Archive for June 19th, 2008

Cider Review: Bulmers Pear

19 June, 2008

A few days ago, I tried Bulmers Original cider. It was adequate, but light on flavour. So it’s with a mixture of curiosity and disinterest that I turn my attention to my first pear cider: Bulmers Pear.

Bulmers Pear bottle

The bottle is almost identical to that of Bulmers Original, only with green instead of gold. And with the word “pear” instead of “original”. I think it looks fairly attractive. But does green equal pear? My first thought was it was lime cider.

All the usual details are there on front label.

Bulmers Pear front label

The HP Bulmer signature. The established date of 1887. The news that this is a “select vat matured” “premium quality cider”. A couple of silhouette pears are the main indication that this isn’t a regular cider, but part of the growing trend for flavoured ciders.

The back label is much the same as that from Original too.

Bulmers Pear back label

The description takes the usual marketing route. No prizes for originality with descriptions of fine ingredients and premium quality. But at least the description that this has a “natural, refreshing taste and smooth character” gives us some clue about what to expect. Albeit a vague one.

The main part of the back label is a big box talking about units of alcohol. For the five people out there who are interested, this 1-pint (568 millilitre) bottle of 4.5% volume cider contains 2.6 UK units of alcohol. The rest of the small print has things like their Hereford postal address, Careline telephone number and email address (consumercare@bulmers.com). Lastly, like all ciders, the only ingredients they mention are sulphites. Which, apparently, have something to do with freshness.

Is pear cider worth the hype? Is it a fad? And is it any good? Time to find out.

Bulmers Pear poured into a glass

After last time when there wasn’t enough room in the glass for ice and the cider, I’ve given the ice a miss this time. Despite the recommendation on the bottle to “serve over ice”.

The colour is no different to non-pear cider. Or indeed many other ciders I’ve seen. Although it is lighter in it’s shade of yellow than some of the less natural ciders out there.

The smell is mostly of apples. But the character of the smell holds something else. Something that could be pear. It’s hard to know either way, since the smell isn’t very strong.

A couple of gulps in, and I’m wandering where the pears are. I’m tasting mostly the same light flavour of apples that Bulmers Original had. A few more gulps and sips in, and I am finally detecting something different. The after taste is of pears. Yes, they are in there. I think. If it didn’t say “pear” on the bottle, I would be struggling to identify what it was. Bulmers Pear then, has a lightly apple-y taste and an even lighter taste of pears in the after taste. And that gives it a slightly different character to normal cider. Although you’re left in no doubt what you’re drinking.

What do I like about Bulmers Pear? Well, the blend of flavours compliment each other rather then clashing. Both are light and inoffensive, making it very easy to drink. And it’s not dry, making it drinkable on it’s own and for the casual cider drinkers out there. Myself included. With some ice, this could be a very refreshing drink too.

What don’t I like about it? The flavours. They’re just too weak for my liking. I like a drink to take chances with strong and unusual flavours. Then there’s originality. Bulmers may have been one of the pioneers of pear cider, but with everyone jumping on the band wagon, I’m not sure what separates this from the pack. I’ll have to try more of them to figure that one out. Lastly, it’s rather on the gassy side.

What is Bulmers Pear cider all about? And how can I sum it up? Think of it as an alcoholic, fizzy fruit drink. Lightly flavoured, and easy to drink it’s one for summer occasions. I simply found it less than interesting. You can barely taste the pear. And every flavour in there is weak. There’s nothing shockingly bad about pear cider. It’s just less fun than it could be.

Rating: 2.35

Have you tried Bulmers Pear? Or any other pear or fruit cider?
What did you think?
Leave your opinions, thoughts, ideas, recommendations and suggestions here please.


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