Ross-On-Wye Dabinett, Bramley & Sweet Coppin Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Ross-On-Wye
Cider Name: Dabinett, Bramley & Sweet Coppin
Region: Herefordshire
ABV: 8%
Taste: Dry
Served: Lightly chilled 500ml bottle
Smell: Apples/Dry
Colour: Dull golden/Yellow
Clarity: Clear/Lightly hazy with sediment
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Ciderbods
Date: 05/12/13

It’s Thursday, it’s that evening where we have a drink in the name of Ciderbods and of course it’s something new for me to try. I rarely have a review nowadays where I have forgot to review it first time round. What’s on the menu you’re probably wondering by this point? Well, it’s an interesting 3 apple blend cider from Ross-On-Wye. They have conjured up an Dabinett, Bramley & Sweet Coppin cider and by golly I can’t wait to get my mitts on it.

For anyone who’s familiar with the real cider world, then Ross-On-Wye is one of the first producers you should think of when you think of Herefordshire. For anyone who isn’t, then you should be in for a treat if you ever get to try their ciders. They are based up in Broome Farm and are run by a great guy called Mike Johnson. From my experience of what they do, it is generally a cracking tipple and usually matured in oak barrels.

I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but I personally preferred their old branding on the labels. Their new branding just appears too clinical and they have used the word premium. The word premium has mostly been used by brands who have anything but a quality cider in it. Though maybe it’s finally our time to reclaim the word back with real cider? Though to be honest, the cider inside is all that matters to me and I don’t go judging books by their covers. Sorry for going off on a tangent there, it’s back to the cider in hand now.

This particular one was fermented in oak casks back in 2009 and left to mature for a year. After a year, it was put in a bottle to be bottle conditioned with a teaspoon of sugar to help it own its way. According to the Ciderbods website, Mike told them the reason behind the combo of apples used, so there is some method to the madness. They use Dabinett apples to provide the tannins, Bramleys for acidity and Sweet Coppins for an intense apple flavour. All in all, it sounds decent to me. Due to it being bottle conditioned, there is a minor layer of sediment in the bottle. Be sure to pour it carefully if you don’t want any in your glass. I’m not one to care about sediment in my drink, so I just pour it in and let my drink be a little more cloudy. Right, it’s cider drinking time now people….

This poured lightly hazy, golden/yellow in colour and not a single bubble in sight. The aroma was of apples and lots of dryness. I took my first sip and boy is this one dry! You get apples at the beginning, bitterness/dryness, plenty of tannins and then an even drier finish. There is some acidity but that’s taking more of a backseat to the rest. There’s not an ounce of sweetness in this at all. It certainly must have been all taken out with fermentation. After taking in all this, I have to say I like it, but don’t love it. It’s lacking a little sweetness and acidity for my taste buds. Certainly aimed more at the drier cider drinker. It’s just lacking the buzz I love.

Would I buy this again?: Yes but not a first choice.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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