London Cider Co Rooster, at The Pembury Tavern

London Cider Co RoosterIt’s always a relief when Friday evening arrives, it’s certainly my favourite time of the year. I’m on my way to the Pembury again, on this warm evening, to meet a friend and I find it’s not very busy with plenty of room. At the bar, I’m debating whether to have the WGF Hunt Devonshire, or the London Cider Company’s Rooster. While I’m deciding, a young lady approaches the bar, and we have the ‘you first,’ ‘no, you first,’ ‘no, you first’… conversation. It’s nice to know people still have manners. As I’ve tried Hunt’s before, I decide on a Rooster and find a table by the window. My friend is running late, so I can have some quality time with my cider.

The Rooster is 5% cider with a rich, fruity smell. It is flat, and has a warm taste, a little bit toffee, a little bit sherry, but actually very dry, not sweet at all, and to me, it tastes a bit watery. As I sip it, I start to detect some kind of boiled vegetable in there, but I can’t put my finger on which one. It’s advertised as a sweet cider, by the Watford-based London Cider Co

The Pembury is still strangely quiet tonight. I look around my fellow customers, which makes me feel better that I have more hair than the guy opposite who has a seat on the express coach to Combover City. £5. One way. I decide to choose from the menu, there are many interesting recipes. However, I’ll wait for my friend before I order, so I don’t look like a greedy bastard. A pleasant chap comes over to me, peering behind me, and tells me he’s looking for science fiction fantasy. I’m about to reply that I ain’t no Barbarella, then I turn round and see he’s looking at the selection of books available; Red Dwarf, Ratha’s Creature, Cool Runnings…

The name, Rooster, harks of a farmyard-grown bruiser, but as I pick a barfly out of my pint, I’m thinking that the Rooster is not really strutting his stuff today. Instead, he’s left his farmstead, headed for London, found a quiet little flat in a leafy street, invited round some Guardian readers for a vegetable casserole, and then read some Terry Pratchet, but he still retains a bit of his West Country accent, has long hair and wears a leather wasitcoat on weekends.

A nice, civilised cider for those who don’t like it too sweet, but it’s not gonna win a cock fight.




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