M&S Somerset Oak Matured Cider: A Proper English Vintage

Two bottles of marks and spencer cider

M&S know how to make cider look classy don’t they?  I can almost see these bottles being drooled over in one of their adverts (this is not just cider…).  Anyway, I heartily approve of the innards as well as the exterior, as the clever chaps / chapesses at Marks’ have outsourced these own brand ciders to the quality Somerset cider makers Sheppy’s.  Sheppy’s are a real deal cider maker, who have actual orchards, know their stuff and have a presence at many a cider festival.

It’s a medium dry cider, and it strikes a nice balance of a bit of dryness and depth without drying your mouth out.  I hadn’t come across an oak matured cider before (I thought that kind of thing was for wines and whiskies), but it’s not just a gimmick.  There’s an oakiness in the smell and although it’s still full of juicy apple flavour, it gives it an interesting bit of complexity.  Definitely one to savour and not gulp.

As usual with the interesting stuff, it clocks it at the higher end, alcohol wise (7.4%), so I wouldn’t recommend a session on it, but worth seeking out to support a fine British cider maker.

Union Jack bottle tops on cider

p.s. lost my tasting notes for the Dabinett apple cider, so will have to buy that one again at some point to give my verdict…


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