Chaplin and Corks Somerset “Gold” cider review “More bearable than “K” Cider, yet a rather nasty aftertaste. Some sparkle and acidity were present though –
(5/10).

The Good

” Light carbonation”
” Cheap”.
” Some acidity”.
” Dryness present”.
” Subtle aroma”.

The Bad

” Limited character”.
” Basic branding and backstory”.
” Watery mouthfeel”.
” Unpleasantly dry artificial aftertaste”.
” Impractical alcohol level”.
” Acidity too weak”.
” Harsh artificial dryness”.
” No fruitiness or sweetness”.
” Lack of balance”.
” Not smooth”.
” Nothing unique”.

Packaging

Despite brand impressions due to a rather pleasant bottle aesthetic, the drink was produced commercially at C and C brands. With this Groups’ factory, producing drinks in Ireland, Scotland and the U.S in Vermont, it seems the cider may be an unnatural, production scale job. If this resembles “K” cider in any aspect, I think I’ll regret the purchase, but I’ll give the commercial enterprise the benefit of the doubt till the liquid greets or insults my taste buds.
It stands to reason then that the drink doesn’t have a back story or it’s own specific website. This is normally bad news. Positively however, a number of achievements are listed for Chaplins and Cork drinks on the C and C website…

The website details the site of production, in this case Dublin, Ireland. It displays 2 products from 2014 including this Somerset “Gold” version, alongside another Somerset “Reserve”. Both appear similar with a fair few awards noticeable on scrolling the page. Of note, a number of gold accolades have been achieved by each, in various categories including ” taste”. Perhaps there is hope yet ?

Also detailed, is how Bob Chaplin and Bob cork have created these products. This adds a name to the year. With an abrupt cheesy tale of ” keeping great tasting ciders a secret”, at least it affirms good values of using juices not concentrates, and the finest quality ” English” apples. The drink isn’t even produced on the same landmass as where it’s apples are from though. At least C and C’s website attempts to provide some background for taste expectations for the drink to be predicted.

Data here is sparse though. No mention is given to establishment year, or any specific characteristic. This necessitates a look at the bottle.

At 5.2% ABV, with 500 ml’s of fluid, alcohol content is rather modest here per bottle. However, having spent just 99p from QD for one bottle, means it doesn’t really matter. This is because with 2 bottles to achieve the Governments’ “Do not regularly exceed” limit, only £2 is required. Despite being cheap, after 2 you’d be well over safe levels. With just one though, you’d probably want more, making things a bit impractical.

As for taste, no additional expectations are supplied on the bottle so I’ll have to go in “blind”.

Smell

The scent was a quickly fading, rather natural one, it possessed a non-sickly, rather weak, body providing just a hint of acidity. It didn’t last long though, thanks to a limited head. After a short time, it couldn’t be detected”.

Taste

As suggested by a steady bubble stream, light carbonation blessed my palette. There was also a weak tang evidencing the acidity hint. This was a little weak though. The taste wasn’t sickly sweet, and the aftertaste quickly faded.
This aftertaste carried through considerable dryness, which is usually good.
The drink may seem at a glance, like a bit of a bargain. But it wasn’t !

The dryness in the aftertaste hit my throat like petrol, or some corrosive substance. It felt considerably harsh, resulting in rushing, rather than savouring, the main body of the flavour. This dryness was pretty much impossible to escape, since it dominated practically all of the positives into the aftertaste. It lasted a while each time the fluid was sampled, and didn’t die down during consumption.

The mouthfeel was watery, and there was virtually no sweetness. The drink therefore, couldn’t be called balanced or smooth. Lack of balance was also due to dominance from the harsh dryness. Perhaps the thin mouthfeel was a blessing in this case, despite not really adding anything to the drink. This justified a higher rating than “K” cider, which was virtually undrinkable. I did manage to battle through the whole bottle here, but nothing else to truly excite me occurred. As for wood or another unique nuance, none was present. The only distinctive trait was negative… The product as expected has floors, from lacking any natural element, as I’d feared from the lack of brand identity or website.

Summary

More bearable than “K” Cider but a rather nasty aftertaste. Some sparkle and acidity were present though.

Sources
https://candcgroupplc.com/our-brands/super-premium-craft-brands/chaplin-corks/

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