Capel road cider can (blend No 5) review ( 8.5/10)
” Cheap as dirt and as mature as a dining experience.”
” Very appealing tang … Probably the best acidity and body I have tasted. “
” Modest carbonation and dryness which is great.”
” Not a gassy drink and practical since 2 cans puts you within recommended limits.”
” The branding suggests a dry cider which is complex.”
” It is packaged in a pathetic silver can.”
” Not enough fruitiness, sweetness, or quite enough carbonation for my taste”.
At a glance, the silver steel can resembles a can of Pepsi. Nothing which shouts good quality. With the 50p price tag, it leaves you expecting a cheap and watery drink with perhaps a little added sugar.
It does not tempt you to purchase except merely out of curiosity. I was inquisitive and despite low expectations went for the purchase after reading the name “Westons” on the can.
Those of you who are familiar with my recent reviews will know that many of them are focused on varieties of cider such as westons’ which is produced in Ledbury in Herefordshire. The hand writing was fancy and not what you would expect from a commercially “cheap” product.
The slogan is “refreshingly complex” again temping the ” really !!” eye roll.
In terms of the product details then Number 5 appears from the website to be one of 2 blends and the weaker of the 2. The number, on reading, refers to the generation from which the cider was produced. The other named Number 3 appears to be the more ostentatious cousin with a vibrant, yellow outer shell to the can.
Dry, complex and tangy are boasted as attributes of number 5 all from just 5 percent alcohol. It also claims to be the first UK canned craft cider. With it’s 330ml capacity and just 1.7 units per can you can’t help but wonder what all the fuss is about.
On the can it mentions how it has been matured for 18 months in oak and stainless steel. This is good as research suggests this adds antioxidant chemicals called poly phenolics such as methyl-guaiacol which help protect again free radical damage. This is probably not the reason why this is labelled however. It also purportedly has been produced using the best yeast and bittersweet apple juice. It seems simply confusing to have a clearly mature cider packaged in a can and offered very cheaply. Kind of like putting a Tesco finest cookie in a value range packet.
That said it needs some credit for helping you to the recommended limit range from just 2, 50p cans making it amazingly practical. I would recommend chilling then pouring into a glass though, before drinking.
Expectations then were lacking. I didn’t know how to feel about it. It did one key thing though which many bottled ciders previously have not. It defied convention …
On opening, an abrupt snap was apparent before froth began to enthusiastically emerge across the cans’ surface.
On smelling, a steady and heavily fruity, warming scent met my nose. It was highly appley in a very natural way which made a refreshing change from many of the acid smelling varieties without an impression of fruit. It lead me to anticipate an almost Rekorderlig-like, sweet and carbonated Apple-ade drinking experience.
On the first sip the main thing which was noticeable was a tangy acidic impression. This was highly appealing as it lingered on my tongue remaining into the aftertaste. On swirling, the carbonation was not highly apparent and was therefore perhaps too subtle .
The cider after a few sips remained consistent and true and the taste experience did not seem to adapt or develop from first impressions.
Like the label suggested it was full bodied and the subtle level of carbonation seemed adequate due to the prominence of the tang. Unlike some Westons’ ciders, namely Jonathan Blair vintage 2015 it did not have any real dryness to the aftertaste.
I wouldn’t describe it as an especially moist cider although it certainly wasn’t “dry” as advertised. At best it could potentially get away with calling itself a medium dry yet even this is a bold claim in comparison to many others I have tried. It also was not as sweet as I would like.
Overall this was a highly pleasant cider to drink. The dryness was perfect for my palette. The smell was pleasant and fruity. The cider was very tangy and not gassy. The aftertaste was clear and smooth and the drink was not watery. It wasn’t complex or dry however and didn’t have the sweetness it should. For the price it was great value and deserves to shout more than with a cheap looking, 330ml can.
In summary, a very nice drink which whilst understated did itself no favours due to poor branding. Great price …
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