jamie goode's wine blog: Not wine, but beer and cider

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Not wine, but beer and cider

Not wine, but beer and cider. Research for a Sunday Express column - these four got in. There are lots and lots of good ciders and beers out there, and they're all very affordable, too - unlike wine, you don't pay an awful lot more for the best beer or cider than you do for the worst.

Henney’s Vintage Still Cider
Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, 6.5% alcohol
Yellow gold in colour, this still cider is appley and intense, with real depth of flavour. It tastes of late summer, with notes of apricots, herbs and apple crumble, and is the sort of cider you could serve with food. 8/10

Gaymer’s Somerset Medium Dry Cider
Tesco, 5.8% alcohol
Orange gold, with just a little bit of fizziness. This is a fresh style of cider, with tangy, pleasantly bitter apple character and a hint of sweetness that rounds out the palate. Just a hint of tannin, too. 7.5/10

Wells Bombardier Burning Gold Ale
(Tesco, 4.7% alcohol)
Zesty and crisp, this is a golden coloured beer with pleasantly bitter, hoppy notes adding complexity and making it really food friendly. I’m even getting some lemon and orange peel notes. 8/10

Brakespear Triple Bottle Conditioned Ale
(£1.99 Sainsbury’s, Booths, Asda, Co-op, 7.2% alcohol)
A rich, complex, malty, toffeed beer with warm fudgey flavours kept fresh by some bitter hoppiness. There’s great balance here between the richness and the freshness. Quite special. 8.5/10

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At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is 8/10 the equivalent of 80/100 that you give your wines?
'cos if it is i feel rather underwhelmed by the ciders already!

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

For beer and cider I quite like a 10 point scale. Might be good for wine also - it's just that the 100 point scale tilted towards the top end is now standard for wine.

With the 10 point scale, 5/10 is averagely good, 6/10 quite nice, 7/10 pretty good, 8/10 really impressive (say, 90/100 on the 100 point scale), 9/10 almost perfect, and 10/10 utterly ethereal, once in a lifetime experience.

At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

100-point scale doesn't work for wine - especially when every wine scores between 75 and 90.

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Wine Splodge said...

Point scoring aside, I agree, the Henney's is a very good cider.
If you can find any I'd really recommend trying Wernddu's in Monmouthshire. A weird label but an incredibly complex drink. Hard to believe it's made from apples. They also make an exceptional perry from a very rare variety of pear. I got it from their stall at Abergavenny market, but they may ship.


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