Blackthorn Cider

Review of Blackthorn “Dry English Cider”, the U.S. import version.

Cider:  Blackthorn
Cidery: Gaymer Cider Company, a subsidiary of C&C Group Plc (who also owns Magners)
Cidery Location: Shepton Mallet (Mendip District, Somerset England)
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied: 16.9 oz can
Availability:  year round, wide release, four packs of 16.9 oz cans

Cider Description:  Blackthorn is a dry, yet sweet apple cider with bushels of flavor to quench your thirst on even the hottest days.

Cidery Description: One of the country’s best-known and most loved ciders, Blackthorn is firmly rooted in the rugged hills of Somerset – a county which inspires a spirit of courage and determination, with its distinctive clean, crisp taste, Blackthorn Cider is founded on a passion to never settle for ordinary.  Grab life by the thorn.

Price:  $5 / 16.9 oz can at a restaurant (retail is $9 for 4 cans)
Where Drank:  Stellar Pizza in Georgetown area of Seattle WA (they also had Schilling Ginger cans available), which is an awesome pizza joint by the way
How Found:  I’ve seen it while browsing Total Wine (they often place it next to the cinnamon whiskey), and seen some reviews online.  However, this time it was only a choice between two ciders, which was easy as I don’t like ginger.

Blackthorn

First Impression: Medium orange amber.  Slight carbonation.  Seemingly fake English “apple” scent.

Opinion:  Between semi-dry and semi-sweet.  Slightly rich syrupy taste with only a slight bitterness.  Interestingly enough the ingredients are “cider, glucose-fructose syrup, citric acid, ascorbic acid, colour, contains sulphites”.  So, like most commercial products, this isn’t “real” cider.  Not very complex of a flavor.  I find it interesting they import so many of these “fake” ciders.  It was easy to drink and went well with pizza though.  I easily finished the entire can even though it was the middle of the workday!

Most Similar to: Crispin Browns Lane, which I reviewed recently.  Interestingly enough both ciders are at exactly the same price point in my area.  I much prefer the Crispin Browns Lane though, which seemed more flavorful and “real” (although it also has added ingredients, sucrose, ascorbic acid, & sulphites).

Closing Notes:  This is a fairly solid commercial cider that I would choose over Angry Orchard, Strongbow, etc, if it was offered while I was out.  I probably wouldn’t however choose to buy this, in contrast to Crispin Browns Lane.

Have you tried Blackthorn?  What did you think?

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