I may have mentioned in the past that I'm not much of a cider drinker. H. Westons and Sons, in Much Marcle, must have taken this to heart. Some brewers very kindly send me a beer or a few for me to drink and write about. Westons sent me eight bottles and four three litre boxes of their Wyld Wood Organic Still Cider. Struck dumb with the shear volume of cider at my fingertips I couldn't quite decide what to do with it all. This was a heck of a birthday present from someone you don't know, and no mistake.
Experiments such as how much cider I could drink in a day before I was ill or passed out, or if I sat in a bath full of cider could I get drunk by soaking it through my skin crossed my mind. However after some stern home truths I decided to drink it in moderation, as all alcohol drinkers probably should do (well, sneakily while no-one's looking). I also gave one 3l box to a friend of Cinabar's Mom, as he certainly seems a hardworking chap who constantly volunteers for charity. No one sounded more deserving of a tipple of his favourite drink!
I've never used one of these 3l boxes before either. Of course I've seen them at the odd party full of wine, but didn't know you could buy ones full of cider. After a bit of searching and some advice from my dad, I managed to find the push through hole in the side of the box and pull the tap out. It was then that I noticed the instructions on the bottom of the box!
I quickly decided that this box would accompany Cinabar and I on our holiday to Portsmouth. I can tell you that it was a delight to come back to the hotel room after a hard day of adventuring with Cinabar and Victor the Adventure Bear and have a few hotel room sized 200-odd millilitre sized glasses of cider on tap before a quick swim in the pool and dinner, which was then followed by a few more glasses of cider before bed. Echoes of "how many glasses have you had?" Could be heard around the lovely spa hotel. "Er... Hic! Don't know..."
Henry Weston first started producing cider 130 years ago in the same Herefordshire village. This cider was made from bittersweet apples grown in Soil Association certified organic orchards, which were fermented and matured in oak vats. Perhaps I could take a soak in one of those? Anyway, after Cinabar had showed me how to use the tap whilst I was eagerly waiting with my tiny glass, there was a strong sweet smell of cider on pouring the clear dark apple juice coloured beverage. There was a bitter bite at the end of the sweet cider smell that made my tastebuds tingle. This cider certainly has a lively refreshing full bodied fruitiness that laughs playfully in the face of lessor bubbly varieties. This jovial flavour instantly merges with the bitey tradionally crafted woody undertones at the end of the taste. Each mouthful of this cider is a luxury. I have tonnes of it! And yet the selfish greedy side of me wanted the other box back!
Information on the box / bottle;
500ml bottle or 3l box. 6% volume. Ingredients; apples, lots of!