It’s sweeter than you’d think, and that’s on the other side of medium-sweet. It’s strong too, at 8.2% - you couldn’t sink too many of these, unless there were a bed or nice hay bale nearby.
I’m a big fan of Aspall’s ciders so I looked forward to sampling this one.
It’s light gold in colour with a shimmer of bronze haze. It’s punchy, sour, fruity and very earthy. It’s quite acidic, a tad too much for my palate with a slightly bitter aftertaste - but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it makes it taste like an authentic ‘farmyard’ sparkling cider.
It’s very sharp in taste and my expectation was that it would be a bit smoother like Henry Weston’s Vintage (also 8.2%).
I had this cider after a long day pressing apples in the garden (making my own annual cider) and would say it’s best enjoyed alone.
I’d give it 5/5 but it’s not as smooth as I’d like from a premium cider such as this one and therefore it’s a solid and worthy 4/5. Some will give it 5/5 I’m sure as it certainly doesn’t deserve a 3/5. Would buy again with the intention of knowing I’m drinking it alone, without a snack - and very chilled.
Amber-coloured, with a rich, fruity aroma, and a syrupy character.
The flavour is rich and tangy, with complex tones of tea, raisins, and toffee, and marked bitterness in the aftertaste.
This inspires thoughts of winter nights by the stove, perhaps with a strong cheese and oatcakes. Too rich and alcoholic to have more than a couple, but a good drink in moderation.
Different from the black label cider of the same name and ABV, oddly enough. This one has more bitterness, more alcohol burn, less tannins, no oak notes, slightly less sweetness, and less richness. Overall I really like it, but it doesn't come close to the black label version of Imperial, which is one of my all time favorite ciders.
My best guess is the blue label replaced the black label, but its tough to tell. If I can't find the black label one again I'll be disappointed.