I’ve been set loose on a Thursday afternoon, with nothing better to do than sniff out a few good ciders. After seeking out The Euston Cider Tap, I’m deciding on the second of my five-a-day. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that proper cider is high in easily-absorbable antioxidants. Enough of the science, let’s get on with it.
There’s now a few old dears inside, in pastel anoraks seemingly waiting for a train, while the bearded barman plays ‘The Ace of Spades’ at a safe level over the sound system. I opt for a traditional-sounding Severn Scrumpy. The beard offers me a taste – a sign that this one will certainly be something to write about. I decline the sample, and request to proceed, immediately, with the immersive experience.
BOOM! It’s like drinking smoke machine liquid, (try Googling ‘fog juice’). Severn Scrumpy still bears enough sweetness and dryness to make it bearable, but this cider has spent a week at reading Festival, standing next to a bonfire, holding a milk jug full of scrumpy, while some hoodied crusty chucks pieces of smashed up guitar onto the fire.
I take another bite of the charred apple, it’s starting to burn my throat now. The 6.3% Gloucestershire cider is not for the faint-hearted, but a treacly taste shines through and draws me on, through the thick smoke of the dance floor. The old chap in the corner who raises his eyebrows every time I glance over, is waiting for his chum, who is tottering down the steep spiral staircase. I realise the toilets must be up there – probably not the safest toilet-route in a proper cider bar. I sit back and savour a cider that must certainly be difficult to find in these parts, and read about cider-making in French, while I wait for the nosebleed to arrive. Fouloir a vendanges….mmm…fog juice….
Verdict: 2.5/5 it’s an experience