I see that Westons do a cider that's been conditioned in bourbon barrels, if it's as good as the Thatchers rum barrel, I'll have some. Although as it's a whopping 8.3% it deserves a bit more respect than I gave the Aspalls.
Oh, and if anyone is drinking any cider tonight, they may like to raise a toast to the success of the mighty Hereford United who face Aldershot (away) in the first leg of their bid to get out of the Conference and into the Football League proper (again). If you sip slowly and say "Ronnie Radford" a few times, that should work.
Strictly in the interests of scientific research, myself and Biro tasted a few ciders last night. We tried a bottle of Aspall's dry cider. This was different to the draught stuff on offer in the Bridge House, it has a dryish finish with an aroma of bruised apple skins. This was followed by the previously mentioned, Thatcher's rum barrel conditioned cider. This stuff is extraordinary, with notes of apples, demerara sugar and rum. It's sweet, but not cloyingly so. Next up were two items from Waitrose: Black Fox had a real smell and taste of orchards, its tannins provided a clean, dry finish and was very refreshing; then came the star of the show, a perry. It's not that Dunkerton's organic perry was any better than the rest, it's got to be the star simply because of its rarity. It wasn't strongly ‘peary' but it was very elegant, light on the nose and quite rich tasting. Gewurztraminer sprang to mind. It's worth a boat trip to Waitrose if only to get a bottle of this. I shall see if Ivanhoe or The Unladylike Ms. Jo might sail me there. Finally an oddity from Weston's: Cider With Ginger. Very light at 3.3%, but with a clean, zingy taste, Cider With Ginger (it also contains lemon and orange juice) would be good for picnics, barbecues, invalids and young children. All of the above were served with some truly great pork from Ashby's of Crimscott Street, with musical accompaniment from Biro's enormous and eclectic gramophone record collection, I was particularly taken with the recording of the mammoth carousel organ. These were a very small sample of what's on offer in the supermarkets, there is obviously a market for this stuff, so why don't pubs sell it?
Tharg, I feel touched to have appeared in your wishlist - well, either me or a piece of clothing you were after...So even though I don't often drink cider I hope to sneak along for the next cider drinkers event...