Purbeck Cider Dorset Draft (Medium) Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Purbeck Cider
Cider Name: Dorset Draft (Medium)
Region: Dorset
ABV: 5%
Taste: Medium
Served: 500ml bottle at room temperature
Smell: Apples/Lightly rustic
Colour: Golden/Straw
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

From: The Stable, Bristol
Date: 09/07/13

After being invited to the launch party for The Stable, the newest cider bar/restaurant in Bristol, it was only right to accept that invitation and see what the new kid on the block was all about. It turns out it was pretty decent and had a wide range of ciders on offer, even if slightly pricey too (£3.80 per pint/£4.10 per bottle). After plying us with lots of cider and pizza, they generously gave everyone a goodie bag to takeaway and lo and behold they each contained a bottled cider. Now you can’t say fairer than that can you? Thankfully (after slightly rigging it) I got a new cider to try and review now. Up next is the Dorset Draft (Medium) from the Purbeck Cider Company.

Purbeck are a company that I’ve briefly heard about, though can’t say I’ve ever seen it at any pubs/festivals I have been to. Well, not that I can remember at least, as after a few ciders the memory can get a bit blurry! They are a Dorset based cider company, who is run by a guy called Joe Hartle and has been doing so since 2006. The story looks to be that he was travelling around New Zealand and came back with the great idea of making cider on his family farm. You can’t blame the guy can you? If I had the land to plant an orchard and make cider, then I’d be on it like a shot! By the sound of his website, it looks like he picks the apples himself and makes a cider (and apple juice) in the traditional way.

I’m looking at the bottle and it looks like a simple and professional finish, though classing itself as a ‘premium cider’ is a bit off-putting when you know that most other ‘premium ciders’ on the market are mass-produced rubbish. Though of course there are exceptions to that rule. After getting past that, it also markets that it uses 100% freshly pressed British apples and is classed as a softly sparkling medium cider, which is full of flavour. All in all, it does tick all the boxes so far and it’s time to see if it makes it past the taste test, which of course is the most important one!

This poured pretty lively and foamy to start with, which then died down to the occasional bubble in the glass. The colour is a light, bright, golden/straw colour and has a nice apple aroma and a minor rustic feel to it. I take in my first sip and I have to say it’s not bad indeed. You get a juicy apple feel to begin with, some mild acidity/tanginess to it, no real tannins at all and is certainly more apple juice in taste than cider. The aftertaste is lightly drying and it is just a very easy-going cider. It’s not one that will by any stretch of the imagination blow you away or challenge you, but it will keep you happy and you could certainly knock a few of these back without even noticing it.

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


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