Wednesday, 26 May 2010


I'm beginning to get the idea now. Slightly cloudy, often still, appley (I know that sounds obvious, but have you ever tasted Strongbow?), and hiding plenty of booze behind a silky exterior. Welcome to the world of scrumpy cider.

Scrumpy in general refers to traditional ciders made in the south and west of England, taking in Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. This one in particular, Scrumpy Cloudy Cider (7.5% abv), came from Herefordshire-based Westons, and was consumed very appropriately in an authentic Herefordshire garden (pictured above). Worryingly, the brew appeared to resemble fellow Westons scrumpy Old Rosie, responsible some years ago for what I remain convinced was the worst apple-based hangover ever to be endured by man. Nevertheless, I pushed on, in the national interest.

The label on our flagon of Scrumpy Cloudy - "matured in old oak vats for a full and fruity flavour" - recommended tilting the bottle here and there to disrupt the sediment for a properly cloudy experience. The liquid was dark orange in colour, with aromas of smoky apple and wood, while the taste was fizz-less, with a medium-dry tartness giving way to a sweeter finish.

The day was especially hot, so some of us put ice in the cider to help it down. Like Old Rosie it was deceptively boozy - apple juice with a rather agressive edge, but fortunately this time I was able to recognise when it began to tighten its grip on my person, and after a couple of glasses I knew it was time to move onto the vodka.


  1. "Ice in the cider" - of course you did!

  2. And two large gins...