2018 Ciders #45: Ernest

This was the cider I had at the bar on the Toronto Islands.

Ernest
Ernest.

Yes, you can REALLY taste that honey in the cider.  It’s so strong, it actually reminded me of mead.  I’m not the biggest fan of honey, so I wasn’t hugely keen, but it did have a nice light refreshing aspect as well.

2018 Ciders #43: Brickworks 901

This was the first of the two ciders that I had while out for drinks with Mum at Pogue Mahone on the Tuesday in Toronto.

I was pleased to find that a plus point of the Pogue Mahone management change is that they’ve started serving Brickworks 901 in a regular pint glass, because when I was in Toronto two years ago, they used to serve it in a jam jar!

Unfortunately I did not escape the jam jar, because I found they were still using it at the Elephant & Castle three days later:

Brickworks 901
Brickworks 901.

Anyway, the cider.  Brickworks is one of the most prominent cider companies in Canada – they make a good few different ones – and the 901 is probably the most common on draught in bars.  It’s got a lovely medium sweetish taste – you just have to try and avoid the ‘jam jar as glass’ thing!

2018 Ciders #40: Sheppy’s Classic Draught Cider

On visiting my parents’ house recently, I found that Dad had collected a whole load of different Sheppy’s ciders while on a trip to the West Country.  Expect to see lots of them reviewed here over the next few weeks!

Sheppy's Classic Draught Cider
Sheppy’s Classic Draught Cider.

Sheppy’s Classic Draught has what I would consider a perfect medium taste.  It’s also very refreshing without being too watery-tasting – absolutely perfect for summer.

2018 Ciders #39: Aspall

Still shopping the Sainsbury’s cider aisle!

Aspall
Aspall.

Aspall is another cider that’s very light and refreshing, so good for this time of year.  The taste is a bit generic, but it’s not bad – it’s perfectly serviceable, and I’m always happy to have it if it’s on draught at the pub or on sale in the supermarket.

2018 Ciders #38: Scrumpy Jack

I’ve been drinking quite a few cans of Scrumpy Jack the last few weeks, as Sainsbury’s always have it in and it’s a bit more interesting than Strongbow.

Scrumpy Jack
Scrumpy Jack.

It’s not as sweet as Stella Cidre, but it’s smoother than Strongbow.  It’s actually got a very light taste, almost to the extent of being a bit watery.  In the summer, this is a good thing – it’s very refreshing.  I expect this will continue to be my go-to for the next couple of months.

2018 Ciders #37: Henney’s Dry Cider

This is another cider that I picked up at Sainsbury’s recently.

Henney's Dry Cider
Henney’s Dry Cider.

It’s another cider that is just as dry as the bottle suggests.  It’s got a slightly cheesy taste that reminds me of West Country real ciders, but there’s still something very smooth about it.  Probably a bit too dry to become a regular in my fridge, though.

Day out at Newcastle Quayside

Like the rest of the UK, we’ve been enjoying glorious weather here in Newcastle for the past fortnight.  Last weekend, we were able to make the most of it; as I mentioned previously, we were celebrating Geth’s birthday a couple of weeks late, and so on Saturday we went into town for some shopping and food, interspersed with a visit to our favourite beer garden seeing as how it was so nice.

Bridges of the Tyne
View of the bridges of the Tyne from the Free Trade Inn beer garden.

We were fairly lucky to get a space in the Free Trade Inn beer garden – it was a hot Saturday afternoon, which is a rarity, and so the people of Newcastle were out in force in the centre of town – but we did manage it, and Geth immediately made a start on the bar snacks.

Free Trade Inn beer garden
Geth with beer and some kind of pasty/samosa/thing? I wasn’t really paying attention.

I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the light in these pictures – I blame the sun.  Clearly my smartphone camera has become accustomed to British weather and can’t cope with bright light!

Free Trade Inn beer garden
Enjoying the heat! Also very pleased with the way my new Punk Masters T-shirt matches my tattoo.

We’d got all our shopping done fairly efficiently, so we were able to enjoy a good few hours in the sun before our restaurant booking.

Pints of beer and cider
I actually like plastic glasses, even if they’re not very solid to hold – they feel like summer to me!

We then headed to Uno’s Trattoria, one of our favourite Italian restaurants in Newcastle, which Geth had selected for his birthday meal.

Geth with birthday meal
Geth had been looking forward to that pork belly for weeks.

The reason Geth chose Uno’s Trattoria is that, for the last year or so, they’ve had pork belly on the menu, which is one of his favourite foods.  Apparently most Italian restaurants don’t cook meat dishes properly (being a vegetarian I’m generally unaware of these things), but this restaurant must be an exception, as the pork belly went down very well.

Pork belly
Just looks like meat to me, but I’m informed it was very special meat!

I, meanwhile, went for my favourite Italian restaurant treat of pizza:

Rocket and parmesan pizza
That rocket and parmesan topping was immense.

We also had dessert – we both went for the white chocolate cheesecake – but we were so keen to get stuck into it that I forgot to take a picture.

A lovely day out overall.  Happily the weather has continued, and it looks like it’ll be similar this weekend – so we’ll need to take it carefully when running the Great North 10k on Sunday!

2018 Ciders #36: Old Mout Berries and Cherries

I believe this is a new flavour of Old Mout – it’s certainly not one I’ve had before.

Old Mout Berries and Cherries
Old Mout Berries and Cherries.

This is a lovely fruit cider with that typical perfect Old Mout level of sweetness.  It’s also divinely brambly (brambles = blackberries if you’re not Scottish), which gives it one of the best tastes of any new cider I’ve tried this year.  It’s not quite up there with Kiwi and Lime, but it’s definitely a strong contender for my second favourite Old Mout flavour, which is impressive after just one bottle.