Henney’s Dry cider review ( Cold virus present when sampling) – “Where is the dryness please ? !! Developing character, with unique metallic elements.”- (8.75/10).
Welcome to my second Henney’s review. 2 of 4, sampled and proofread. With a cold still unfortunately.

The Good

“Natural and fruity smell”.
“Very characterful and well balanced”.
” Warming woody element”.
“Medium-bodied”.
” Pleasant natural sweetness”.
” Light carbonation as promised”.
” Lasting sweet aftertaste”.
” Practical price-point”.
” Quite unique taste nuances”.
” Pleasant aftertaste”.
” Reasonable cost”.

The Bad

” Limited tang”.
” Weak bottle design”.
” Slightly too bitter for my taste”.
” No dryness ?? “.
” Carbonation too subtle”.

Packaging

It has been just over a year since my first Henney’s review was written. I summarised the “Vintage” as boring, yet warming. Today, it is the turn of product 2 from the 4 product range, offered by Henney’s . This is the “Dry” cider. One described on Henney’s official website as their “best seller”.

Not living up to expectations previously, I am hoping this time around, that this relatively new cider producer from Herefordshire, delivers. The county is at the heart of England when it comes to cider production. In fact, it supposedly produces over 50% of all cider produced throughout the entire UK. The countryside and wet weather, make this region lush and green. With natural rugged hills, it creates a lovely setting to enjoy the ciders produced there. I have also uncovered some real gems from the Weston’s factory, near Ledbury. With the scenic, inspiring views, this is no surprise.

As for Henney’s, Mike Henney, began making cider as a hobby from home. One that escalated from his airing cupboard, to industrial scale production. This story of growth and development, embodies the landscape and Henney’s cider’s story.

The product range, first began in 1996, hasn’t had much time to evolve or grow though. This didn’t deter the Orchard pig company from Somerset however, recently established, 2004. In fact, their entire range didn’t disappoint…
I can’t say I am too optimistic here though, due to my last Henney’s review. I’m holding out for a cider, as good as the Frome valley setting, of Mike Henney’s cider production. Let’s look at the product…

The bottle design itself is a little underwhelming. The dark chassis of the “2015 still vintage”, gave an heir of quiet quality. One that didn’t shout, but was memorable.
This “Dry” bottle has transparent glass, and a rather dull black text on white label. The “Dry” is more subtle, and in my mind too much so, to hold a flavoursome and characterful beverage. Despite this, the font is neat, yet readable, and the fluid colour can be seen. Simplicity is described on the bottle as a key message of Henney’s, so I feel the designs are consistent with the brand message.

As for practicality, the drink does well. For just £1.90 in 2018, you’ll get a bottle from Sainsbury’s. One that projects you to ” Do not regularly exceed” ranges. This means a modest spend for a 3 unit, 500ml, 6% ABV cider. It makes it identical in price to Aspalls Premier Cru, and on par with Twisted Tree.

The website claims some “Spicy bite”, with a “Grip” of dryness, aswell as sweet and fruity smells. When combined with the tag of “Lightly carbonated”, and the products name of “Dry”, some clear expectations for drinking can be made.

I’d hope therefore, for a drink with subtle effervescence, nothing overpowering in flavour, yet natural and full-bodied. I don’t have an expectation for tang, although it would be nice. As for sweetness, a noticeable natural Apple taste would suffice. Dryness has to be “full” as suggested, which I’ll gauge from that furry feeling it gives ones mouth.

And finally, I’d like some character or uniqueness resembling something spicy. With the exception of Heston’s mulled cider, I haven’t really felt spice as such, even with ciders possessing Redstreak apples, a variety often selected for this purpose alone.

Will simple provide balance and complexity ? Let’s find out …

Smell

The smell was a light and fruity natural aroma. It began rather confident, yet quickly faded, suggesting limited carbonation. On subsequent scents, the confidence fell to a weak natural haze, which was still rather pleasant. It was a scent hinting of some acidity, so a tang was anticipated. Nothing about it was unpleasant, yet it wasn’t the most spectacular of fragrances.

Taste

The flavour was fairly one dimensional but very pure. It reminded me of a warming vintage, I had drunk before. The key thing here though was character. It had a lovely oaky feel, which resembled Twisted tree.
As things progressed, this character improved with a taste factor I remembered from Capel road No. 5.. This I call “metallic nature”, as it was described as stainless steel vats on the Capel road No.5 cans review where I first observed this. Certainly without being ostentatious, this was still clearly unique, regardless of what you call it, only adding to the experience.

It had greater sweetness than Twisted tree though, with a more full-bodied flavour.
Whilst quite difficult to fragment to individual taste elements, character and natural sweetness provided excitement to the drinking experience. Such, that they became notable moments to savour on the palette.
Fortunately this character continued, staying on the aftertaste with pleasant warmth. One that wasn’t solely due to the reasonable ABV of 6%. Body wasn’t watery here, and carbonation was light as promised.
Possibly a little too much so…
There was a little tang. One that was rounded off by sweetness. This was a little weak, suggesting a fuller body may have been appreciated.

Summary

Where is the dryness please !! Developing character, with unique metallic elements. Great smell and aftertaste, only minimised by lack of bite and carbonation.

Sources

Henneys.co.uk
Visitherefordshire.co.uk
Heston’ mulled cider review
Henney’s Herefordshire vintage still cider 2015 review my blog
Stan’s leaf Twister review my blog
Orchard pig cider reviews my blog

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