Thursday, 21 February 2013

Cider Review #3: Kingston Black (Gwatkin)

My first cider from Gwatkin, a smallish, independent family producer with a farm & orchard in Herefordshire.

Style: Dry / Western Counties / SV.
Appearance: Burnished gold colour.
Nose: Pungent, ripe apples.
Taste: Dry is the word for this cider! It lacks the juicy sweetness that so often comes with dry ciders, even though they are supposed to be dry! So on that basis it must be applauded. The dryness almost makes it feel a little thin or lightweight, but tannin is prevalent from the start as is a mild acidity which helps to balance the cider to a degree but not exactly pad it out. There's also a distinctive, very dry finish which ends all of a sudden and the only trace of having tasted this cider is a little grip in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Mid to light for reasons mentioned.
Carbonation: Vigorous but not OTT.
ABV: 7%
What's in it?: Kingston Black apples and sulphites.

Kingston Black is a mild, bittersharp variety of cider apple regarded as having 'vintage quality', a rather nebulous term linked, from what I gather, to how well the cider will age (usually in oak). In addition to this 'definition' I think a vintage quality cider apple is one regarded as being able to carry an SV cider, i.e. a variety that has every aspect (tannin + acidity + sweetness) necessary to produce a good SV. This is analogous to the situation with wine where you have certain varieties of grape, e.g. Nebbiolo (of Barolo and Barbaresco) and Sangiovese (of Chianti), that produce wines well suited to (and that often improve with) ageing and that are more than capable of producing quality SVs precluding the need to blend.

As for this particular cider, well I wouldn't say its particularly well-rounded but then again its a single varietal so should be judged more on how well it represents the variety if you ask me, and less on how drinkable you may find it. After all, there are people who love their sharp, bitter ciders and there are those who like sweet, juicy ones. This will appeal to the former demographic but more importantly will give everyone an accurate taste of what Kingston Black is all about.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...