Cornwall Cider Co Lyonesse Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Cornwall Cider Co
Cider Name: Lyonesse
Region: Cornwall
ABV: 5%
Taste: Medium
Served: Lightly chilled 500ml bottle
Smell: Apples/Light farmyard
Colour: Golden/Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

From: Cornwall Cider Co
Date: 06/05/14

I’ve just come back from a lovely weekend away camping in Dorset, where plenty of cider was drank and lots of fun was had. Now it’s back to the hard slog of the working week again. Thankfully to end the frustrating day at work is a lovely new cider to try. This comes in the shape of the Lyonesse cider from Cornwall Cider Co.

They are a new cider producer from Truro, Cornwall, and look to be an offshoot of the Skinners Brewery. Past experience where beer brewers enter the cider market can be very hit or miss. Some don’t always understand/appreciate that cider making and beer brewing are very different (cider is more similar to wine), but it’s still interesting to see their take on how to make it. From a quick Google it appears they did a cider a few years back, with the help of Cornish Orchards, called Press Gang. Though I assume this one is entirely their own thing and not another collaboration with Cornish Orchards.

This particular cider arrived in the post a little back and came packed with a glass (shame it’s a chalice like Stella Cidre!), beer mats and all the usual marketing info you could possibly wish for. It’s very professional/sleek looking and they do seem to be aiming at the market where a sleek product sells well. From a visual point of view they do look to be hitting the spot.

As with many ciders, there is a bit more info behind the naming, which goes as follows:

“To stand on the tip of Land’s End and look out towards the Isles of Scilly is to view the remains of a once thriving kingdom. It’s name was LYONESSE, a drowned land, lost forever beneath the restless tides beyond these windswept cliffs. It is said you can still hear the bells of the drowned city ringing out during rough seas.”

So there you have it, it’s named after a lost kingdom by Cornwall. There’s a bit of education for you. Down to the nitty gritty important things though, they do actually mention what apples they have used in this cider. Apparently this cider is on the drier side of medium, is from 100% pressed apples and has Yarlington Mill & Dabinett apples in the mix. They are a couple of my favourite cider apples for an SV cider, so fingers crossed it works with this one. I wonder if the apples are local or shipped in? Either way, it’s all sounding like it is talking the talk, as well as looking the part. The only disappointing thing to note from the outset is it only 5% ABV. There’s nothing wrong with a lower than normal ABV in a cider, it is just how did they get it down to that mark. Watered down? Back sweetened? Something else? I guess there’s only one way to find out how it tastes and that’s to just get on and do it!

This poured with very little carbonation, golden/amber in colour and smelled very farmyardy/rustic from the bottle. Once in the glass the funkiness from the farmyard smell seemed to virtually vanish and had a nice enough apple aroma remaining. I finally took in my first sip and there’s a fair bit of sweetness up front, which gradually gets a little drier and has a very smooth and easy drinking feel to it. Following on from that I am getting a moderate acidity that tingles the tongue, a little bitterness on the aftertaste and then it all just stops to a sudden halt. It feels like it is getting held back somewhere. Don’t get me wrong it does have a good feel to it with the taste of the Dabinett coming through initially, it’s just lacking a bit of punch to finish and a little sweeter than I was hoping for. I want the cider to take my mouth on an exciting ride it deserves. This is a drink that I can see going down well chilled on a summers day or even a session cider at that ABV %. It’s by no means a bad cider at all, but not quite up there with the best of them for me.

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

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

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