Mallets cider – “Woody and incredible value !! – Better than many luxury ciders” – (9.25/10).
“Attractive colour scheme on branding”.
“Light carbonation, as promised”.
“Confident natural tang throughout tasting”.
“Lots of woody character”.
“Pleasant medium mouthfeel”.
“Lasting woody aftertaste”.
“Slightly harsh smell”.
“Smell not natural”.
“Backstory not on can”.
“No medium dryness as promised”.
“Woody character too dominant”.
Online surfing revealed a mystical tale of beasts.
The beast in question is a gold skinned god named “Shepton”. A bushy haired hero, clad in a fiery golden cape. His vest gripping sheer abdominal toning, just below a cyclical shield, with the emblem of a mallet.
This mallet, according to the official website of Mallets cider, would be used to “Smash and pulp”, until the “Sweet nectar of the gods”, was created.
The slogan “Cider for gods” therefore, comes as no surprise.
For a website backstory, whilst abstract and simplistic, this is striking.
In the range, “Original” and “Dark fruit”, are exclusive members specified on the website. “Original” is stronger, listed at 5% ABV. “Dark fruit” was listed at just 4% ABV.
Dark fruits’ weaker strength, can be explained using the website descriptor of:
“A refreshing blend of Mallets Original cider, with natural blackcurrant and blackberry flavours”.
This implies they added some fruit juice, to dilute “Original” slightly. This seems a bit cheeky, considering the “Dark fruit” diluted version, is actually dearer.
Since I generally only review ciders that taste of apple, without the addition of other fruits, I certainly won’t review a cider with some of the drink replaced with fruit juice.
That is like being served a steak and kidney pie, then being told “Half the steak has been replaced with potato”.
Consequently, the only Mallets review possible based on the current range, is of today’s drink. Namely, “Original” cider cans.
As for drink history from the website, I may be expecting a long, protracted, book of creation, taking the aforementioned slogan and backstory.
Instead, we find “Brothers cider”, a brand I associate with sickly-sweet, mildly alcohol, pudding ciders. Those which once met my palette, in a late night bar, on a university night out.
Brothers cider is based in Shepton Mallet. This isn’t only a town in Somerset often associated with the countries’ oldest prison, and to me “Blackthorn gold” cider, but also has the word “Mallet”, in it’s name.
Perhaps this is where “Mallets” ciders’ name comes from too ?
You’d be correct. Both Brothers and Mallets are produced in the Showerings cider mill of Shepton mallet, Somerset.
The 2019 copyright, suggests very recent establishment as a brand. The can elucidates 2018 as the actual year established. This suggests the backstory matters more here than history.
It’s a shame none of this backstory made it onto the can. Hopefully, the lack of opportunity for evolution or development of this new product, doesn’t mean it’s of poor quality.
Until recently, I failed to notice Mallets in Tesco. Due to good contrast on it’s packaging in colours Black and Gold, I’m sure this has only been recently added to the shelves. That’s unless my Dry January eyes, weren’t focused on supermarket alcohol-beverage-detection, processes correctly.
Value seems good here, costing just £3 for a 4 pack of 440ml cans. At 5% for this volume, the drink provides 2.2 units. This means 2 cans would be needed for an enjoyable evening; It places you only slightly over the old governments “Do not regularly exceed” limit for men, with 4.4 units.
Accordingly, it’s quite cheap and practical, at just £1.50 for the session.
It’s worth noting the can states 2.3 units. I am unsure why this is the case.
According to the websites’ taste expectations: Medium dry, and Natural carbonation, can be clearly seen. The backstory suggests, bursting with “Sweet tang”, suggesting confident levels of natural sweetness, and acidity too. As for character, the can states nothing of any relevance. PR
The smell was tangy, quickly reminding me of Thatchers Gold. It wasn’t unpleasant, if a little sickly. It cut off quickly, so was on the harsher side. After a short time, it was difficult to detect. This wasn’t an overly fresh smell, indicating it maybe artificial, rather than natural.
The taste was very surprising for a cheap cider. The first sip lead me to thoroughly enjoy a large amount of woody character. Usually, woodiness is present as a developing trait throughout the bottle, so here it’s early presence, was a definite positive.
As for tang, the second sip launched tangy globules across my tongue, like a symphony of celebration. On swilling, it was clear to see only light carbonation was present. This was true to the “natural carbonation” assertion, made by the website.
As for sweetness, this seemed present within the natural apple tang, preventing acidity overpowering taste. I’d suggest balance was good here. Perhaps the tang was a little strong, but it was nice, so I was pleasantly surprised.
As for mouthfeel, things felt medium and ideal. Nothing thick or syrupy was felt, nor did the drink leave me without full flavour.
Dryness seemed sadly absent, despite “medium dryness”, being promised.
The aftertaste lingered, for quite some time, possessing plenty of woody character. Perhaps this woodiness smothered some other traits though.
Woody and incredible value !! – Better than many luxury ciders.
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