Cider Name: Killer Sharp Sour Cider
Served: 500ml bottle at room temperature
Smell: Sour apples
Carbonation: Lightly sparkling
It’s been a while folks, but thankfully I have got a little time on my hands to get down to reviewing some cider again. In the past few weeks I received a pleasant surprise in the post of 2 brand spanking new ciders from Hogan’s. These were the Killer Sharp cider and a keeved cider called French Revelation. Up first today is the Killer Sharp cider.
With a name like Killer Sharp, it just had to be the first of the 2 ciders that I had to try. Firstly as I am not a huge fan of sweeter ciders and secondly I have always loved a cider with a sour/sharp edge to it, just like you get with an apfelwein or a good sidra. That’s not to say it’s my favourite style of cider, but it is certainly one I can enjoy.
One thing I notice and really appreciate when looking at the bottle is the actual honesty about the guys. It gives a good description of what you should expect, but most importantly it has an ingredients list! Got to love the honesty of the guys. The ingredients include the following: English Cider Apple Juice, Water, Sugar, CO2, Malic Acid & Sulphites. Nothing really out of the ordinary, but it’s good and reassuring to know what you are actually getting. A good few other producers should take note and follow suit!
Killer Sharp looks to be one of the ciders in Hogan’s ‘Innovation’ blends collection. These range from keeved ciders to even a cider blended with hops. I guess it’s similar to what I see/hear they are doing across the pond in trying out new things and seeing what works. This one in particular looks to have been fermented with a Brett Yeast, which apparently is what they usually use in Lambic beer brewing. I can’t say I am a huge beer fan, or even know about Lambic beer, but from a quick trip on Wikipedia it seems to suggest it gives it a dry and sour aftertaste to it. Sounds intriguing from the description, but will it actually be a decent cider? You guessed it people, that makes it cider drinking time…
This poured with a lively head, which settled down fairly quickly, and was a lovely golden colour. The initial smell was kinda like the sour apple sweets you had as a kid. Interesting to say the least, though not what you’d expect from a usual UK cider.
I take in my first sip and you get a lightly sweet apple taste up front, which then turns more sour as it goes on. There is a fair amount sourness/acidity going on here and has very little bitterness to it, but does have a lightly drying taste as you go on with this. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted and you would need to like a tangy/sour twist to your cider to really enjoy it. I can certainly see a resemblance to an apfelwein/sidra.
This cider is one that has happily grown on me as the pint has gone on, as I was sitting on the fence to begin with. Though I’d prefer if it was a bit more tannic than it currently is. It’s one that could certainly be a bit marmite with people – You either love or hate it. I personally enjoyed it, but wouldn’t necessarily pick it over my favourite West Country ciders.
Would I buy this again?: Yes
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Disclaimer: This was a free sample from Hogan’s, however this had no bearing on my review of this cider.