By coincident, during my visit to Wroclaw I have learned that Marks & Spencer stocks a few bottles of cider. Surprisingly, such cider brands as Sheppy’s, Westons or Guillet Freres produce cider for Marks & Spencer. Time to find out how they may taste like!
Place of Origin: Taunton, Somerset, UK
Apples: a blend of traditional bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples varieties such as Yarlington Mill, Chisel Jersey, Stoke Red, Tremlett’s Bitter and Coate’s Jersey.
Sweetness as per label: medium
Package type: 500ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass, snifter or white wine glass
Ingredients: apple juice, water, sugar, carbon dioxide, malic acid, sulphites, yeast.
Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with no head. Body is light. Carbonation is artificial.
Aroma/Nose: smells of beeswax with notes of leather, ripe red and fermented apples. Very tannic. The scent is dry nice and extremely inviting.
Taste: it starts moderately sweet with light to moderate acidity (you can taste that malic acid was added) and a watery taste. The mid-palate is pleasant with ripe red apples and smoked cheese. The finish is dry with a light bitter taste and a touch of tart apples.
Overall: Beautiful, as a matter of fact hypnotizing, scent of quite funky proper cider notes invites you to take the first sip. But the moment you tried it you regret you didn’t stop there. This cider is a profanity! On the spot you can say that a really decent cider made from cider apples was mixed with articial and completely unnecessary ingredients, which make this cider almost undrinkable. I feel really sorry for the cider maker, who sold his soul to Marks&Spencer as the addition of malic acid just killed this cider. Perhaps I am a cider purist and sensitive to all sorts of ‘improvements’ with synthetic ingredients as my friend who shared the bottle with me gave the Somerset Traditional 4 out of 6. I will not be that generous. Why, the hell, did you have to spoil such a good cider? 2.5/6
Availability: online and locally from Marks & Spencer
Price: purchased from Marks&Spencer in Wroclaw, Poland at 12 PLN (2.85 EUR)