Hogan’s is one of those rare small-scale cider makers from the UK that you can sometimes find in a speciality bottle shop in Australia. On a recent trip to the UK, I was given a bottle of Hogan’s cider that I hadn’t seen before, Hogan’s Medium Cider.Hogan’s have made a name for themselves for being an award-winning cider house. I’ve tried the Hogan’s dry cider before so I thought I better see how the Medium stacked up.
Hogan’s Medium Cider is made from apples grown south of Birmingham, England. 100% fresh apple juice. Nothing concentrated. That’s where things get interesting, you see on the side of the bottle it lists all the ingredients, hiding nothing. Apple juice, water, sugar, CO2 and a few other bits to stablise the flavour. Now some would say it’s only a real cider if it’s 100% apple juice. Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue disagree, to them you can use as little as 20% juice with no definition of what juice is.
The sugar is there to kick-start the secondary fermentation and a technique that is nearly as old as cider itself. As for the reasoning behind the use of water… An artistic choice is the only reason I can think of. There may be many more Ciders on the market doing this but until we see some form of labelling regulations we may never know what we are drinking. Hats off to Hogan’s for leading the way with honesty in labelling.
A pretty scent, you instantly know it’s made with cider apples. There is an earthiness of fallen apples and autumn leaves.
The flavour is surprisingly full and lush mouth feel for a cider that lists water in the ingredients. It’s got that dark berry vibe going on that some true ciders give you. I must find out what those apples are. Not a huge amount of bitters or tannins but its got all the other classic west country cider flavours. It’s nicely balanced, you could intensify Hogan’s Medium like other ciders local ciders but then it would become a little bit too full on.A nice earthy hum to finish it off.
Final Thoughts on the Hogan’s Medium Cider
OK, this may be an odd thing for me to say but maybe the water is needed? That doesn’t give you other cider makers a free pass to start watering down your cider, don’t do that. but I had to ask my self would this have been a better cider without the water. I don’t know. Would I have known water and sugar had been added if it wasn’t written on the bottle? Probably not the sugar but maybe the water. Saying all of that, thank you Hogan’s Cider for treating your customers with the brains to want to know what goes into a cider.
As a sessionable cider it’s just a little too heavy in flavour for hot Aussie afternoon session but in a cooler British summer, Hogan’s medium cider is bang on the money. I’d go for another bottle.
|Product||Hogan’s Medium Cider|
|Country of Origin||United Kingdom|