Continuing around Edinburgh’s pubs, I have left my run a little late and most places are finishing their lunch service. Weatherspoon’s is still going. They are about to host a craft cider festival, so I’m hoping they had something interesting in the fridge. I spy a big green bottle of Hogs Back Breweries’ Hazy Hog Cider.
Hazy Hog Cider came out of a collaboration from between the Tongham based beer brewers, Hogs Back, and the cider makers Thatchers. The story goes Hogs Back were trying to make a cider but it kept on coming up undrinkable astringent. The two companies shared some talent so the cider boys showed the brewers how to deal with fruit.
The trick to fixing the astringency problem was to add some fresh juice back in after the ferment to sweeten and liven it all up again. The second step was to ferment it in oak barrels which mellows it all out.
This smells like a foot that has been freshly scrubbed by a pumice stone. Get over it, it’s better underneath. After that sulphur funk lie some pretty bold bitter-sweet apples.
The bottle says its 100% bitter-sweet apples. Hogs Back and Thatchers have managed to balance out the bitterness with the sweetness pretty nicely neither out paces the other.
Hazy Hog’s flavour is pretty big but it has undertones half way between a foot and a soda water yet it works. A fairly healthy hit of structure tannin balanced out by a thick mouth-feel. Hazy Hog is so hazy there are floaty bits in the bottle which get broken up pouring into the pint which add to the mouth-feel. Holds it head well because of a vigorous but small bubbled fizz. A few bittersweet apples added back in , a nice hit of sweetness. A small amount of oak to finish it all off.
Final Thoughts on Hazy Hog
Your first bottle is better than your second. The smell could be a bit hard to handle in a long session. I think the smell is going to put a lot of people off but if you can get past it the cider underneath is pretty nice. Make sure you serve it in a pint so those chunky bits break up to make it nice and cloudy. It’s ballsy, bold and challenging, beer drinking with that type of taste should give it a go. With a burger at the pub it does work well.
|Company||Hogs Back Brewery collaborating with Thatchers|
|Country of Origin||England|