Broadoak Bristol Port Cider at the Far From the Madding Crowd, Oxford
The Far from The Madding Crowd on a Sunday. Noisy, but with a decent wifi connection. Me and nor (she of the vegan chocolate reviews) had decided to do some working from home internet caff style laptopping. But not from home, and not actually working all that much. In fact we spent lots of time playing with GPG and discussing the relative geometric merits of different waffle irons. Ummm. And I spent some time drinking cider. This may be apparent from my writing style.
Now the Far from The Madding is a decent place and normally pretty good for interesting ciders, this week they had 2 of those massive boxes on the bar. One of Crazy Goat and one of this week's reviewed cider, Broadoak Bristol Port. Both are from Bristol's Broadoak cider company, the Crazy Goat is a blended cider/perry sort of a thing. But that is another story.
Bristol Port is still, very still indeed. An intense orange and deeply cloudy when it is first poured, settling down to be a little clearer after a bit of time in the glass. Its a heavy, full bodied cider, like drinking syrup. But boozy lush syrup with serious amounts of fruitiness. There is depth and complexity, but this is on the sweet end of bitter-sweet. Not the saccharine-sweet of strongbow, but a mellow intense spicy sweet.
Along with the orange colour ond huge body, this stuff has loads of citrus and spices in the taste, with only a trace of tannin in the backwash as it were. Kind of like the cider equivalent of Christmas Pudding. Or something. I almost detected notes of pear in it, but I suspect that was due to it being stored right next to the Crazy Goat. Weighing in at a round 6 percent ABV, you don't want to drink this on an empty stomach if you are expecting to operate heavy machinery in the near future.
So what's the overall verdict? As regular readers will know my preferences tend towards the drier end of Gobi desert, but for a sweeter cider this is pretty damn good. And being able to write the review whilst drinking it in the pub gave me a warm William Gibson cyberpunk glow. In conclusion, a wonderful accompaniment to hacking on my laptop with a friend in a pub. Oh, and, the photo is coming soon. The pub doesn't even have its own card reader. So I shall need to go home and do photo transferral…
2012-05-06 by Charlie Harvey