Black Fox Organic Cider – Dunkertons (Herefordshire, UK)

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Black Fox Organic Cider – Dunkertons Cider, 7% ABV, 500ml, (Pembridge, Herefordshire, UK)


on the back label:

“Dunkertons Cider Mill is set in the ancient parish of Pembridge, an area of farmland, woods and hedgerows, where medieval half timbered villages meet the stone market towns of Wales.

From earlier times, rural communities have told stories of fantastic and unusual creatures which have supposedly lived in their locality. The lush rolling countryside of North West Herefordshire is no exception. Here stories tell of an animal which has evaded capture by farm and huntsman alike: a Black Fox. The red fox has always existed, but the belief grew that there was a fox ‘as black as night, so that it might live in a man’s shadow and so never be seen’.

A favoured haunt of the BLACK FOX is ……………the Cider Orchard.”

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  • Style: (Organic) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Big woody med acidity sweet apple juice vanilla mild white grape medium tart
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $13 CAD (10% off) – 650ml., February 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yep, dig the woody

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours almost golden orange, no head, small clusters of slow steady micro streams.

Nose: heavy wet woody yeasty apple wine, vanilla. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, incoming tangy

Mid-palate: tangy medium acidity, (lvl-6-sweetness), woody apple juice,

Finish: medium tart, woody exhale, vanilla, white grape

Summary: Big wood vanilla, solid taste and body, all around clean.

Stowford Press Export Cider – Westons (Herefordshire, England) (re-tasting)

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  • My Rating: [C+],  I gave it a (3.1, upgraded from 2.8 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Stowford Press Export Cider – Westons, 6% ABV, 500ml, (Herefordshire, England)


  • Style: (sweet) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Clean controlled sweet half apple/half woody
  • Where I got it : ??
  • How much: ?? – 500ml., ??
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: 50/50

(September 3, 2013 tasting)

Visual: clear bottle, sticker labels. Pours medium dark clear golden yellow with no head and some activity.

Nose: Very woody and tangy filtered apple juice

Attack: 4/10-sweetness, incoming tang

Mid-palate: (MAIN) dense red apple, very woody, tangy/acidic

Finish: off-dry, medium sourness, mild apple exhale finish.

Summary: It has a nice woody body. Straightforward, decent, mildly above average.


April 5, 2016 re-tasting:

Visual: Pours clear apple juice yellow with no head, no activity, just a few bubbles lounging on the surface.

Nose: tangy, very woody apple juice. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: slightly thicker viscosity, incoming fruity sugars

Mid-palate: tingly-fizzy, (lvl-6-sweetness), apple juice, big woodiness, tangy acidic bite

Finish: tingly-tart, sticky palate, apple-woody exhale

Summary: Pretty straightforward fruity apple with a very nice woody counterpart.

Wyld Wood Organic Classic Cider – Westons (UK) (re-tasting)

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  • My Rating: [B-, unchanged],  I gave it a (3.1 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Wyld Wood Premium Organic Classic Cider – Westons, 6.5% ABV, 500ml, (Herefordshire, UK)


  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: Low CO2 tart-tangy big woody oak vanilla apple white grape
  • Where I got it : ??
  • How much: $4 – 500ml., ??
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yah pretty good

Initial September 2013 tasting (Rating = B-):

Visual: Simple and effect clean-looking label, I like it. Pours deep golden yellow with zero head and zero activity, rather unappealing.

Nose: vanilla-woody and tangy apples (7/10-aromatic strength)

Attack: sharp crispness

Mid-palate: rich tangy, 7/10-sweetness (MAIN) vanilla, woodiness, red apples, (HINT) barnyard, green apple

Finish: medium tartness, fruity sweet, mild saliva thickness, crisp apple finish.

Summary: Major vanilla woodness balanced with clean tart, sweet and tangy apple flavour. Very nice although I wish it was more carbonated.


February 13, 2016 tasting notes:

Visual: Pours deep yellow orange with no head, several large bubbles clinging to the glass, some bubbles reaching the surface.

Nose: woody oak, vanilla, mild funk, tangy acidic apple wine.  (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp-low micro tingly, tangy light bitter

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, tangy-acidic, (MAIN flavours): red & green apple, white grape juice, apple cider vinegar, wet oak

Finish: off-dry, vanilla & clean oaked woody exhale, gum-sticky tartness.

Summary: Big oak and fruity clean flavours with a strong vanilla presence. This time around I can appreciate more the enticing wood flavour that keeps you sipping. I actually don’t mind the low CO2.

Henry Westons Medium Dry Oak Aged Cider – Westons (Herefordshire, UK)

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  • My Rating: B

Henry Westons Medium Dry Oak Aged Cider – Westons, 6.5% ABV – 500ml., (Herefordshire, UK)

  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: Oaked tart fruity apple cider
  • Where I got it : Liberty Wines, Park Royal
  • How much: $10 (overpriced) – 500ml., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: possibly
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: Last of the mixed 4pack of ciders (extra dry, medium sweet, vintage) Pours apple juice yellow with no head and a few steady streams that are barely noticeable.

Nose: oaked tangy apple juice (3/10-pungency)

Attack: bright fruity apple, tingly fizzy

Mid-palate: apple (5/10)-sweetness mixed with medium tartness, big tanginess (MAIN) oaked red/green apple, yeasty, white grape

Finish: cloying acidic sourness, oaked apple tart fruity finish.

Summary: More tangy/sour than their Medium Sweet and a more generous sugar content than their Extra Dry. Good taste and texture even though not visually appealing.

Henry Westons 2011 Vintage Oak Aged Cider (Herefordshire, UK)

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  • My Rating: C+

Henry Westons 2011 Vintage Oak Aged Cider – Westons, 8.2% ABV – 500ml., (Herefordshire, UK)

  • Style: (oak-aged, vintage) Apple Cider
  • Taste: oaked apple lager
  • Where I got it : Liberty Wines, Park Royal
  • How much: $10 (overpriced) – 500ml., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Visual: Pours light golden yellow, initially with lots of fizz, no head retention at all, no activity, a barren wasteland.

Nose: oaked filtered apple juice, some sour/tanginess, minor funk (4/10-pungency)

Attack: watery, sour

Mid-palate: almost salty, light tingly-crisp, (5/10)-fruity sweetness, (MAIN) lots of oak, very yeasty, mellow apple flavour

Finish: lager-like crisp sweet oaked apple finish.

Summary: Drinks like a semi-sweet oaked apple flavoured lager. The oakiness really stands out but other than that, it’s quite unexciting.

Henry Westons Extra Dry Oak Aged Cider – Westons (Herefordshire, UK)

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  • My Rating: B-

Henry Westons Medium Sweet Oak Aged Cider – Westons, 6.0% ABV – 500ml., (Herefordshire, UK)

  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: Sour dry apple juice
  • Where I got it : Liberty Wines, Park Royal
  • How much: $10 (overpriced) – 500ml., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes, better than Savanna

Visual: Pours very light golden yellow with no head and no activity.

Nose: lots of oak, tapple, tangy-acidity (6/10-pungency)

Attack: sour/acidity, mild vinegar

Mid-palate: super dry (0/10)-sweetness, light fizzy, tangy acidic (MAIN) oaked sour red/green apple, yeasty

Finish: sour citrus, dry apple finish.

Summary: A great companion with a meal with very clean flavours and finish. Not much in terms of complexity but good oaked apple aroma.

Henry Westons Medium Sweet Oak Aged Cider – Westons (Herefordshire, UK)

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  • My Rating: B+

Henry Westons Medium Sweet Oak Aged Cider – Westons, 4.5% ABV – 500ml., (Herefordshire, UK)

  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: sugary apple -> red/green apple/oak -> clean cloying/oaked-sweet finish.
  • Where I got it : Liberty Wines, Park Royal
  • How much: $10 (overpriced) – 500ml., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: possibly
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours apple juice yellow with lots of steady streams, virtually headless.

Nose: sour apples, with some funk/oak mix (4/10-pungency)

Attack: dense sugars, apple-fruit overtones

Mid-palate: fruity (7/10)-sweetness, fizzy mouthfeel, bright tangy, (MAIN) red + green apple, oak, *minor* sweet Riesling wine

Finish: mildly cloying sugars, light burpy, oaky smooth med-high sweet appley finish.

Summary: Supremely drinkable. About the right amount of sweetness + fizziness with a good oaked backdrop. Straightforward with hints of excitement.

Stowford Press Export English Cider – Westons (England)

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  • My Rating: C+

Stowford Press Export English Cider – Westons, 6% ABV – 500ml, (Herefordshire, England)

on the back label:

“This extra strength premium cider, produced using the finest ingredients, has been cold filtered to retain its authentic traditional taste.”

  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste Profile: semi-sweet apple tang -> dense apple/woody/tangy -> off-dry/acidic/mild apple finish.
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Visual: clear bottle, sticker labels. Pours medium dark clear golden yellow with no head and some activity.

Nose: Very woody and tangy filtered apple juice

Attack: 4/10-sweetness, incoming tang

Mid-palate: (MAIN) dense red apple, very woody, tangy/acidic

Finish: off-dry, medium sourness, mild apple exhale finish.

Summary: It has a nice woody body. Straightforward, decent, mildly above average.

Dunkertons Organic Cider (Pembridge, UK)

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Dunkertons Organic Ciders (Pembridge, Herefordshire, UK)

1) (LEFT) Premium Organic Cider, 6.8% ABV – 500ml

  • My Rating: B

on the back label:

“A medium sweet sparkling cider. Dunkertons Cider is made from Organic apples grown in Herefordshire orchards free from harmful chemicals. Wildlife can flourish in this environmentally sustainable system. The apples will be a blend of cider varieties, some ancient like Sheeps Nose, Brown Snout and Foxwhelp and some modern, like ‘Improved” Kingston Black and Balls Bitter Sweet.”

  • Style: (Organic, Sweet) Cider
  • Taste Profile: tangy/tart -> sweet woody red/green apples/VANILLA -> barnyard/tart crisp finish.
  • Where I got it : W.16th
  • How much: $12.50 (after 10% off), Feb 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: pours clear light orange amber with virtually no head and no retention. Some slow streams.

Nose: Honeyed apple, light yeast and woody pressed apples.

Attack: tangy and tart

Mid-palate: very woody red apples, green apple, distinct VANILLA, 6/10-sweetness

Finish: mild barnyard sourness, tart crisp finish

Good complexity and transitions on this one; I especially like the vanilla flavour.

2) (RIGHT) Dry Organic Cider, 7.0% ABV – 500ml

  • My Rating: C
  • Style: (Organic, Dry) Cider
  • Taste Profile: clean dry apple -> dry/woody apple/LEMON -> oak/vanilla/tart/dry thin finish.
  • Where I got it : W.16th
  • How much: $12.50 (after 10% off), Feb 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Visual: pours almost clear golden yellow apple juice colour with a slightly larger but quickly dissipating head, much more activity and clinging bubbles.

Nose: milder vanilla/apple nose, more subdued than above

Attack: dense fruity apple flavour

Mid-palate: more of a crisp bite, 1/10-dry sweetness, LEMON, woody apples, acidic

Finish: oak, vanilla on the exhale, tart, dry and slightly watery

I definitely enjoy the 1) Premium cider more because of the bolder flavours and the satisfying sweetness of the body. To me this is just an average dry cider with slightly higher complexity.