Work has recently sent me to the town of Aviemore in the Scottish highlands. Aviemore is a small town with views out across the Cairngorm mountains, which, although impressive, don’t really compete with what I hear it’s like in the Alps. What has this got to do with the price of eggs? I hear you ask, well, while in Aviemore I found that nearly every restaurant and bar had at least a couple of beers available from the Cairngorm Brewery, the brewery itself being in an industrial estate on the edge of town.

Moody Skies

Moody Skies Over Aviemore

Work done and about to head back to England we thought it’d be rude to not have a look at what’s available at the brewery shop. Obviously there were many Cairngorm beers, a few guest beers and you usual souvenir brewery clock and brewery t-shirt etc. But what I want to mention is the Thistly Cross Cider.

Thistly Cross Cider

Thistly Cross Whisky Cask Cider 6.9%

Thistly Cross Original 7.2% is a lightly effervescent cider, light in colour too. A pleasant, dry aroma, something akin to Stowford Press. It has one real though, and it’s a major one, the main taste. it is far, far too sweet. I did not think that a cider of such strength could possibly be that sweet. As a result of this sweetness it also has a thick and gloopy mouthfeel, which isn’t desirable either. Afterwards the cider has an aftertaste more akin to Merry Down, with a slight sour note to it. It really was quite a chore to finish this.

I’d hoped that the other bottle would be better Thistly Cross Whisky Cask Aged 6.9%. The one with the slightly lower ABV being less sweet must surely be to do with the maturation in Whisky casks? More rounded, mellow and with hints of vanilla out of the two it would definitely be my choice, although it is still very sweet. But would I choose either of them at all? No. I won’t say that you should avoid it like the plague because that can get people into trouble, and I suppose if you have a sweet tooth you may like it. Definitely not for me though.