Rich’s Golden Years Yarlington & Lambrook Pippin (2011) Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Rich’s
Cider Name: Golden Years Yarlington & Lambrook Pippin (2011) Cider
Region: Somerset
ABV: 5.8%
Taste: Medium/Dry
Served: Lightly chilled 500ml bottle
Smell: Apples/Wood
Colour: Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Somerset Cheese & Cider Fayre, Ring O Bells, Compton Martin
Date: 14/05/13

I’m really spoiling myself with a 3rd new cider tonight, aren’t I? Well I think I’ve deserved it after the last couple of days and hey you only live once! After a couple of corking ciders already, I’m going back to an old favourite producer, Rich’s, with their Yarlington & Lambrook Pippin ‘Golden Years’ cider.

Rich’s have been around for what seems like forever (50+ years) and are one of the first cider producers people think of when you mention Somerset to them, along with the likes of Wilkins, Hecks & Naish. They are a family run business and are based down in Highbridge, Somerset. I can’t say they are one of my favourite Somerset producers, but they do make consistently good cider. I usually go for their traditional farmhouse cider when I visit them, though recently I’ve discovered they do a ‘Golden Years’ version of cider at the Somerset Cheese & Cider festival I recently visited. The reason for the ‘Golden Years’ brand appears to be taking the best of the varieties of that season and turning them into a cider. The ciders in the ‘Golden Years’ range look to be just Single Varieties or 2 varieties, as was the case with this one.

This particular cider is made from the Yarlington & Lambrook Pippin apples, which apparently is because they are using the bitterness of the Yarlington to offset that with the sharpness of the Lambrook Pippin to make a balanced cider. It sounds plausible enough in theory and could well be a cracker. The only way to find that out is to just shut up and open it up, which is just what I’ll do…

It poured a bright amber colour, sparkling and has an interesting apple aroma, mixed in with a bit of wood and something else I can’t distinguish. The thing I can’t quite make out certainly seems to give it a sweeter/tangy smell. I take my first sip and it’s very tangy, lightly sweet and easy to drink. After a while the sourness/sharpness seems to come through with decent levels of tannin and bitterness, with a lightly oaky aftertaste. There also feels a bit of a sherbet taste to this too. This seems to take your mouth on quite an exciting journey through the ups and downs (bitterness/sharpness) and tastes like a Rich’s cider I’ve never tasted before. This is one of those ciders I like, but I can’t really pinpoint why I do. The mix is like something I’ve not had before and I like it. I’ll certainly be going back for more!

Would I buy this again?: Yes
Overall Rating: 8.5/10

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