Taste Test: Magners Irish Cider

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Sold as Bulmers in Ireland, Magners Irish Cider has come to Columbus by the bottle and the keg. Four of Alive's most dedicated drinkers split a six-pack and gave it a try.

Brad Keefe:

First impressions: Pours without head. I like head.It's got an odd, acidy aroma, but the taste isn't as bad as the smell. A little bland, though I'm glad it isn't overly sweet.

Similarity to actual cider: I've been drinking hard ciders a lot more recently than I have real cider, but my memories of real cider aren't quite like this. What was the question again?

What would you drink it with?: Like, food? The real test of a cider is what it's like layered with Guinness.

Would you drink it again?: It pains my Irish ancestry, but the Brits make a much better cider in Strongbow. I'll take that.

Shelley Mann:

First impressions: It's subtle. Or, to put it another way, it tastes a little watered down and not very alcohol-y.

Similarity to actual cider: Well, it's super-sweet like cider. I detected some faint apple notes, but only after eating something salty.

What would you drink it with?: Pork chops and applesauce, or some other dinner featuring fruit.

Would you drink it again?: Nope. Nothing against this particular one, but hard cider seems tailored for people who don't really like beer. In other words, the complete opposite of me.

John Ross:

First impressions: The brown bottle screams dark ale, so I almost forgot I was going to be drinking something sweet, tart and not at all hoppy.

Similarity to actual cider: This thing tastes exactly like my favorite fall treat - except with carbonation. It's very sweet but has a slightly tart aftertaste.

What would you drink it with?: Cantaloupe, watermelon or other fresh fruit. You might as well just keep the sweet kick going.

Would you drink it again?: Perhaps. I'm not a huge cider fan, but this one was OK during an early evening on the porch.

Jesse Tigges:

First impressions: Crisp aroma and light carbonation give way to a refreshing taste with slightly bitter aftertaste.

Similarity to actual cider: Not much. Only a hint of sweetness, but that's a good thing.

What would you drink it with?: I had it with a pulled pork sandwich, and the smoky pork and slightly sweet apple flavors went quite well together. Reminded me of pork chops and applesauce.

Would you drink it again?: Though I'm not a huge cider fan, I would drink this again. I found it different from Strongbow (the gold standard), but still fairly tasty.

Drink it:

Bernard's Tavern

630 N. High St., Short North

614-223-9601

bernardstavern.com