[Why you should read … Looking for a good value stronger supermarket cider? Not sure if the quality of cheaper cider is up to fussy taste-buds? Then read on for discovery]

The Good 

“Fairly practical”. 

“Good value”.

“Pleasant medium dryness”.

“Noticeable bitterness”. 

“Distinctive character”. 

“Session-able”.

“Quite smooth”.

“Natural taste”.

“Developing dry aftertaste”.

The Bad 

“Weak branding”. 

“No clear backstory”.

“Sad looking bottle”.

“Unpleasantly harsh smell”.

“Carbonation too light”.

“Weak tang”.

“Lacking sweetness”.

“No woodiness”.

“Bitterness too strong”.

“Not full flavoured”.

“Thin mouthfeel”.

“Unbalanced”.

Introduction 

A) Price and practicality 

In terms of cost, “Orchard English Vintage Cider 2021” is priced at £1.49 per 500ml bottle. 

This is quite a bit more than “Woodgate reserve 2019 West Country vintage Cider”, a similar product that I purchased from Lidl in May 2021 for £1.15, which provided only slightly less in terms of alcohol (3.7 vs 4.1 units) (see review below under sources).

Despite this, in general for a stronger bottled cider of good quality the drink is well below average in terms of cost so I must class it as cheap still. For example, a bottle of Thatchers vintage 2020 cost me just £2 from Tesco, back in April 2021, and I described that as good value due to its strength (see review below under sources).

Regarding practicality here, with ABV of 8.2%, since (Volume times ABV) / 1000 = units = (500*8.2)/1000= 4.1 units per bottle. 

The drink is fairly practical since 4.1 units per bottle is only just over the governments “do not regularly exceed” limit for adult males of 3-4 units. 

Energy content is listed as 269 calories per 500ml bottle.

B Brand message 

Overall the brand message was rather weak. 

In terms of the branding, the bottle front font colours, clashed a bit, and failed to complement the image of a gentleman picking apples. This resulted in a pretty sad looking bottle design. The whole idea of a “classic” cider having no specified history, on bottle or online, made this feel like more of an impersonation, than a true brand message. It looked like it was trying to copy a cider with tradition and sophisticated branding, using the signature and the word “classic”, but in the respects outlined above, it clearly fell short of the mark.

The bottle highlighted how the drink has been slowly matured from a single years harvest, accompanied by the Jonathan Blair signature which suggests the brand identity is primarily one of tradition and quality. It shouted “we know what we are doing and have this signature to prove that”. Additionally, the slow maturation process was highlighted, again implying there is a reason behind that steady speed of the process. 

In reality however, other than the Aldi supermarket website, there was no real data source which provided any information on the product, and the Aldi page dedicated to the drink also didn’t clarify anything in terms of history, or development of the drink. 

I therefore resorted to the back of the drink bottle, in search of any guidance on the drinks history, as to establish taste expectations.

C Taste expectations 

This highlighted how it was English vintage cider from 2021. The terms “Classic”, and “West Country cider” were used. The reason for slow maturated was highlighted as ensuring the beverage is “bursting” with flavour. No further comment was made. 

The West Country cider description didn’t really clarify much. Some ciders from the west of England I have tried, have been tangy and woody. These include Henry Weston’s medium dry cloudy vintage cider,  so I may be inclined to expect that, however some Suffolk-based ciders also possess good levels of tang, namely Aspall’s “red label” draught cyder, and Suffolk for those folk unfamiliar with England geography, is well and truly the other side of the country in the east. Therefore, I shall not speculate any further concerning that statement. I would expect “Bursting” to suggest confident and strong flavour however, and “classic” to suggest some degree of complexity, character, and uniqueness. 

Smell 

The smell was immediately quite harshly tangy, reminding me of a vinegar style scent. It cut off quickly and therefore didn’t appear natural, so felt rather artificial. Quite unpleasant. 

Taste 

On pouring, some low level bubbles emerged, however this was minimal so therefore the drink only seemed lightly carbonated. 

Despite the artificial smell, the taste was fairly natural. The taste started off not acidic or tangy, yet held a slight tang on the aftertaste. It was quite smooth though … Unfortunately, there was hardly any sweetness at all, and if so it was barely noticeable, which was a shame considering the high energy content, and limitation to enjoyment because of this lack. 

Fortunately, it did possess some noticeable bitterness, which is fairly rare amongst ciders. This provided some distinctive character. No woodiness or other USP’s were evident.

However, the flavour was far too strongly bitter, since there was nothing to balance it out. The drink was unbalanced therefore. Flavour strength overall was just moderate, so it could have possessed greater levels of taste. 

This lack of strength may have been as a result of the thin mouthfeel and lack of body. Fortunately however, it was session-able, perhaps partly due to the fluid thinness, and the medium, rather than full, flavour strength. 

Some low level dryness emerged after the first few sips, however this developed well into a good moderate dry on the aftertaste throughout consumption. This wasn’t too strong or unpleasant.

Summary 

Overall, the taste was distinctive, yet bitter, and lacking balance. It didn’t appeal to my taste, but had some interesting elements to it- (6.0/10). 

Sources 

https://groceries.aldi.co.uk/en-GB/p-orchard-english-vintage-cider-500ml/4088600461519

Food for thought

1) State 1 thing you liked about the article above, in the comments section below.

2) State 1 thing you would like improved, in the comments section below.

3) State 1 thing you would like to see in future articles.

4) Consider 1 relatable experience that the words above remind you of.

5) What is your favourite drink and why?

6) If you could change 1 thing about your life, what would it be?

7) What was your favourite moment of the previous week?

8) Why was that your favourite moment?

Closing statement 

Reaseaorg blog is working on its content to enhance viewer experience. Over the previous few years, we have been gaining momentum until recently, and are currently looking at ways to continue to improve user experience of our blog. 

We deeply thank all 49 of our followers, especially those who are still reading at this point in the article. You really do shape our content, and maintain our focus on producing content which appeals to our audience. Based on WordPress insights, we have learnt that certain types of product reviews are most popular, and our movie reviews are in need of the greatest modification to enhance viewing statistics. 

Please feel free to advertise related content in the comments below, but all I ask is that you please be respectful. I have had some comments recently, which have gone against the spirit of my blog. 

That is to be a friendly place for fans of Horror, Movies, Drinks, and Adventures, and particularly those who are interested in writing or reading engaging content. 

It is not a place for those who posted links of an explicit nature, reducing visibility of helpful comments, providing insight for my future blog writing. 

I thank all of those who have liked my articles, but I won’t ask you to press like on any of my content, unless you do actually like it, as it helps me to gather further accurate information about the types of articles you, the reader, actually would like to see moving forward. 

Please comment below with ideas for future content, or any thoughts not covered by the points outlined above.

I will continue to post this statement on articles to come, to ensure optimal visibility for viewers. A big thank you to Neil Patel, for producing a helpful video on search engine optimisation (SEO), to assist my content popularity. I hope it helps anyone else who has content online to get their voice heard, be it through writing or video, or other creative forms of expression online. 

Based on insights gained, I have increased my blog content article length, introduced a “food for thought” section to encourage creator-viewer engagement, introduced a “why you should read” tag-line under each article title, added a closing statement which will be used on future articles for the same purpose of updating you on how the blog is progressing, and increased content from my critical eye. 

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Tags: Aldi, English, Vintage, Cider, 2021, 8.2%, ABV, 4.1 units, Jonathan, Blair, Thatchers, vintage, 2020, practicality, price, brand, message, smell, taste, summary, west, country, classic, medium, dryness, bitterness, Aspalls, red label, draught, cyder, 500ml, £1.49, bursting, impersonation, bitter, cider, dry, cider, character, apple, picker, image, reasonedandseasoned, reaseaorg, alcohol, reviews, blogging, 2022, 

Tags: Aldi, English, Vintage, Cider, 2021, 8.2%, ABV, 4.1 units, Jonathan, Blair, Thatchers, vintage, 2020, practicality, price, brand, message, smell, taste, summary, west, country, classic, medium, dryness, bitterness, Aspalls, red label, draught, cyder, 500ml, £1.49, bursting, impersonation, bitter, cider, dry, cider, character, apple, picker, image, reasonedandseasoned, reaseaorg, alcohol, reviews, blogging, 2022, 

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