Traditional Perry is made from pears grown specifically for that purpose rather than for eating or cooking. Many perry pears are nearly inedible due to high tannins; some are also quite hard. Perry pears may contain substantial amounts of sorbitol, a non-fermentable sweet-tasting compound. Hence a perry can be completely dry (no residual sugar) yet taste sweet.
There is a pear character, but not obviously fruity. It tends toward that of a young white wine. Some slight bitterness.
Slightly cloudy to clear. Generally quite pale.
Relatively full, moderate to high tannin apparent as astringency.
Tannic. Medium to medium-sweet. Still to lightly sparkling. Only very slight acetification is acceptable. Mousiness and ropy/oily characters are serious faults.
Note that a “dry” perry may give an impression of sweetness due to sorbitol in the pears, and perception of sorbitol as “sweet” is highly variable from one person to the next. Hence entrants should specify sweetness according to actual residual sugar amount, and judges must be aware that they might perceive more sweetness than how the perry was entered.
Butt, Gin, Brandy, Barland, Blakeney Red, Thorn, Moorcroft, and so on.
The entrant may specify the pear variety (or varieties) in the Additional Information section. If specified, judges will expect varietal character.
If ABV is above typical range, the entrant should provide details on growing conditions, pear varieties and/or production methods.
ABV: 5 – 9%