In the interest of science

It should have been a normal day, I arrived home from work just like any other, fed the cat and chilled out. At around 6pm Roger Moor knocked and we sat talking and drinking tea until he said do you fancy a cider? I think I said yes before he finished his sentence and so he trotted off and duly arrived back with 2 cans of Blackthorn dry cider. I opened one can and poured it into two glasses and then I said do you fancy a Bulmers? So we opened that one and poured it into two glasses. The difference between the two drinks was amazing. The Bulmer’s was fantastic and by comparison the Dry Blackthorn was disgusting. It was then we decided to do some taste testing.

We set off to the local Tescos and arrived back at Château Ghastanbury with 10 different types of cider and decided to record our comments about each one. So we sat down watching Nigella Lawson give us tips on cooking and drooled while faced with 12 different types of cider.

Here is our written commentary on those we tested.

1)    Bulmer’s original, 4.5%. Smelt wonderful, sweet taste very appley would buy again.

2)    Dry Blackthorn 5.5%. Smelt like gas mains, very sour chemically taste would not buy again.

3)    Frome valley 6% No chemical smell, flat, no alcoholic aftertaste. Refreshing on the palate, appley aftertaste. Very smooth but flat and expensive. Would not buy again

4)    Savanna 5.5% South African cider with a very fizzy head and a good nose. Not unpleasant but no cider taste and very sugary. Would not buy again.

It has to be noted that at this point our descriptions were becoming more flowery and we slipped effortlessly into Jilly Goulden mode.

5)    Aspinalls 7% English apples but from a French family based inSuffolk. Smelt of pears with almost a pear taste (perhaps it was Perry and labelled incorrectly?) Very smooth with a fizz that disappeared rapidly. Barrel matured which you could taste and almost no CO2. We reckoned it was best served at room temperature because it almost tasted like a wine. We would possibly buy this one again.

6)    Tesco’s finest oak conditioned.6.6% Light appley smell, sharp and very dry. Definitely oak conditioned. ( we had to spit the splinters out) This was more of a dining cider and best drank with food

7)    Henry Westons special vintage reserve 8.5% Nose was very appley with over tones of wood, flat but smooth and strong. Distinct appley aftertaste. We would both buy this again.

NB by now we had really got into the swing of things and were starting to take this really seriously with as much verve and endeavour as the scientists at the particle collider in Cern

8) Oakley’s original 4.5% Nose was very appley with a hint of chemicals. Nice colour and a very nice taste that was sweet with no unpleasant aftertaste. Not too gassy and 2nd so far to the Bulmer’s. We would definitely buy this one again

9) Gaymers 4.5% A very appley nose, which was sweet to taste and not too gassy. Tasted of apples and it was nectar in a glass. Almost as good as Bulmer’s. Would definitely buy again

10) Thatcher’s vintage 7.4% Nose was very appley. Medium dry and very smooth with no horrible aftertaste. Not too gassy and neither sweet nor bitter. We would buy this again.

NB After can no 10 each we were becoming completely shitfaced and having a wonderful time.

11) Thatchers katy 7.4%. Wonderful and we are too pissed to pass any criticism save for my comment of I could live on this stuff and RM’s comment of sex in a glass without having to stimulate a clit for 30 minutes. Would definitely buy this again.

12) Merrydown vintage 7.5% Nose very appley with a chemical taste. RM said it had smelt like Blackthorns but tasted closer to the Bulmer’s. We would both buy this again but only under duress. In fact this one divided the two of us so much we each had another can to confirm our original judgement on it however we still failed to agree.

With our entire stock depleted, I realised I had lost the pen and could not be bothered scrabbling about on the floor to find it again. RM staggered home and I crawled to bed. In hindsight we have come to realise that the strength of cider has no bearing upon its’ taste and while for most people this was just an excuse for a piss up to us it was all in the interest of science.


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