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Reading Beer and Cider Festival

Posted on 2010/05/15 16:37:31 (May 2010).

[Thursday 29th April 2010]
Knocked off work early and headed for the Reading Beer and Cider festival, keen to be there in time for when it opened on at 4:30. I decided to concentrate just on perries, which I've really developed a taste for recently, and Reading has an unrivalled collection of - over 30 available the first night.

Helpfully they offer the beers/ciders/perries in thirds of a pint, so I was able to sample quite a few of these. Here are my tasting notes:

Barker's BURP. Dry, a bit tart, and some savoury notes on the palate. Really moreish, a hugely drinkable perry. Would go well with a Ploughman's lunch.

Ross on Wye. Slightly cloudy, and a strong nose: matches? Grilled cheese? Tangy, a little bitter, a bit challenging to drink to be honest...

Lambourn Valley "Old Berkshire". Slightly milky appearance, and again that hint of matches on the nose. The milky theme continues on the nose and palate, definitely something dairy related. Less sharp than the others so far.

Hartlands. This is a great Perry, delicate and perfumed but it really has guts to it. On the sweeter side but not overly so; a fragrant floral nose, sweet with some umami on the palate, and really big mouth feel. A joy to roll over the tongue. Definitely recommended.

Day's Cottage. A reddish tinge to this one. The nose reminds me of whisky barrels - has this spent time maturing in oak? Woody on the nose, woody on the palate. This is man's Perry! ...and yet the nose also has rose water, but then again very thirst quenching and gutsy.

Barbourne Blakeney Red SV. Peppery, gooseberries? There are notes here that wouldn't be out of place in a Champagne. Oh but also celery, some kind of chutney, a citrusy tang. Pleasantly acidic.

Brook Farm. A sort of medicated lemon on the nose, almost menthol. Or limoncello perhaps? Light and zingy on the palette, perhaps homemade lemonade. Whichever angle you approach it from, it's very lemony.

Hecks Gender Huffcap Single Variety. Not giving much away on the nose - dry and musty, but sumptuous sweet fruit on the palate.

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