I’ve spent quite a lot of time looking at wildly flavoured ciders, or beer producers entering the cider foray with silly names and pretentious marketing campaigns. Today, however, the cider that I’ll be featuring has its feet more firmly on the ground. It comes from that old English favourite, Thatchers of Somerset. Personally, I always think a little more of a public house if their fizzy draught cider is Thatchers Gold rather than Strongbow or Blackthorn, but then that’s just my preference.
Legend has it that every night, under the cover of darkness, a wily old fox crept out of his den at the bottom of our orchard, and tiptoed his way to the cider store to help himself to fresh supplies. No matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t keep the fox away from his favourite tipple. You’d regularly hear the cry, “The old rascal’s been at it again!”—and so the name ‘Old Rascal’ was born.
Described as medium-dry, Thatchers Old Rascal is bottled at 4.5% ABV.
Nose: Quite a strong nose that simply bursts out of the bottle: dry apples and a slight leafiness.
Taste: A medium-level of fizz with quite small bubbles. Initially, it’s dry and then the sweetness pops up, followed by long dry, slightly bitter finish.
With ice: The balance seems a bit off when served with ice and, rather than adding anything, I think that it disrupts the underlying flavour of the cider—definitely best to just have it well-chilled.