This slow-fermented, semi-dry cider from H. Weston & Sons Ltd in Herefordshire, England has a dark straw coloured, golden amber tone and yields an uncommonly large and loose white head, along with a persistent collar. Caple Rd Cider Blend No. 3 is partially aged on oak, which is apparent in the smell, as well as a strong honey note, funky wild yeast and, of course, freshly-pressed English apples.
By North American standards, Caple Rd Cider Blend No. 3 is starkly dry from front to back, though it’s hardly one-noted. The blend of apples comes through as earthy, farmy and thoroughly funky. There’s also a Riesling-like vinous flavour that come through as a tartness and almost wince-inducing sourness wash over the tongue. Oak reappears in the finish of this full-bodied and highly effervescent cider, along with a faint rawhide or leather quality.
The mustard yellow can that Caple Rd Cider Blend No. 3 might have the most detail of any product I’ve reviewed, including yeast amounts, cider master notes and even an acidity rating. A best before date is stamped on the can’s base. The brand’s logo uses a bold, hard font that reminds me of a 1940s movie title card.
Caple Rd Cider Blend No. 3 is easily the best imported cider that’s regularly on the LCBO shelves and it’s available at an amazingly thrifty price point for one of this quality. It’s listed at about 150 stores and I’ve paired it with creamy brie, sharp cheddar, whole grain bread/crackers, baked chicken, pork ribs, vanilla ice cream, banana bread and probably a few more things I’m forgetting. I find it extremely versatile.
Type: Semi-Dry Cider
Country: United Kingdom
Region: Ledbury, Herefordshire
Brewery: H. Weston & Sons Ltd
Format Purchased: 500 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.2%