Bignose & Beardy Katy Oak SV Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Bignose & Beardy
Cider Name: Katy Oak SV
Region: Sussex
ABV: 5.6%
Taste: Medium
Served: 330ml bottle at room temperature
Smell: Fresh apples
Colour: Golden/Yellow
Clarity: Lightly cloudy
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

From: Bignose & Beardy
Date: 30/08/17

Blimey, it’s been a while again hasn’t it since my last review?!?! The year has been extremely event packed for me and I haven’t had a huge amount of time to dedicate to this blog, which I really should do. If there was more than 24 hours in a day then I would be able to write a little more often than I currently do! The ciders looking to kick-start that effort is a cracking trio that has arrived recently from Bignose & Beardy. The first of which is the Katy Oak SV.

Bignose & Beardy are named after their founders, Steve Stark (Beardy) and Phil Day
(Bignose), who make their cider from ancient orchards and private growers in and around the village of Framfield, East Sussex, where the duo are based. As with several smaller producers, the cider idea grew from a discussion down the local pub and they have been creating small batch cider for the past 3 years. Typically they produce around 7-8 small batches per year, of which the 3 I have been sent are the Katy Oak SV, Last Pear & A Bit of Omff. All this talking of making cider really should give me the kick up the arse for me to start my own too. But that’s probably a discussion for another day!

One thing to note for the packaging of these ciders is they are in the small brown 330ml stubby beer bottles. That’s probably the first time I’ve seen a cider in them before. I can’t say it’s either too much of a bad or good thing either way, but more of an observation more than anything. I guess the only disadvantage of them is you can’t see the colour of the cider inside the bottle. The description of the cider basically says that this is from a surplus of their 2015 crop of Katy apples, which they scrambled around to find somewhere to store it and found an old Spanish oak barrel to house it in. 20 months matured in an oak barrel? Sounds like we could well be onto a winner. I guess the proof will be in the pudding and it’s time I cracked it open and see what this cider is all about…

This poured a golden/yellow colour, absolutely still and has a fresh apple initial smell to it. You can definitely tell it’s not from a cider apple at the outset and has a faint wine-like aroma about it. I take in my first sip and you get a lightly sweet and tart/sourness feel up front, which then follows onto a more drying oaky aftertaste. As expected there is little tannins about it, but the rest of it feels spot on. That zingyness from the acidity is great, it’s not too sweet & has a quality oaky finish. Although it’s not necessarily my normal type of cider (i.e. I prefer mine a bit more dry/tannic), it has been done really well. Certainly very moreish and just a shame that it’s only a 330ml bottle!

Would I buy this again?: Yes
Overall Rating: 8/10

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

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