Perry

Broadoak perry
Pale, greenish colour; almost but not quite still, just slightly pétillant. The sweetest perry I’ve ever tasted, but not in a bad way; it’s also got the strongest pear flavour – a really rich, complex flavour with hardly any sourness and no discernible alcohol. On a hot day you could drink this by the jug. And then fall over – it’s 7.5% a.b.v.

Double Vision perry
Nothing really wrong with this; deep yellow colour, rich chewy flavour with a nice balance of sour and sweet, 7.4% a.b.v. Not much pear flavour; more like a cider. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing very distinctive either.

Gwatkins Oldfield perry
Cloudy, heavy, sweetish, sparkling and strong – 7.2% and tastes it. A big perry flavour.

Gwynt y Ddraig
Two Trees perry
An unusually light perry at only 5%. Crisp and fruity, although not too sweet, with strong carbonation. Very easy drinking – you could get through a lot of this on a hot day, and a fair bit on a cold evening.

Farmhouse pyder
Made with apple and pear juice; see also under ‘Oliver’s’. Very much along the same lines as the Two Trees perry – crisp and fruity, unusually fizzy, not too sweet – with a bit more alcohol and a bit more apple-peel bitterness. Again, very drinkable.

Harland’s Perry
This one had all the elements of a really good perry – a curious, honeyed heaviness, combined with a sinus-clearing sharpness of flavour with floral (not to mention pear-like) overtones – but they didn’t quite gel for me: it was a bit like drinking ice-cold honey which turned into vinegar when you swallowed. On the bright side, it’s only 6%, so you could order a pint without too much hesitation.

Heck’s
Perry
Pale, heavy, fruity, surprisingly sweet; the sharpness and the sweetness nearly come apart to give that honeyed-vinegar effect, but not quite. Very drinkable – 6.5%, but doesn’t taste it.

Red Perry
Unlike the Heck’s cider, this wasn’t red at all; it wasn’t even brown. (Maybe it’s a pun.) Pale, slightly greenish perry, a bit like the Biddenden’s cider to look at. A powerful flavour – big and fairly complex, but not delicate; no floweriness, and this time the alcohol isn’t hidden (also 6.5%, but it tastes like it).

Holder’s Perry
A bit on the sour side. 8% and didn’t taste it; a clean taste with a pleasant heaviness to it. But very, very sharp – sourness unbalanced by sweet or flowery flavours. Not a hit.

Malvern Hills Perry
Cider. This was actually a cider as far as I could tell, and not a brilliant one at that – very sharp, some apple-peel (pear-peel?) bitterness, overall rather thin. Only on the aftertaste is there any pear flavour, and it’s well down in the mix. Bit of a missed opportunity all in all.

Oliver’s Pider
Pider, eh? Can’t really be doing with funny names, personally, but I suppose if you mix perry and cider you’ve got to call it something. Lots of bitterness, which is quite unusual for either perry or cider and may have something to do with the combination of the two; a tongue-drying apple-peel start and a bitter finish with a definite alcoholic kick in it (unusual for real ciders and perries, surprisingly so given that they’re usually in the 6-8% range). Big fruity flavour in between, with both apple and pear in there. Really not bad.

Weston’s Country perry
A pale, greenish, still perry; not sweet, but a strong fruity flavour, although without the distinct pear aroma some perries have. 4.5% and very drinkable.

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