Hello guys, sorry for the brief delay in this reviews’ publication. illhealth has contributed to my taste being off a little before. Since the cold has persisted I’ll continue to publish with the disclaimer of “I’m ill” to establish a more accurate review at a later date when I am no longer ill.

Stan’s Barrel Roller review ” Strong flavour with lasting bitterness, yet balance couldn’t bring tang, fizziness or any real dryness to the fray”- (7.0/10). ( cold virus present when sampling).

The Good

” Light and smooth smell”.
” Medium mouthfeel”.
” Some natural sweetness”.
” Long lasting aftertaste”.
” Nice branding and can”.
” Practical alcohol level”.

The Bad

” No unique selling point”.
” Acidity not balanced with bitterness”.
” Lacking tang”.
” Carbonation limited”.
” Hardly dry at all”.
“Pricey”.
” Sickly sweet aftertaste developing”.

Packaging

Stan’s barrel roller is a 330ml can, setting you back £1.50 from Sainsbury’s. It has the same price as its younger brother “Stan’s Leaf twister”. A weaker cider with different packaging colours. It was rather mediocre as a drink, so I’m hoping for a little more excitement here. Perhaps the barrel rollers’ spritely name will help, or possibly the higher 6% ABV, than the 5 of Leaf twister. Stan’s barrel roller would set you back £3, to hit 4 units from 2 cans. This is exactly the same price as it’s brother, which means a rather pricey can, compared to others like Thatchers Haze.

The Barrel roller includes more bitter sounding apple varieties than leaf Twister. With Tremlett’s bitter apples replacing the “so called peppery”, Red-streak apples. Either way, I’ll be hoping for a smooth drink, with moderate sparkle. An expectation based on the websites’ description. medium-dryness balanced with sweetness, based on the sites’ dry-side-ometer, will also be anticipated. I wouldn’t expect much from dryness, tang, or aftertaste, though.

Thankfully, this cans branding seems different, since unlike Leaf Twister, the name “Barrel roller”, sounds more like a cider instilling excitement in pub-goers . With better colour blending such as red on wood pattern, on the can, I prefer the look here too. It is good how both Stan’s drinks name the apple varieties used, unlike many others. ( For more extensive history of Stan Thatcher – see Leaf Twister review on my blog).

I am hoping for Medium carbonation, Natural and fruity tang, Medium-dryness, with natural sweetness. Let’s hope it beats the Leaf Twister.
Smell

On opening, a small pond of bubbles swelled inside the can. They supplied a light, yet smooth, naturally fruity waft. This was delicate and ephemeral, quickly cutting off in aroma.

Taste

On first sip, a notable bitterness emerged, as to be expected from Tremlett’s bitter apples. Carbonation felt light, and mouthfeel was medium. Tang certainly wasn’t star of the show, as much as I longed for it to balance with bitterness. It was quickly overshadowed. After each sip, the flavour persisted as a bitter aftertaste.

I wanted to swallow, after taking subsequent sips, which made me suspect some level of dryness. This didn’t become easily noticeable throughout though, since bitterness continued as star of the show. It was nice to have a drink with a lasting aftertaste, one that maintained a degree of natural sweetness. This sweetness developed to slightly sickly levels throughout the can, which was frustrating. This was because it showed that if it was better balanced with bitterness, it may have lead to a better rounded drinking experience.

The sweetness was a little watery, and again was hard to spot with the dryness. The drinking experience wasn’t smooth as promised, since the bitter aftertaste left a rather harsh flavour on my tongue.

It seems the drink didn’t have much of a unique trait, except slightly overwhelming bitterness. The apples provided a natural sweetness, but failed to balance the bitter taste and aftertaste, with much dryness or carbonation. Where is the tang ? Overall a good try, but nothing to write home about.

Summary

A prolonged flavour, with aftertaste of bitter apple. Not much in the way of dryness or tang to balance this. The mouthfeel was medium, although limited sweetness made it seem a little watery. Carbonation was too light for my taste. It was quite mediocre like it’s brother, yet would appeal most to the bold palette, of the two.

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