First Pint of 2018 – Hair of the Dog That Bit Yer

Pint No. 1

What? – Lilley’s Rhubarb Cider

When? – 1st January 2018

Where? – The Grindon residence, Curry Rivel, Somerset

My friend Murray kindly invited me to a New Year’s Eve party at his house in Somerset. Sat around his dinner table at midday on New Year’s Day, feeling queasy and nursing a headache, I was reminded of my idea to sample 365 beers in 365 days. Fortunately, knowing that the New Year would result in a filthy hangover and that I would be starting this Herculean feat, I’d planned ahead by buying a sweet treat to kick things off.

At Glastonbury Festival last year I was fortunate enough to sample a mango cider by the good people at Lilley’s Cider, Frome. With this in mind, I headed to The Cider Shack in Yeovil (helpfully a full 20 second walk from my parents’ house) to pick up a litre of the that fine nectar. My quest took a minor detour once inside said Cider Shack when I spotted a rhubarb number lined up next to it’s mango cousin. I decided this would be the bev to rescue me in my time of need and purchased a 1 litre carton. It worked out at roughly £2.30 a pint which is very reasonable.

At 4%, it’s not the strongest pint in the world and as with most, if not all flavoured ciders, it is very sweet. Whilst the % falls under the ‘Session Umbrella’, it’s sweetness means that that I would struggle to drink more than a couple of pints of this at one time. That is just personal preference however, as other people have described it as “tangy” and “bitter-sweet”. I was impressed that they’d managed to capture the rhubarb flavour without it tasting too artificial or like ‘Rhubarb and Custard’ sweets. As it’s a still cider and the alcohol is well masked, one could be forgiven for thinking they were having a glass of juice. As you can see from the below, it’s a fairly regular colour, although rhubarb gives a slightly pinkish-hue that my amateur photography skills haven’t been able to capture.

For the purposes of trying something a little different and/or getting a minor alcohol injection to stave off a hangover, it worked a treat. It’s definitely a pint I’d recommend for a chilled summer’s day and certainly trumps any efforts by fizzy-pop style “cider” makers.

Overall Score – 3.5/5


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