Kingstone Press Classic Apple Cider

You might have heard accusations that food brands produce lower quality products for the Eastern European market. It looks that cider produced for the UK market and for the Czech market has different information on the label. Kingstone Press Classic Apple Cider made for the Czech market contains two potentially harmful azo dyes, a strawberry red azo dye, Ponceau 4R (E124), which is permitted for use in Europe, but banned in the US, and tartrazine (E102), a yellow azo dye. On the label of the same cider that I tried in Berlin, apparently produced for the UK market, no information about food colourings or any other additives can be found. Or maybe the producer wants to hide this information from the UK consumers? For both labels see below.

Czech Label: picture below is courtesy of A Dost!Bildschirmfoto 2017-08-09 um 12.22.04.png

UK Label:img_7287-1.jpgToday’s review is on the Kingstone Press Classic Apple Cider, which was awarded Bronze from the International Cider Challange 2017 and is one of the cheapest ciders in the UK, only 1 GBP in retail.img_7289.jpg

Company: Aston Manor Cider
Place of Origin: Aston Manor Cider Mill Stourport on Severn, Worcestershire, UK
Apples: a blend of Dabinett and Michelin with juice from eating apples
Sweetness as per label: medium dry
ABV: 5.3%
Package type: 500ml  clear glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass
Appearance: pours a clear golden with no foam. Carbonation and body are low.
Aroma/Nose: the scent is dominated by matches-like sulphur with notes of fermented red ripe apples and caramel in the background.
Taste: the initial taste has a caramel-like sweetness with low to medium lemon-like acidity and a note of matches-like sulphur. This flavour is perceivable throughout the whole sip, which is not particularly pleasant. The mid-palate has a flavour of red apples and apple skins, and again sulphur. In the aftertaste, besides the disturbing note of sulphur, notes of red apples with gentle astringency.
Overall: the matches-like sulphur taste dominates and kills this cider. It’s really sad, cause in the background you can taste a quite nice and drinkable cider. If one could remove this unpleasant sulphur note it would make a drinkable pour. But due to this unpleasant flavour, I’m not going to buy it again. Also, because I don’t trust the company anymore and I refuse to consume health threatening compounds. 2.5/6
Availability: widely available in the UK, e.g. from Groceries Iceland. In Slovakia from in Slovakia. In Germany through Michelle’s Specialities or
Price: paid 6 EUR in The Castle Berlin. After I learned how much a bottle costs in the UK I feel the price in Berlin is too high.