Monday, 25 February 2013

Cider Review #5: Falstaff (Sheppy's)

I've got a couple of single varietal ciders lined up from Sheppy's of Herefordshire, in addition to Dabinett which I reviewed previously. Let's see what Falstaff has to offer...  

Style: Medium-sweet / Western Counties / SV. 
Appearance: Straw coloured, very pale. 
Nose: Fresh and sweet smelling; a little marzipan, quite unique. 
Taste: Full of flavour; fresh and somewhat savoury (reminiscent of spongecake) fruitiness with a sharp/sour twist in the finish and little in the way of tannin. Very drinkable and not watery or thin in the slightest, despite the low-end ABV.
Mouthfeel: Medium.
Carbonation: Moderate to low.
ABV: 4%
What's in it?: Falstaff apples & sulphites.

Falstaff was borne in Kent in the 1960s as a cross between Golden Delicious (a dessert apple) and James Grieve (a cooking apple). The variety has also produced a naturally selected 'brother' known as Red Falstaff and has itself been crossed with Cox's Orange Pippin to produce Meridian, released in 2000. But enough of geneology, here we have a west county producer making a cider without a cider apple in sight; just goes to show there are always exceptions! I think the taste is spot on; a mix of acidic cooking apple combined with a sweet dessert flavour. 

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