Combe Raider Cider from Kintbury
Bonjour ciderists. Long time no wotsit. 5 months in fact. Time flies, eh? This week I’ve been getting ciders off the internets thanks to Cider Club UK. My ciders arrived at work in a big box a couple of days after ordering, so props to Cider Club UK for that. I got myself a case of 12 assorted ciders for reviewing and supping.
Combe Raider is actually slightly local to me coming from West Berkshire. Kintbury to be precise. Its made by Ciderniks – "a small cidermaker based in Kintbury in West Berkshire." They go on to say "[Our] ciders are made with pure apple juice with nothing else added apart from a special yeast to ensure a reliable fermentation of the juice. Wherever possible, apples are sourced locally so the mixture of apples produces a distinctive taste each year." That is pretty awesome, I thoroughly approve of that! So what of the Combe Raider?
Its cloudy. Like actually cloudy. With proper sediment in the bottle. Yum. The colour is and Old Rosie-ish straw yellow. Opening the cap results in a quick hiss, but no fizz to speak of. Some of the sediment is wont to float to the top at this point though. Pouring releases a little more fizz, though there is no head whatever.
The palate is scrumpy dry, light as a feather balanced by a fair bit of astringency, which the fizz softens, perhaps a bit too much for me. The taste almost verges on an Aspalls, but there is more complexity there, something bittersharp. I’m guessing that the subtlety and comlexity of the flavour can be ascribed to that process of fermenting with just the apples, not adding sugar or sulphites.
The verdict? A big thumbs up for Combe Raider. A subtle, light and dry tipple just right to ease me back into reviewing again after my conspicuous absence!
2011-10-26 by Charlie Harvey