Beard & Sabre Bubbly Shipment Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Beard & Sabre
Cider Name: Bubbly Shipment
Region: Gloucestershire
ABV: 5.5%
Taste: Dry
Served: 330ml bottle at room temperature
Smell: Wine-like/Tart Apples
Colour: Yellow/Straw
Clarity: Lightly cloudy
Carbonation: Light natural fizz

Review/Tasting Notes:

From: Beard & Sabre
Date: 11/02/16

Good evening all and welcome back to my cider reviews. Remember me? I know, I know, it’s been over 6 months since my last review, but it’s good to be back. Unfortunately life got in the way before with the reviewing side of things, but thankfully I’m back now to do this a bit more regularly. Up first tonight is a new kid on the block in the cider world in the form of a Bubbly Shipment from Beard & Sabre.

Beard & Sabre are based up in Cirencester, Gloucestershire and have been in the cider business for less than a year now. The story seems to be that Tom left the Navy to follow his dream of making cider/being his own boss (with the help of his friend Angus) and 6 months later they have their cider out and about for the whole world to try. Fair play to him for having the balls to do it. It’s certainly been something that’s always on my mind to try and do. One day hopefully I will!

The cider itself is made, stored and fermented on an industrial estate in Cirencester, but that is about as industrial as it gets. This stuff is made the honest way with apples being picked, milled, pressed and left to ferment in IBC tanks. A good honest approach and just the way it should be. As their website states, it’s all 100% juice with no rehydration/concentrate or any forced carbonation.

The Bubbly Shipment cider I will be trying today is their dry bottle-conditioned version of their flagship ‘Apple Smuggler’ cider. From what I gather, the apples involved in this particular cider is a blend of the Somerset Redstreak, Bramleys Seedlings and Tremletts Bitter apples. That means it will be a blend of bittersweet & sharp apples. On paper it sounds like it should be a decent tipple, but as they say the proof is in the pudding. Lets go crack this open and see what it has to offer…..

This poured a yellowy straw colour and what at first seemed like no fizz at all actually turned into a glass of bubbles. Not a stream of forced carbonated bubbles, but just ones that seem to sit there for ages and slowly rise ages later. I take in my first whiff of the glass and I’m getting a wine-like smell, with a tartness of apples coming through. It smells a little more Eastern style than West Country, but still has a good aroma nonetheless.

Onto the main bit now – the taste! I slowly take a sip and I initially get a lightly sweet and sharp/acidic apple taste in the forefront of my mouth, which slowly gets more dry as the taste goes on. Tannins is mild to moderate but subtly there in the background. It’s one of those that seems to be a grower for me. The main characteristics I see with this one is its tartness and ability to slowly dry your mouth out with the more you have. You could even liken it slightly to an Apfelwein too in the style it is. For me personally, I would prefer there to be a little more bitterness going on in the mix than there is at present and maybe I just miss an oak cask finish too in a cider.

Overall, it’s an easy-drinking tart cider, which I’d happily have a bottle of. I’m not sure it’s something I’d have a session on, but that’s probably more of a personal preference thing.

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

Disclaimer: This was a free sample from Beard & Sabre, however this had no bearing on my review of this cider.

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