Burning Excess Vacation Days Cider Fest   Leave a comment

aspall dry suffolk cyder

The employee holiday year ends 30th September and I still have four weeks of vacation and a Bank Holiday to take, so I’m doing a few long weekends and then a couple of whole weeks; but I can’t really afford whole weeks away so we have been doing day trips to nearby attractions (e.g., Gloucester Cathedral and the nearby Dockyards development and Food Festival).  But, the extra time at home means idle hands which I have filled with popular, but not especially challenging, ciders for the past few days (as an exploration for my uninitiated palate).

aspall dry suffolk cyder label

First up was Aspall’s Cyder from Suffolk.  I was already familiar with Aspall’s from our time in East Anglia but the ciders I have tried before were spelled the traditional way and were fairly run-of-the-mill.  Cyder with a ‘y,’ however indicates single variety fruit AND the first pressing of the fruit–it is sort of the difference between extra virgin olive oil and the stuff only fit for frying or using in the bedroom (don’t judge me).  This cyder was crisp and dry and had a depth and range of apple flavours that changed — but didn’t diminish — as the glass warmed over the next half hour or so.

bulmers pear

Pear ciders or perries have become my favourite warm weather tipple, lately.  Mind you, when it is truly hot nothing beats a cheap lager (I’m really partial to Old Style and PBR back home), but when it isn’t too viscous and/or sweet and the lightly malic acid goodness of the fruit can clear away the residual flavours of sip just taken NOTHING refreshes quite like a perry.  Surprisingly, Bulmer’s is pretty good as these go; I reckoned that as cheap as you can get this on special deals it was going to be more suited to cooking than drinking but since this bottle went into the recycle bin I have purchased a fridge full of Bulmer’s.

bulmers cider 1

The Bulmers apple, on the other hand was viscous but still pretty tasty; like a lot of these it would be better on ice.  Searching for an opener I finally found a good use for a race-finishing medal.

Stella lager has a reputation as a yob beer so I didn’t have high hopes for the ciders which they insist on spelling ‘cidre.’  The pear cider was particularly good on this past hot weekend, though.  The colour was pleasant and the flavour of pears predominated.

stella pear cider 2

Both Magner’s (the pear cider is reviewed below) I tried were a bit syrupy and are more suited to serving on ice than any of the other bottles.

magner's cider 3

The weekend wound down and we settled into some telly by way of documentaries, one about Paul Simon and another about Rod Stewart.  The Stella apple was a good companion drink for these–not too sweet and it actually matured as it warmed.

stella cider 4

Nightcap after television found the Magner’s pear last in the fridge.  Better than the Magner’s apple, I think there are better choices…that’s right, you just read me giving advice on ‘better choices.’  Too many ciders…too many….

magner's pear cider 5

Posted 2013/07/24 by Drunken Bunny in beer reviews, running, tourism

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