I’ve walked into a pub in Edinburgh, UK. I ask the young lady behind the bar what nice ciders they have? She replied we have Sommersby on tap and Koppaberg bottles. The manager over heard and suggested I try  Chaplin & Corks Somerset Gold Cider.

So who are Chaplin & Corks? The company is owned by C&C Group, a company that has become a power house on the international cider scene with a catalog of brands including Magners, Woodchuck, Addlestones just to name a few. In 2009 they acquired Gaymers Cider which included a large cider mill in Shepton Mallet. As part of Gaymers buyout came Chaplin & Corks.

According to the website “Made from pure juice, using the finest English cider apples, this is a beautifully elegant cider from the heart of Somerset.”   I hope that pure juice means fresh juice. The juice from a mixture of bittersweet apples.

Chaplin & Corks cider bottle

The Nose

Oxidized apples come bouncing out of the glass. There is something between drying hay and a sulfurous  eggy smell. If I was going to be overly creative I could compare it to an apple baking in the late summer sun as it lay on the long drying grass. But I’m not a prat so I wont say that. The nose is basically the polar opposite of many Aussie ciders. There is no fresh fruit highlights , instead it’ s a heavy hum of bitter notes.

The Taste

Chaplin & Corks Somerset Gold Cider is typically English British with its heavy tannin structure. In this case it may be a little heavy-handed as it hangs around far to long. When it was served icy cold I was questioning the medium label on the bottle thinking it was more of an off dry cider but 10 minutes later in a warm Edinburgh pub medium sweetness is a good call. I’m going back and forth in my mind about whether it’s heavily oxidized or they used very ripe apples. Judging by the color I’m running with over oxidized. There is a slight leather taste to the glass that I’m enjoying.

The finish isn’t crisp, it’s nearly unpleasant, it’s all tannin, that hang around and dry out the back of your throat. The net result is the more you drink the thirstier you get. This can only be a downward spiral into a hang over territory.

Final Thoughts on the Chaplin & Corks Somerset Gold Cider

It’s OK but not great. It’s made to look better than it really is because is sitting next to absolute rubbish. Namely Kopperberg and Sommersby. Served ice-cold its nice but as the cider warms the problem grows  as there is a little bit to much of a drying action from the tannins. After a slow bottle I feel like I have a sore throat coming on. If I had a second or a third to quench my thirst I’d have a pounding headache in the AM. Maybe a fatter mouth-feel could balance that out? So I’ll stop at one bottle. Would I  drink it again? I don’t know, at this pub? Yeah why not but I’d want to try it with some food next time.

Product Somerset Gold Cider
Company Chaplin & Corks
Sweetness Medium Dry
Alc/Vol 5.2%
Website CandCGroupplc.com.uk
Country of Origin England
Region Somerset

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