St. Ives Smeatons Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: St. Ives
Cider Name: Smeatons
Region: Cornwall
ABV: 6.5%
Taste: Medium/Dry
Served: Lightly chilled 500ml bottle
Smell: Fresh apples
Colour: Light straw
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

From: St. Ives
Date: 01/05/14

Up again today is another cider from St. Ives cider company, which this time comes in the shape of their Smeatons cider. Having had a partial success with their Clodgy Cider earlier in the week, I’m intrigued to see how this one compares.

Smeatons cider looks to have been named after the Smeatons pier in St. Ives. Well, I can’t confirm if that is 100% the case, but my friend Google would seem to suggest that is the likely reason. Naming a cider after something at least gives it character and a story to go with it more than anything and of course makes it feel local.

Like the Clodgy Cider I tried previously, they mention the juice is fermented to full dryness, pumped off the yeast and then sweetened with pure apple juice. What seems to change after that is it is then filtered out twice to clear the cider, bottled, carbonated and pastuerised. Hmm, is filtering cider a good thing? From my experience a cider appears to lose a bit of flavour/character when I have seen producers do this before, especially with adding in pastuerisation too. I know some producers do it to keep the cider from changing/going bad, but I’ve seen sulphites used for the same purpose and it turns out ok. Anyway, that’s enough of my rambling and it’s time to kick on with actually tasting this bad boy.

As I poured the cider, it was lightly sparkling, clear and had the aroma of fresh apples. The initial smell was fairly similar to their Clodgy to be honest. I take in my first sip and I get lots of dryness up front, some tangyness from the acidity, sharp citric notes, light bitterness and then some sweetness comes in to the picture with a little ethanol taste too. It certainly tastes of dessert/cooking apples and has a wine like feel to the taste. It’s similar in some ways to an apfelwein, though not on those sour levels. Another thing to note is the carbonation is only very light and non-intrusive. I hate it when you have a mouth full of foam and get bloated, but this cider hasn’t done that. Like with the Clodgy, the aftertaste is not too long-lasting, which is a shame.

This cider certainly was pleasant and shows potential. Like I said previously, I would be interested in trying the ‘before’ product before it was pastuerised/filtered/sweetened/carbonated. I think that would be a little more on my wavelength, but this is by no means a bad cider. I can see this going down well with people as an easy, yet refreshing summer drink when chilled.

Would I buy this again?: Yes, though it’s not necessarily my style of cider.
Overall Rating: 7/10

Disclaimer: This was a free sample from St. Ives Cider, however this had no bearing on my review of this cider.

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