I’m originally from Kent so will always have a soft spot for Kent cider. The offerings of Kentish Pip are no exception – these guys have been making incredible cider from their farm just outside of Canterbury since 2012. Sitting alongside their fantastic fine ciders are these insanely crushable cans of joy; the perfect summer drinks, or if you’re like me, the perfect drinks for all year round.
Let’s crack them open then!
Up first we have High Diver, checking in at 4.8% ABV and made from a combination of Cox and Bramley apples. It’s a light straw colour, nice and clear with tonnes of carbonation kicking things off. The smell is fresh and light – think apple skins with a slight floral edge. Taste wise, this is a medium-dry cider with bundles of acidity up front, developing into some floral sweetness round the edges that lingers a little on the teeth. It’s clean, it’s refreshing and it’s fizzy.
Next up we have Dappler, self-described as ‘wild and fresh’ with an ABV of 5.5%. Interestingly it’s created by blending two separate wild fermentations, one featuring Charles Ross, Zari and Greensleeves apples and the other Major, Kingston Black and Browns. The cider itself is light gold in colour with lots of fizz and as I pour, scents of sour apple flesh are bouncing off the glass. I won’t lie, I’m salivating already. On the palette it is quite dry, with the moisture disappearing from your mouth for a couple of seconds before being replaced with a whisper of zingy apple sweetness. It’s like a delicious, morish palette cleanser.
Now onto Wild Summer, their elderflower cider and arguably my favourite of all cider flavours. Am I going into this biased then? Maybe. It’s a classy 4% ABV and pours an almost wine-like pale yellow colour. The smell is incredibly fresh, with the elderflower front and centre but not overpowering. This continues through into the taste. Bundles of elderflower dancing round the mouth and settling on the tip of the tongue; but it’s a refreshing, natural taste, not syrupy like elderflower can sometimes be. For me, this is an absolute summer winner.
I think I would describe Craftsman as the one in charge of the whole range. 5.7% ABV and made from dessert and bittersweet apples in small batches, this is the complex cider of the lot. It pours a slightly deeper gold colour than the previous cans, with aromas of fresh apple flesh and a little tingle of sweetness. There’s plenty of layers to this one; deep apple tastes up front, a little bit of dryness on the tongue, some zing on the roof of the mouth and then a caramel-like linger on the end. It’s an excellent balanced cider for those looking for something a little more challenging.
Time for Skylark, which in my humble opinion has the best label of the lot. It sits at 5.5% ABV and is described as bright and full-bodied, which I certainly agree with. It’s a fairly dark gold colour and is a little gentler on the fizz than some of the other ciders in the range. The smell is a little on the funky side, but with some clean apple and caramel edges in there. This one is really special on the tongue. A bit of freshness, a bit of funk and a bit of sweetness that sweeps round the mouth before settling on the front of the teeth. For me, this ticks all the boxes of a great cider.
And finally, we have Forager, Kentish Pip’s berry cider with a day-drinking ABV of 4%. The label doesn’t tell me what hedgerow berries are included in this but I’m getting perhaps some blackberry, maybe some blueberry and maybe even some rosehip? The colour of this is beautiful, a natural ruby red colour with a hint of purple. The smell is quite low-key; some faint jam tones that filter on through to the taste, but you still get plenty of that medium-dry apple base shining through. If you’re after something mega fruity, then walk on by, but if you’re looking for something that tastes like cider with berries, then this is the drink for you.
In conclusion… pop them in the fridge, pop them in your picnic basket, but most importantly, just pop them open!