Waddle Goose cyder ” Refreshingly free from a backstory. Natural and fruity, with a noticeable tang though” -(7.5/10).

Packaging

With a dark bottle, and bright striking white with orange pattern, you could easily be fooled by the ciders exuberant exterior. It shouts more of the Churchwards’ cider which was pretending to be something it wasn’t, than the Sxollie which attempts to be hip. This isn’t typically a negative, as packaging appropriate to it’s target audience is what every drink should aim for. Whether this is an appropriate to the drink or not.

In this case though, it doesn’t really reassure you. It’s an Aspalls cider. One of the many drinks descended from the 1728 est. factory near Debenham. A rural suffolk town. This historically has upheld various traditions. One would be to illustrate how the cider fits into it’s history, or stick to one colour per cider product showing discrete clarity. It could even be, to possess a bottle shape resembling that of a champagne-like form, most other aspalls bottles have done this since 1930. This was part of their history to create a “Special drink” like champagne itself. If you ask me it is also one of the main USP’s of Aspalls.

At first glance then, it seems rather disappointing. The bottle is shaped like that of Evian, or another dull tasting, or indistinctive product.

At £1.60 for the bottle from Waitrose, and 4.6% ABV, this means you’d have to fork out £3.20 to be just over the recommended “do not regularly exceed” limit of 3-4 units per adult man daily. This would put you at 4.6 units …

Not the cheapest then either … You do get 500ml though, which isn’t a bad capacity.

It mentions how it takes a fresh approach to Apple selection. Not using Worcester spartan or Cox, yet favouring others such as Gala and Zari. With Royal Gala being a sweet eating apple, I wondered if the cider would be nice and sweet.
Mouth-wateringly crisp and flavoursome were 2 of the traits said to be apparent on the blurb. There is nothing else though, except the announcement of ” refreshment deserves a refresh”.

Why not improve and develop rather than overhaul to refresh with a new product though. The history, bottle shape and light flavour is what made aspalls unique in my mind. This didn’t mention any of that. The motto then seems to be forget and move on , rather than refresh, which I didn’t yet, having not tasted the drink, agree with.

We shall see …

 

Smell

The smell was natural and not synthetic. Not especially potent however, and quite ephemeral. I would suggest that it is a product which hasn’t the addition of unnecessary chemicals though. It quickly fades away, and not much of a fizzy head emerges, suggesting light carbonation. Not an unpleasant smell though, which entices you in to the first sip.

Taste

On first sip, the limited carbonation is clear. The fruitiness is also present in the flavour. It is a pleasant, slightly sharp, appley flavour which goes quickly, and leaves your mouth feeling rough. There is no bitter aftertaste and no real aftertaste at all. It does leave a strong crater of dryness however. The flavour doesn’t seem especially complex, and isn’t overly warming. It is pleasant though, almost resembling a refreshing green eating apple.

This is by far the best thing about the drink…

The pleasant flavour, complemented by refreshing tang from the apples perfect level of acidity. Except for dryness though, there isn’t much to get excited about. The complexity and backstory of some ciders make them stand out. I want a story about nature, or an orchard, and then could possibly get more excited about this.

The element of sweetness is disguised by the natural Appley flavour, which does develop well through drinking. I feel the lack of noticeable sweetness is not much of an issue therefore. The flavour doesn’t have an aftertaste and dies fairly quickly which is a shame though. A little more carbonation may have helped this.

 

Summary

A pleasant dry cider which isn’t described in any way on the packaging. The drink is subtle and pleasant yet nothing too spectacular. Light carbonation, yet fading away quickly along with the enjoyment.

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