Sheppy’s Falstaff

Sheppy’s, a cider maker from Somerset, usually blends typical cider apple varieties with eating apples. But cider I am sampling today is a single varietal cider made only from Falstaff. Falstaff is an eating apple, which was developed by the East Malling Research, UK in 1965 and is claimed to be popular in the UK. This apple cultivar is a hybrid of Golden Delicious, and James Grieve producing crisp, sweet and juicy red apples. Previously I’ve tried their Somerset Traditional Cider and Somerset Oak Matured Vintage 2015, both created for Marks &  and their Dabinett.Company: Sheppy’s
Place of Origin: 
Taunton, Somerset, UK
single varietal, made from Falstaff
Sweetness as per label: 
medium sweet
Package type:
500ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass:
pint glass, snifter or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with no head. Lightly sparkling. Also, the body is light.

Aroma/Nose: smells of sulphur, lots of it. Other notes include sweet red apples with red apple skins, pears and elderflower. Rather unpleasant due to dominating sulfur notes.

Taste: it begins sweet but less sweet than I would expect from a medium sweet cider.  Tastes little watery with low to medium lemon-like acidity. Notes of red apples with a light smoky taste on the mid-palate. In the aftertaste, I pick up a gentle astringent taste, a note of red apples with a touch of bitterness.

Overall: Briefly, Sheppy’s Falstaff tastes like a slightly watery fizzy apple lemonade. I would say that it tasted just average. Perhaps because Falstaff is an eating apple, not a cider apple, but I have had many ciders made from eating apples, which tasted far much better than the Falstaff. And, this unpleasant note of sulphur appearing once you open the bottle. Like matches. Summarizing, if you want your cider on the light and lemonade side, this cider is for you. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend Sheppy’s Falstaff. 2.5/6 

Availability: very broad. In the UK from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s or Booth’s, online from Beers of Europe, eebria, dike and son, Beer Ritz. In Germany online from ciderhofbanneke, gourvinodrinks of the world, Weinkontor Goldene Krone. Locally in Karstadt, Getränke Hoffman, Galeria Kaufhof or Kadewe.

Price: purchased locally in Berlin from Getränke Hoffman at 2.99 EUR.