Beer Review: ‘K’ Gaymer Cider

ALREADY, my exploration into the controversial world of the super-strong drink has included an Duvel ale and a “barley wine” Gold Label beer. And we haven’t even reached the notorious lagers. And this instalment won’t either. You see, I didn’t realise this when I picked up this can, but we have here, a strong cider. This is K, produced by the Gaymer Cider Company from Shepton Mallet, England.
K can

This one was from my local off-licence. And priced quite reasonably too. Why did I choose this one as the next strongest to try? Well, it has the right image. The tall 500 millilitre can is the same size as the lagers that come with free ASBOs. It provides the young, irresponsible drinker with maximum alcohol units for minimum price. Yet at the 8.4% clearly printed below the logo, it is marginally weaker than both Duvel and Gold Label. So, I’m going into this one predicting a rough experience from a strong drink, but that it won’t be as hard going as what will follow it.

Taking a closer look at the can, I think the black background and combination of red, gold and high-contrast white lettering to be a good design. This one also has a big red banner around the top explaining that this one has an extra 13.5% to bring it up to 500 millilitres. But in the market today, it’s hard to imaging them succeeding with anything less. The quote “The ultimate in quality” follows the ‘K‘ logo all the way around the can.
K logo

And around the bottom of the can are the words “Strong”, “Refreshing” and “Different”. We’ll see about that when we try it. I do like the serious but minimal look of the can however.

Around on what you could consider to be the ‘back’ of the cylindrical can are the details. All neatly contained above the barcode. The paragraph that normally gets devoted to a story or some history in this case has a lot of marketing twaddle. It truly is one of the most inane paragraphs I’ve seen on a drink. Something about how the ‘K’ stands for the ultimate in quality. You get the idea.
K barcode side

Also on there are the main details you’d want to know. That this is cider. That it contains sulphites. Whatever they are. That is it best served chilled. That this can manages to fit an astonishing 4.2 UK units of alcohol. And neatly hidden away is the name and address of the Gaymer Cider Company.

Now I could be wrong, but I’d say Gaymer are hiding their name. As if they don’t want the Gaymer name to be associated with the ‘K‘ brand. And who can blame them. If Gaymer is pushing their name with their other premium cider brands, they wouldn’t want to be mentioned in the same breath as words like “teenager”, “anti-social” or “disorderly”.

And that’s all there is to talk about the outside of the can. Time to open it up and see how “Strong”, “Refreshing” and “Different” K actually is.

Once poured carefully into a glass, I realise it was pointless to be careful. Cider doesn’t have a head. As K beautifully demonstrates. It’s also predictably cider-ish in colour. A good, deep, gold colour.
K cider in a glass

You don’t even need me to describe the smell to you. It smells of apples. But if you’ve had cider before, you’ll know that. I’ve not tried anything more than cheap ciders in the past so I don’t have much to compare it with. It could be substandard in some way, but I wouldn’t realise it. Leave a comment if you have an opinion one way or the other.

It’s been so long since I’ve had a cider, I’d forgotten just how refreshing they can be. And even a very strong cider like K here is just that. It does, predictably, taste a little of apples. And it does have a slightly bitter/sour aftertaste. But it’s surprising how easy to drink it is considering the 8.4% strength. It would be very easy to get through a lot of this without realising how inebriated one is becoming. And that is perhaps what K is all about. The easiest, cheapest way to consume as many units of alcohol as possible.

Working through the can, I can’t say that K is the best tasting cider out there. I’m fairly sure that big bottles of Woodpecker or Strongbow as tastier. But you can’t argue with it as an effective, accessible vehicle for all those units of alcohol. Even if the gassiness makes you burp a lot.

Final thoughts? K is an example of what I set out to find. It’s affordable. Very easily drinkable. Especially if your palate isn’t yet mature enough to appreciate beer. And it is very strong. I’d rate it higher than Gold Label for drinkability but it doesn’t have the character of Duvel or strong Scottish ales. I’d go so far as to say that K is bland in comparison. It certainly is very easy to drink though. This is going to be a challenging rating to give…

Rating: 3.3

Have you tried K? What did you think?
Can you recommend any other ciders, high-strength or otherwise?
If so, leave all comments, ideas, insults and bribes in the usual place…

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68 Responses to “Beer Review: ‘K’ Gaymer Cider”

  1. moe Says:

    I drink 6 of these every night, but i only remember drinking four lol. i rely on seeing the cans in the morning or being told to know how much i had that night. im on my third can right now…………..

  2. wayne SELLERS Says:

    A FRIEND TOLD ME ABOUT IT, I WHENT TO THE STORE AND GOT A 6 PACK I TYR IT, IT WAS CRAZY SICK MAD GOOD,
    I WHENT BACK TO THE STORE THE NEXT DAY TO GET MORE, THEY SAID THERE OUT OF K’, SO I WHENT TO OTHER STORES THEY DID NOT HAVE K’, I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR K BEER FOR ONE MONTH NOW, NO SUCCESS, NOW AM GOING CRAZY SICK MAD FOR GOOD!

  3. Kathleen Oubichon Says:

    I have a friend who loves K Beer, but can not find it in any local stores.
    Are you able to find a distributer for K Beer and let me know at my email address?

  4. jack walters Says:

    knockin bak som cheap dry cider rite now. not as tasty as strongbow but alrite

  5. Volpoid Says:

    “K” is fine if you want the strogest & just about best mass market cider (though it all depends on personal taste really) For a proper cider, made the oldfashioned way that will really knock your socks off & far outstrips any comercial mass produced cider you need to visit the Lizard Cider barn about 4 miles from Lizard village in Cornwall. The guy there makes his own cider in the traditional century’s old way & it kicks bottom! If you like your cider dry then this is your place to get it, even his “sweet” cider is dry by comercial mass produced junk.

  6. sarah Says:

    Try drinking 3 cans sitting down…then get up
    always a joyous experience!

  7. Shawn Says:

    i drank 12 k and 1 slept for 1 whole day..
    lol

  8. Horrible jaxxon Says:

    K sorts the crack right out, it`s a pity only morrisons have the balls to sell it!

    • Paul S Says:

      Tesco sell it as well at £3 for 4 cans.

      Top stuff. It’s better if you chill it in the freezer until it’s a bit slushy though.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Ahhhh.. Cider slush.. I remember doing that with taunton exhibition. Pity they down make it anymore.

  9. ladybug Says:

    i luv k beer! im from chicago il,i cant seem to find them any where every body is out of stock.please bring them BACK!

  10. Dominique Says:

    I am trying to find k also, i love them, i have been drinking them for two years now and it gets me drunk with just two bottles. Please if anyone finds any stores in OHio email me dhafley21@gmail.com.

  11. Princer Says:

    Try Strongbow super now called Strongbow black, its 7.2% and kicks ass

  12. Cheryl Says:

    Me and my friend drunk K everyday for about 2 months and were 16! hahaha crackheads… i think it tastes horrible.. but if u need to get drunk and u only have 2 pound.. there is no other choice haha!!

  13. Jasireu Says:

    I love the taste of K and I am not a drinker like most. It had a unique and smooth flavor. I am looking also, I live in IN; so, if anyone no where or how to get it let me know also. Thank you.

  14. Yorkie Says:

    K cider, it stops you caring.
    Drink 8 cans of K and see what I mean.
    Great stuff

  15. Anonymous Says:

    u lot are tramps stop drinking k u might aswell take heroin u probs do b4 a k init !Fuckin disgusting tramps man park bench people! Subyway crawlers u are

  16. Anonymous Says:

    who u calling a stupid cunt ! u probably got smelly breath and plaque in your teeth i bet you look like u jus munched a fudge all brown inbetween ur teeth! K is durty stop it my tax money saves your livers u disfunctional guys on job seekers allowance. K drinkers should all go to hell motherfuckers sitting on the park bench in ur ripped lumberjacks with leather elbow pads from them george michael days !!!! Get a life

    K DRINKERS STOP HOGGING THEM PARK BENCHES THEY FOR CLEAN PEOPLE U MAKE ME SICK AND YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED… I WILL PRAY FOR YOU ONLY GOD CAN SAVE YOU….

  17. anon Says:

    LOL, i drink K Cider every week and my teeth are fine and i don’t have a smelly breath. You just brush your teeth twice a day and your fine. And not all people who drink K are 30 yo jobless people! If you want to get drunk and with a nice taste, a can of K Cider is the one!

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Nob jockys the lot of ya

  19. Debi Says:

    I have been trying to find “K” , unfortunately i am addicted…. can you assist?? live in Los Angeles,ca

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Fuck i need some K

  21. Bring us some got damn K! Says:

    Please bring K back to Chicago we need that shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. SScchhhtuuraarrtt Says:

    Fooooooooook! Shire…

    8.4% ? Say what?

    Merrydown is nicer taystin’, if you want a nice “champaigne” tasting cripspyfresh silver one… or mebbe you like a tastyappleylicious golden oneshire?

    I’ts pretty strong. But “K” takes the biscuit and crunches it down and then another.

    bOOm! H3AdSh0t!

    One can, and you are two pints in. Probably more, because it’s pressurised in your bellysome, leaking those 4 and a bit units in.

    At ridiculous bulgeypocketpricetime of quarter to three o’clock (£2.75 to you sober folke), it’s to be seen to be believed! -> THink Carefulleh! Imagine a pack of fosters is 4% that makes this 1/2 the price, at 8.4%, and clocking in even cheaper than a fosters 4pack n’all. WHOA. Fosters is filth too.

    To be honest, it’s some mean tasting filth. Think, cider, but with no redeeming qualities. Then gulp yourself down some lovelydrunkenness!

    Time to let go. And for GODS SAKE. JUST BUY THE FOUR! SAVE YOURSELVES! Thats’ 16 units for gods sake! What? you want them to put the prices up again?

    Get urself a phat pint glass, break open a couple of cans (one for the top-up. And take a laugh at those poor suckers paying circa £3 a pint for piss weak ale down t’pub.

    Gaymers with your “K” you are truly schpoiling us! <3 @ Mr. Gaymer. Did I mention there's less tax on cider? SCrU U GORDON BROWN u BeeaITCH!

    y'Wan Love me Bruddas! hic

  23. kathy Says:

    can someone please tell me where I can buy K cider beer or atleast how to get in touch with the company?

  24. Candy Says:

    I am looking for K beer in MO or IL i am willing to travel if need be. I need to know were to buy it I have been missing K for about a year now can anyone help? please e-mail if you have suggestions on where i should look dandy_missouri_candy@yahoo.com

  25. kathy Says:

    still looking for a response on where to find K beer!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. alkie Says:

    I’ve tried a lot of cider, as alcoholics are want to do. I’d rate K below frosty jack in the taste department, also below the cheap %4.2 asda smart price cider. The best cheap cider is called “summer breeze” It’s £2.25 for 2 litres and %7.5. Good luck finding it though, I only know one offie that does it.

    P.S. I sometimes hang around with street drinkers, no wait that makes me an (occasional) street drinker too. K is the most popular beverage by far, though I prefer Crest or Special Brew.

    Interestingly enough you NEVER see kids drinking it, ever. Not around here anyway and when I was a kid I preferred asti.

  27. alkie Says:

    kathy: You will find it at small newsagent style off-licences, near areas where street drinkers hang around, usually about half a mile away so it isn’t obvious where it’s coming from…

  28. alkie Says:

    kathy: And they often hide it near soft drinks rather than with the majority of their beer…

  29. watagwasn Says:

    listen k ciders the bombbizzel

  30. jhone Says:

    who is cruise extra strong beer 12% alcohol 500ml in can brewery ? THANKS jhone

  31. Richard Murray Says:

    Well I love K , when i went to glasto this year I had a little bag for my spare pants and a suitcase full of wonderfull K
    We love you k cider

  32. J Blessed Says:

    Well I drunk K’s for almost 2 years straight and then they some how some way left the market in D.C. I would love to see them back on the market again. I haven’t had 1 for goin on 2 years now ad I’m very dissappointed about that. I prefer K’s over beer and I drink alot. Preferrably hard liquior but I just love “K’s”

  33. LAchlan Says:

    I used to love K cider when I was a teenager, but any more than about 4 and you wake up in jail. Truly a court case in every can. Compared to other strong ciders, it tastes remarkably pleasant. I’m sure this stuff has wrecked a few relationships over the years. 10/10!

  34. K man Says:

    Yeah k is so cheap at a price of £1 pound a can where i live you cant really beat it for price and i must say it dont taste at all that bad. 2 cans and your drunk. I would love to know what is in this stuff thou would not advise drinking it everyday and yeah this stuff has wrecked a few things for people in life.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    Henry Weston Vintage Reserve Cider 8.2% is the undesputed Daddy of all ciders. This K stuff is the breakfast of champions.

  36. Anonymous Says:

    One thing I did notice about K cider is that i’ts just apples with added sulphates but no sweeteners…all the so called best top brands of cider seem to have added sweetener… this is great because I tell the Mrs that even though K is higher in alcohol than yer Strongbow and such… it’s healthier because it has less additives!

  37. Anonymous Says:

    K is brilliant… and so easy to drink. I’d offer to send some over to America but it’d cost £25 ($40) to post a 4-pack! :(

  38. Kofi Bismarck Says:

    Dear sir/Madam,

    Would to have more information.

    Interested in Export.

    Thank You

  39. emily. Says:

    When people associate K with ‘tramps’ it makes me lmao, its not the beer, its who drinks the beer, ‘tramps’ as you say, tend to drink it because its cheap and gets you gattured on a few cans. And two cans is the equivalent of a medium bottle of Glens vodka which is 6.70/7.00. and the people that say its for jobless people :L grow up? I have a full time job, I’m not on the council or benifits and I’m happy to say i love K its the only cider I actually like, and if me drinking K makes me a ‘tramp’ or a ‘piss head’ I’d more than happily be associated with sleeping on a bench ;) at least I’m not a nobody looser who argues on drinking websites about cider, if you don’t like it, don’t drink it? No ones making you. and yep I’m a 16 year old girl. and no I don’t get fucked every day, I work with children so its only occasional. now please- gtfo (get the fuck out) k thanks bye :)

  40. cockneyjohn Says:

    K cider is a superb drink in my opinion,ive drunk copious quantities of this and love the buzz after a couple of cans,a mellowing after the third,a fourth is not the best way to go…..legs go to jelly!so a switch to Scrumpy Jack is the ideal way to finish off a sesh,maybe one or two……a pleasant way to finish the day.

  41. They call me Mister Tubbs Says:

    We go down to Whitstable each Sunday and have some K Ciders, fucking lovely they are, and no hangover either. They ran out a week or two back and we got some Union Cider , 8.4 per cent also, well it’s just the same shit under a different name isn’t it. K is great,, doesn’t make you sick unlike that fucking nasty chemical cider like Frosty Whites or Carbon, and we have about six or seven each sunday and It makes for a good night, even better when Millwall have got a result, tastes so much better and you do get a buzz

    Right, see you all Sunday, Caravan Park, Herne Bay, 10pm, be there, free can of Union to whoever shows up

  42. tommi Marshall Says:

    I can’t find this beer anywhere in Alabama anymore. Its the best beer ever brewed! Please help me locate some

  43. Anonymus Says:

    I absouloutly LOVE K when I was 14 me and a freind used to get 2 four packs and just drink 4 each the buzz was WONDERFULL they was only like a pound each we would start off with two warm we figured warm ones got you drunk faster and then have two cold ones four was the perfect amount. Its such a nice drink so smooth it tastes GOOD and its cheap we drank.4 cans everynight for a month best time of my life. I truly suggest if you haven’t yet you DEFINATLY try this drink!

  44. Scrumpy Specialist Says:

    K is indeed a quality 8.4% high strength cider that can be bought at local stores, Union Black is also very good. Compared to the white cider sh*te that is only 7.5% they actuall taste of apples and are quite tasty for the strength they are. There are stronger ciders out there but are generally only found at beer/cider festivals and direct from farmers down Somerset/Hererfordshire way.

  45. Anonymous Says:

    I love K cider, I have been drinking it for years now. Recently went to the shop and picked up 8 cans from my usual store and they had a new type of branding but I didn’t think nothing of it. Got home, cracked open a can and was absolutely horrified at the taste. it have a silver top not a gold top and it taste f++k up. I would like to know if any one has come to taste this K with the silver top. And if you have not, don’t drink this shit they call K in a silver top because its not the K we all love.

  46. Anonymous Says:

    I love k. Discovered it 1 week ago after living 8 years in London and I wish I had before. Btw. I’m not a homeless or anything. Just like the taste and if you ‘re going to a BBQ in the park or having friends at home it’s the perfect drink to get everyone chatting fast…..lol

  47. Anonymous Says:

    K is fucking boufing and gives me the baulk.

    I fucking love this stuff.

    • Anonymous Says:

      My local shop had run out of K bought a can of Union Black instead fucking loved it gonna get me some more of that shit it’s the bollocks :-)

  48. Lincoln Says:

    First off I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
    I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thank you!

  49. Ms.Journey Says:

    I love that K I wish they will bring it back I’m not a big drinker and I don’t like the taste of beer but that was really good and I can drink too and be good when I go out For the rest of my night is there any other beer like KBeeR I’m in Detroit Michigan

  50. John Says:

    Around the year 2000 K Cider was my signature drink. I would take it to keg parties, house parties, and any other gatherings. I would give samples to anyone who wanted to try it. Then I moved to the West Coast and K Cider wasn’t to be found. I spent a few years searching for it, and then today I found out it is no longer available in the United States. Now I am fermenting my own hard cider.

  51. Malcolm Triggs Says:

    I think K is the best cider you can buy in supermarkets. I’m from Cornwall and can honestly say that it is the closest to what’s called “real” cider. If you want the real experience, open one up, leave it out for a day until it is flat and drink it at room temperature. It sounds odd, but trust me, this is how real cider should be drunk.

  52. Marco Says:

    I like cider… proper cider, made with a decent %age of apple juice.. Thatchers, Westons, Aspels,.. all good stuff. My mate has got a cider press and goes round the seasonal shows selling cider from 100% juice… we don’t drink Wrongbow, Magners, Bulmers, and similar artificially sweetened commercial shite, and after 25yrs of hard swigging I think I’m a fairly good judge of a decent jug.
    In theory ‘K’ cider should be bloody awful… but it isn’t, it actually goes down rather well, even when not as chilled as it would be best enjoyed. Whilst not particularly ‘appley’ it is still quite fruity but without a nasty artificial-sweetener aftertaste, and yet not so dry that it takes the enamel off your teeth.
    Given price considerations, you can do a hell of a lot lot worse than this ‘under the radar’ beauty, not quite as good as Merrydown ‘Silver’, but a good 2nd place (in the price category).
    Do not confuse ‘K’ 8.4% cider with similar strength bad-ass ciders such as ‘White Frightening’ and the ilk.
    ‘K’ is actually not bad.. not bad at all!

  53. Marco Says:

    If ye want to make your own quality stuff with no preservatives, artificial sweetners.. basically as pure as in biblical times:

    Get hold of a 1g/4.5lt plastic container

    5x 1lt Apple Juice (Tesco/Asda/etc value stuff.. maybe 69p carton)
    1x sachet of general wine yeast (Wilkos).. 89p
    Put the apple juice and yeast in the (cleaned) container

    10 days… fermented to dryness (approx 8.5%abv.. the natural specific gravity of pure apple juice), maybe a little cloudy but easily drinkable
    another 14days.. crystal clear unadulterated apple-tasting loony juice..
    enjoy chilled/over ice

    3 pints of this and yer giggling like a fool! ;-D

    works out at about 55p/pint… happy daze!

  54. Sneaky Pete Says:

    “the black background and combination of red, gold and high-contrast white lettering to be a good design”

    Yeah yeh.. The best reason for this design is to stop the PCSOs noticing the street drinkers. You could spot a can of T*nn*nts at 30 paces but K just seems to blend in.

  55. Dave Says:

    Best consumed with ‘original’ Pringles.

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