Cidre Mauret Mauret’o

It may sound unbelievable, but Romain, one of the founders of Cidre Mauret from France, actually discovered cidre in far Australia, not Brittany or Normandy as one would expect. In his defence, I must say that Romain comes from the French northern city of Lille, which is famous for its beer, not cider.

The Mauret’o is basically Cidre Mauret mixed with natural flavours of rum, peppermint and lime. Company: SAS Mauret
Place of Origin: Pont-à-Marcq, France
Ingredients: a blend of six apple varieties (95%) and pears (5%) from Normandy and Picardy with natural flavours of rum, peppermint and lime
ABV: 5%
Package type: 330ml clear bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or pint

Appearance: pours a lightly cloudy pale amber with an orange hue and a quickly dissipating white head. Medium and artificial carbonation. Body is also medium. Some sediment in the bottom.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is strong with notes of fresh peppermint, apple juice pressed from French bittersweet cider apples, caramel, dried apricots, raisins and other dried stone fruits.

Taste: my first taste is slightly sweet with a very low acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate,  bittersweet apples, dried apricots, dried fruits, a watery taste with a low to medium astringency and notes of peppermint, caramel and a touch of rum. It finishes dry with a lingering note of peppermint, apricots, a touch of rum and a watery taste.

Overall: I’m not too sure what to think about it. But if we put the Mauret’o in a cocktail-based category, then I must say it is really good. The Mauret’o tastes basically like a cider-based cocktail and I guess that was the idea behind creating it. It’s a tasty French cidre with additional, natural flavours adding complexity to an already flavourful beverage. The Mauret’o is refreshing and not too sweet, so it should find broad appeal. It could be less watery though. Summarizing, I could imagine having it again at a party with friends.  I liked it. 4/6.

Availability: mainly in Lille. Online from La Cave du Tuileries.

Price: Mauret’o was a sample provided by Romain from Cidre Mauret

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Zeffer Crisp Apple Cider

Zeffer’s Crisp Apple Cider was actually the first cider that Zeffer ever released. It was previously known as the Dry. And, the colour of the bottle and the label already indicates, it is made with green apple varieties. In the past, I have tried Zeffer’s Red Apple Cider and the Apple Crumble.  Company: Zeffer Cider Co.  
Place of Origin: Auckland, New Zealand
Apples: green apple varieties
ABV: 5.0%
Package type: 330ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear yellow straw with a short-lived white foam. Medium carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: on the nose notes of green apples, sulphur, quince and honey. Also, a bitter note comes through on the nose.

Taste: it starts medium dry and watery with a medium lemon-like acidity. On the mid-palate, a crispy taste of the Granny Smith apple with yellow dessert apples and a note of sulphur. It leaves a lingering chalky aftertaste with a very distant bitterness.

Overall: this is a very weak offering especially in contrast to previously reviewed ciders from Zeffer. You can clearly say that is it made with dessert apples as there is a strong distinctive sweetish-fruity flavour to it, which I’m not a fan of. Furthermore, the flavour of dessert apples is accompanied by an unpleasant sulphur note along with an unpleasant touch of bitterness, which make this cider taste unpleasant and barely drinkable to me. I didn’t like it and wouldn’t buy it again. I’m sorry to say that this is the weakest cider made by Zeffer I had so far. 2.5/6

Availability: online in the UK from Beers of Europe or from 2Brews. Locally in Berlin from Lager Lagerthe Castle and at Getränkefeinkost.

Price: 24 RM (4.80 EUR) in Ales & Lagers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hills Cider Pear

This time I’m reviewing the Pear Cider made entirely from Australian pears by the Hills Cider Company based in Adelaide Hills, Australia.Company: The Hills Cider Company
Place of Origin: North Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Pears: Adelaide Hills pears
ABV: 5%
Package type: 330ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a small head, which quickly reduces to a ring. Medium carbonated. Body is light.

Aroma/Nose: on the nose notes of wood and sweet pear. The aroma is rather weak.

Taste: it begins medium sweet and low acidity with a distant acetic note. Also, flavours of honey, ripe pears with a hint of wood. No tannins perceivable.

no astringency, some wood.   not overly sweet, but too sweet.

Overall: the Hills Pear is drinkable, but I’d say it is rather an average naturally tasting pear cider. I know that I will quickly forget about it as the taste is not special or unique like e.g. the Perry from Ramborn Cider. It is clearly made from dessert pears. If you are looking for something challenging then Hills Pear will not be your thing. For those who prefer their perry on the sweeter side and are looking for a drinkable and naturally tasting alternative to industrial pear ciders. 3/6

Availability: broad in Australia in South East Asia. In Europe available through CiderCider.

Price: had a bottle at 24 RM (4.7 EUR) in Ales & Lagers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

OBC Cidre Bio

OBC – Original Berliner Cidre has crafted a cider from organic apples grown in orchards of Brandenburg. This product is entirely vegan-friendly. Can you imagine that OBC Cidre Bio was made using a vegan yeast? (is there a non-vegan yeast at all?). Also, the label is vegan and compostable along with the vegan label adhesive. This is my third cider from OBC after the Strong and Rosé.Company: OBC-Cidre GmbH
Place of Origin: BerlinGermany
Ingredients: fermented apple juice from German organic orchards, carbon dioxide, sulphites
ABV: 4%
Package type: 330ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale yellow with a white fizz that quickly dissipates. Low artificial carbonation. Low to medium body. Some sediment in the bottle.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is weak with notes of sulphur, white wine, lemon, yellow apples and a hint of caramel.

Taste: my first taste is moderately sweet of sugar with a hint of burnt sugar with the low acidity of lemon and yellow apples. Finishes dry with a touch of bitterness, peppermint and a hint of canned pineapple.

Overall: OBC’s Bio is a very average offering. There might be many notes on the palate and on the nose but they don’t seem to have a positive impact on the overall impression. Like an orchestra without a conductor. The Bio tastes natural and seems to be made from quality apples but I simply didn’t enjoy having it. And, this sulphur note after opening the bottle…Anyway, I would consider it as an alternative to industrial ciders in Berlin, but just don’t expect too much. 3/6 

Availability: you can find OBC products in every Späti in Berlin (‘Späti’ is a term used in Berlin for a small corner shop/kiosk open 24/7 selling beer, milk, candies, etc). In addition, you can find OBC in Ambrosetti or KaDeWe. Online from Ciderei and Weinquelle Hornig.

Price: OBC Cidre Bio was a sample provided by Ciderei.

Albens Original

The history behind Albens Cider is really fascinating. Dina Rimandra Handayani was an MBA student at Imperial College London when she discovered cider and its rising popularity in the UK and other European countries. Once she returned to her homeland, Indonesia she set up Albens Cider in Bali, where she could source apples. In addition, Dina got Alessio Cristofoletto and Ben Wakefield as technical advisors and investors on board. Before their cider hit the shelves it took them two years to overcome bureaucratic hurdles and receive one of the first cider-production permits in Indonesia. Today their cider is available in three variants, the Original, Apple & Strawberry, Apple & Mango.Company: Albens Cider
Place of Origin: Jembrana, Bali, Indonesia
Apples: locally sourced Fuji apples
ABV: 4.9%
Package type: 330ml brown glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Ingredients: apple juice, water, sugar, yeast, carbon dioxide, malic acid, sulphites.

Appearance: pours a clear golden yellow with a massive short-lived white head. High carbonation with a low body.

Aroma/Nose: smells sweet of commercially available apple juice from concentrate

Taste: it starts medium sweet with low acidity. On the mid-palate a rather unpleasant buttery flavour with notes of apple juice. This is all I’m getting here.

Overall: Briefly, I didn’t enjoy the Original even a little. It’s a slightly sour tasting apple lemonade, which lacks any depth. And, it has this horrible buttery flavour! I didn’t even manage to drink the whole 330ml bottle. Apples might be scarce in Indonesia, but even if you have only dessert apples at hand such as Fuji you can make a decent drinkable cider. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend Albens’ Original to anyone. 1.5/6

Availability: in Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and Malaysia.

Price: had it at 26.5 RM from Taps Beer Bar 1Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

Manufaktura Cydru Perry Kakao i Wanilia

Apart from cider, Dorota and Alek from Polish Manufaktura Cydru have also two perries in their product range. One is made only with pears and released as their limited edition, whereas the second one is made vanilla (‘wanilia’ is Polish for vanilla) and cocoa beans (‘kakao’ is Polish for cocoa). I’m going to review the latter today as I haven’t seen such an interesting flavour combination even in the US. 
Company: 
 Manufaktura Cydru
Place of Origin: Podolszyn, Masovia, Poland
Ingredients: 
pears, vanilla and cocoa beans
ABV:
 5.8%
Package type: 
330ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: chalice glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy straw yellow with a large white head that quickly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Body is low. Some sediment in the bottle.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is sour with strong notes of Sauerkraut and less vinegar. A hint of cocoa and gunpowder (must be sulphur) but no vanilla. 

Taste: my first taste is only slightly sweet with a low to medium acidity of Sauerkraut, followed by notes of sulphur-like matches and less of pears and a watery flavour. Finishes with a sweetish note and distant notes of stale cocoa beans.

Overall: I still have a good memory of the delicious Scrumpy made by Manufaktura Cydru. That’s why it breaks my heart to say that their Perry Wanilia i Kakao is a very weak drop. Manufaktura Cydru’s Perry is very rustic on the nose and on the palate with many off-notes including Sauerkraut and fireworks/gunpowder-like notes of sulphur. Also, the taste is short, disappears quickly and is rather dull. Flavours don’t linger on. The concept of adding vanilla and cocoa might not be bad but I can’t taste any vanilla, whereas instead of cocoa there is a flavour of stale cocoa beans, which perhaps adds complexity but is unpleasant. I’m really sorry guys but this offering requires a lot of further work. 2.5/6

Availability: from Skrzynka Piwa in Warsaw. Perhaps other craft beer shops in Poland may still stock a bottle or two.

Price: a sample of the Perry Wanilia i Kakao was provided to me by Alek from Manufaktura Cydru.

Hills Cider Apple

The year 2010 changed everything in the Adelaide Hills region. Although apples and pears were grown here for ages there was no cider maker that would take advantage of this. The Hills Cider Company was established by Steve Dorman and Tobias Kline in order to create the best Australian cider from the locally grown fruits.Company: The Hills Cider Company
Place of Origin: North Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Apples: Adeleide Hills apples
ABV: 5%
Package type: 330ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden yellow with a short-lived white foam, which quickly dissipates to a ring. Low carbonation. Low bodied.

Aroma/Nose: the nose has notes of apple juice, with distant wood and incense.

Taste: the first sip is moderately sweet with low to medium acidity with notes of both lemon and vinegar. As the taste develops strong notes of apple juice. red apples and red berries appear. Subsequently, flavours of wood and apple seeds. The aftertaste is dry with a lingering taste of wood and a note of grapefruit-like bitterness.

Overall: It was my first Australian cider ever. For a cider that is advertised as the Australian’s best cider, I must admit that I indeed enjoyed having it although its taste is not very challenging. Hill’s Cider is really nicely balanced and has a straight apple character. The aroma could be stronger perhaps, but overall it is a nice drop. If you happen to be in Australia or South-East Asia keep an eye on this cider if you prefer natural and tasty cider without funkiness. 4/6

Availability: broad in Australia in South East Asia. In Europe available through CiderCider.

Price: had a bottle at 24 RM (4.7 EUR) in Ales & Lagers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia