Newtown Estate Still Cider from Chipping Norton farmers market
Greetz ciderpeeps! This week I’ve learned that I’m now top of the results for cider reviews on Google (i.e. dot com, not dot co dot uk). Sweet. I’ve also learned that I say "autumn" a lot in my cidery ramblings. True dat. And there's this photo. 'Nuff said.
Perhaps my most bourgeois-sounding title yet, huh? I was up in Chippy with nor and we were just wandering about when we came across the farmers market. Look, And nor was sketching, so it seemed rude, churlish even, not to have a browse about. And there was this stall with cider. What could I do? Reader, I picked up 2.5 litres of "Newtown Estate Still Cider".
Its a 6 percenter, like the Wilkins Farmhouse Cider I reviewed last time. Really deep orange as you can see from the pics and presented in a jerry can type of a container that was a bit mashed up, perhaps from travelling up from Gloucestershire. Its made by Michael Sinclair, in Strawberry Hill, Gloucestershire, GL18.
What can I say about the taste? This stuff is smoky. Like seriously fucking smoky. Imagine Lagavulin in cidery form. There's a hint of sulphur in all that smoke, too. I’ve no idea why or how it became that way. But I think its a good thing. We're out towards the sweeter end of the spectrum, although that might be the mega-dryness of the Wilkins talking, and muscular, not light and soft like an Aspalls or something.
The smoky complexity mightn't appeal if you're not expecting it. It feels more educational than necessarily relaxed. What I am saying, I suppose, is that we are in the territory where cider becomes distinctive not just obvious and easy drinkin'. And that territory is where it becomes an adventure rather than simply a way of getting pissed. That's how I felt drinking it.
The weather was fantastic that weekend, and I enjoyed the Newtown Estate cider straight from the jerrycan in several lovely Cotswolds fields. Its not quite up there with the Wilkins from my previous review, but a fantastic and distinctive cider nonetheless. Worth checking out.
2011-04-20 by Charlie Harvey