Inches “Medium apple” cider review – “Characterful, natural and good value, well done Bulmer’s ”… (9.25/10). 

The Good 

“Fairly practical”. 

“Good value”. 

“Good backstory”.

“Well explained “Green” USP”. 

“Attractive bottle design and colour scheme”. 

“Natural smell, as promised”. 

“Well balanced”. 

“Natural flavour”. 

“Surprisingly full flavoured for ABV”. 

“Lack of harshness”. 

“Apples really sing”.

“Natural flavour highlighting local apples, defining USP during tasting”. 

“Pleasant, persistent aftertaste”. 

“Smooth taste and aftertaste”.

“Not sickly sweet”. 

“Light carbonation, as promised”. 

The Bad 

“Not tangy, despite promises”. 

“No bitterness”.

“No woodiness”. 

“No dryness, despite promises”. 

Packaging 

The bottle was rather decorative, featuring a natural pastel colour palette of pale red and green, supporting the “green” brand message. It concisely described the key points from the website, which provided more detail. 

I feel the cider had a good and well illustrated backstory.

Whilst the bottle didn’t give much taste and sensory information away, the Inches website described it as a medium apple cider, probably referring to the level of dryness being moderate. 

The website described Inches as a Crispier juicier cider, which is lightly sparkling, possesses a fresh apple aroma, and is only produced using local British apples located within a 40 mile radius from their site in Hereford. This was consistent with the ciders claimed USP of making cider green and sustainable. 

Furthermore these local apples once squeezed, are said to provide pulp, generating green energy ! 

It had a fun slogan of “For a better cider, you gotta go the extra inches” which is based on the Inches name, derived from the surname of Sam. The companies first producer in 1916. 

Whilst not quite as old as Bulmer’s therefore est. 1887, since it’s owned by them as a brand, one would hope the extra history would go into the production technique. I felt the proof would be in the drinking …

I liked how the website informed me of every stage of the production process, highlighting how being green, fitted into their mode of operation. 

At just 4.5% ABV, the drink was surprisingly good value, providing 2.3 units per 500ml bottle. This means you’d require 2 to go slightly over the governments “Do not regularly exceed limit” of 3-4 units, placing you at 4.6, making the drink fairly practical. 

It was also good value, with each bottle only costing £1 from Sainsbury’s, making it just £2 for the session. This made it cheaper than many ciders I purchased all the way back in 2017, including Bulmer’s original, Savannah, Rekorderlig, and Merry down. 

Expectations 

According to the website, I’d expect a natural smell of apple and vanilla !

Light carbonation, good balance, moderate dryness, good level of acidity due to “tangy” website assertion, combined with moderate sweetness to balance well with the dryness. Not as much character would be expected as some drinks with longer maturation periods, as such flavour depth could be slightly compromised when compared to Westons medium dry aged finish from 2017, for example. 

Smell 

The smell was fairly strong, emerging from a generous head, suggesting moderate carbonation. It resembled Thatchers gold, featuring a natural sweetness. It persisted well, being present in subsequent inhalations, and wasn’t too ephemeral, smoothly fading away after each gasp. 

Taste 

The flavour was Immediately fresh and resembled apple. It was pleasant to be greeted with a flavour which was neither sickly sweet or acidic, highlighting good balance. The drink wasn’t heavily carbonated, but clearly had some light sparkle as promised. The flavour had good depth, really highlighting the fruit, without being watery. It had a good mouthfeel for the flavour depth, which I’d suggest was medium. The experience from taste to aftertaste was silky smooth, with a lack of harshness anywhere. The aftertaste persisted well as a continuation of the main flavour body. It did lack dryness though sadly.

I wouldn’t usually comment on the level of apple flavour, but here it was so obvious and natural, I’d suggest this provided a USP. It promoted the apples of the area local to Hereford. This partly compensated for the lack of woodiness or bitterness, which may have added some character. 

Summary 

“Characterful, natural and good value, well done Bulmer’s” … 

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Sources 

https://www.inchscider.co.uk

Related articles 

Bulmers’ orchard pioneers cloudy apple (6.5/10) https://reasea.org/2017/07/27/bulmers-orchard-pioneers-cloudy-apple-6-510-slightly-unnatural-acidity-and-sweetness-not-unpleasant/

Bulmers’ original premium (7.0/10) https://reasea.org/2017/05/23/bulmers-original-premium-cider-review-710/

Bulmers’ orchard pioneers green apple (6.75/10) https://reasea.org/2019/12/02/bulmers-orchard-pioneers-green-apple-cider-review-6-75-10-natural-and-tangy-not-anything-else-though-christmas-special-extended-review/

2017 Henry westons medium dry aged finish (8/10) 

Tags: inches, Hereford, Bulmer’s, est 1887, 2.3 units, 500ml, 4.5%abv, British apples, Sainsbury’s, dessert, sams cider, 1916, medium dry, aged, Finish.

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