Tuesday 22 November 2011

The ciderator

Earlier this year, celebrity chef Marco Pierre White introduced his own branded beer “The Governor”, in conjunction with Middleton brewers J. W. Lees. Now, I’m no fan of his, but I suppose this must be praised as an effort to give beer more class and less of a downmarket image. However, having sampled it in both bottled and cask forms, I have to say it comes across as just another underwhelming brown beer from Lees.

Marco has now collaborated with Herefordshire cidermaker Weston’s to produce a “Governor” cider. It’s 4.8% ABV and retails in Morrison’s at £1.75 for a 500ml bottle, or 4 for £5.50. It is pale in colour with a slight greenish tinge. There’s a small amount of sediment which produces a moderately hazy appearance, although much less than Westons’ Old Rosie. It has a fresh, quite sharp taste, that probably qualifies as “medium-dry”. It only has a slight hint of carbonation and overall is probably the best bottled approximation to a traditional draught cider I’ve come across. As described here, the intention is to reproduce the characteristics of Old Rosie at a more moderate strength, which I would say they have succeeded in doing. I spotted the similarity before reading that article. However, as it is well-nigh still and a touch hazy, it might not appeal to those who are more used to Magners and Stella “Cidre”.

While I do enjoy the occasional bottle of “craft” cider, I’ve never really tried to review any on here as I lack the tasting vocabulary to describe them adequately. However, I recently sampled Hereford’s Pilgrim, which took my eye as it promises to donate 10p to Help for Heroes for each bottle sold. The company are rather coy about where it’s actually made, although the postcode links it to an industrial estate in Ledbury. However, even though it is supporting a good cause, I thought it was pretty unpleasant, with a dominant perfumey off-flavour. I won’t be trying that again.


  1. The cider sounds worth trying. Unfortunately, the "Governor" was pretty grim.

  2. Hereford Pilgrim Cider is supplied by a well-established cider company in Ledbury, called Bevisol Ltd. It's three main cider makers have over 100 years cider making experience between them. The production plant is 4 years old and capable of producing 40 million litres of cider every year. The company supplies some of the best known brands nationally and internationally.
    Hereford's Pilgrim Cider design was inspired by is designed to raise funds for H4H to which £1.20 every case sold is donated. The product itself is made from fermented apple juice and does not contain any artifical sweeteners, colours or preservatives. The only taste and aroma is that of apple. If the reviewer on this site can smell perfume then they probably also found lipstick on their glass.

  3. Oh, if only I did run the risk of finding lipstick on my glasses at home...

    The perfumey note was something I have in the past detected in other bottled ciders. It's not necessarily bad, just not to my taste.

    But, given that you have bothered to spring to its defence, and it is helping a good cause, I'll give it another try.


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