Grillstock and all I can say is competing in a chilli eating competition is right pain in the arse (in more ways than one!). I could possibly have won it, though rubbing my eyes with my hands halfway through temporarily blinded myself! Having only just about recovered now, I think I deserve to treat myself to something new. Up first is the White Label (2011) Cider from Handmade Cider Company.

This is the 3rd cider I’ve had from Handmade Cider Company and the 2nd one in as many weeks, having recently had the exquisite Crazy Diamond. As mentioned previously, Handmade Cider Company is run by Denis France in Wiltshire and he gets their apples from old orchards in Somerset. This particular cider is made using the keeved method, which is a fairly hard art to master from speaking to people about this previously. With it being keeved, it means the % ABV will be lower than normal, lightly sparkling and give it sweeter feel to it. Keeved cider isn’t necessarily my favourite type of cider, but when done right it can be quite a delight to drink. On that note, I think it’s time to open this bottle up…

It poured a lightly hazy, dull yellow colour and had a quite an interesting/odd aroma. It had that farmyard feel to it, but also slightly like it was going off. I’ve smelt it previously at the festival I helped with recently and I don’t remember it being like that. Maybe it’s just the luck of the bottle with this one? Having got past all of that, it is surprisingly still and not a sparkle in sight. Lovely jubbly!

I take in my first sip and it certainly tastes decent! It’s undeniably sweet, smooth and has a gorgeous, rich apple taste. There’s light sourness/acidity in the middle of the drink and low on tannins throughout. This cider isn’t aimed at my end of the cider market I like, though for a sweet cider it is tasty and light. I can’t say I’ll be rushing back personally to have another one soon, as it isn’t really my thing, though if I was offered a bottle I’d happily have it once in a while. If you like your ciders on the sweet side, then you should give this one a try.

Would I buy this again?: Yes, if I fancied something sweet
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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