Kerisac Cuveé Brut

Black is considered in marketing as a colour of class, sophistication and high quality. I wonder if the black label of the cidre from Brittany created by a French mainstream cidre brand Kerisac has something to do with good taste.CompanyEts Guillet Freres Cidres Kerisac
Place of Origin: Guenrouët, Brittany, France
Apples: a blend of cider apples
Sweetness as per label: brut
ABV: 5%
Package type: 750ml green glass champagne corked bottle
Recommended type of glass: flute, white wine glass or boleé

Appearance: pours a lightly cloudy golden with orange hues/pale amber and a huge white head, which slowly dissipates to a thin ring around the glass. Strong carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is very rich and exhibits notes of pear, red apples, dried fruits, dried apricots, peaches, raisins with underlying green herbal notes. Lovely!

Taste: the first impression is some medium sweetness with low to medium acidity. Moderate astringent taste, dried apricots, raisins, ripe pear, baked apples, ripe fig, dried fruits, thyme and green herbal notes on the mid-palate. The finish is dry with a lingering astringent taste, flavours of crisp apple with dried fruits. Also, there is a spicy tingling on the tongue combined with a slightly chalky taste.

Overall: Wow! I would never expect a mainstream cidre to taste so glorious! It’s extremely rich with a huge breadth of various dried fruit notes that don’t get boring at any time. Quite on the contrary, with every sip, you discover a new delicious flavour that moves smoothly to another one you have already identified. It makes you want to go on a real cider exploration journey. Cuveé Brut is very quaffable and perfect for any season of the year. Actually, I’ve shared a bottle of the Cuveé Brut with my friend and we both loved it so the bottle got empty within 10 minutes. It was an amazing experience, which I’m going to repeat. It’s a cidre for everyone. 5/6

Availability: broad in France. Outside of France, I was available to track it only in Berlin in KaDeWe.

Price: purchased locally in Berlin from the KaDeWe at 4.98 EUR. Worth every cent.

Oldfields Applesecco Discovery Cider

It may have come to your attention that prosecco is still an extremely popular beverage in the UK. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Oldfields Orchard from Worcestershire has decided to take advantage of the ongoing prosecco boom and released in 2016 an ‘applesecco’, an apple version of prosecco. Oldfields Appplesecco is made entirely from Discovery, a dessert apple variety discovered in late 1940’s in Langham, Essex and is sold in stylish bottles imported from Italy. This is my 2nd cider from Oldfields after their Medium DryCompany: Oldfields Cider, Lambswick Drinks Company c/o Hobsons Brewery
Place of Origin: Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, UK
Apples: single varietal from Discovery apples
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 6%
Package type: 750ml green glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: flute or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a quickly dissipating white head. Medium artificial carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: it smells fruity and slightly sweet of freshly cut ripe dessert red apples, light honey and a hint of green apples.

Taste: it begins medium dry with low acidity. The taste gets a bit watery with a note of dessert apples, fresh apples, red apples, red berries, caramel and a hint of bitterness and a light astringent taste. It finishes dry with a hint of green apples.

Overall: the flavour of freshly cut red apples on the nose is absolutely phenomenal. Taste wise you can tell that the Applesecco was made from dessert apples, but nevertheless, it tastes fruity, complex, apple forward and delicious. Really gorgeous! However, the longer you drink it, the less you want to take another sip. Although both the aroma and taste are brilliant, you get bored with them very quickly and suddenly you realise that this beautiful bottle is too much even for two. I can imagine a glass of it would be a refreshing alternative on a hot summer day. But just a glass of it. 4/6 

Availability: in the UK from Specialty Drinks Limited, Moonshine and Fuggles, Shropshireowns, Crumpton Hill Farmshop or Hop Pocket Wine Company. In Germany from Britische-Biere.

Price: bought online from Britische Biere at 6.99 EUR.

BlakStoc Ginger For My Honey

I shall continue my journey with cider blended with ginger. Ginger For My Honey is another cider made by the genial cider maker, Karl from Austrian BlakStoc. Ginger, Honey and West Coast Aroma hops were added to the Styrian apples creating an interesting offering. Company: BlakStoc Cider GmbH
Place of Origin: Vienna, Austria
Ingredients: Styrian apples with ginger, honey and West Coast Aroma hops
ABV: 3%
Package type: 330ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy golden yellow with a fizzy short-lived white foam that reduces to a ring. Medium carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is spicy and exhibits notes of fresh ginger, ginger ale, lemon and elderflower with some pine in the background. 

Taste: it begins lightly sweet with low acidity of lemon. Strong spicy hot ginger notes with a hint of fermented yellow apples, and a touch of elderflower on the mid-palate. Finishes with a subtle bitterness of grapefruit and a lingering and refreshing ginger flavour.

Overall: Ginger For My Honey is surprisingly light and refreshing. I could imagine drinking this also on a summer day. But to be honest, from Karl, I expected more surprising flavours/weird mixes. And, his Ginger for My Honey is rather predictable. It tastes like a natural, refreshing and zesty ginger ale with a little citrusy twist. This is one of those ciders that can be a crowd-pleaser as it is difficult not to like it. But there is not that much of Karl’s genius in it as it was in case of Buddha’s Hand or Lazy Day Cucumber. 3.5/6

Availability: widely available in Austria (Der Grissemann or Beer Lovers) and Italy (e.g. Hops Beer Shop, or Tutti Fritti in Milan; Birreria della Torre in Trezzo sull’Adda). Also available in the UK (Newcomer Wines in London), Czech Republic and Germany.

Price: Karl passed me a bottle at CiderWorld 2019 in Frankfurt

Mūrbūdu Ingvera Sidrs Džindžeris

It might have been warm last week but summer is definitely gone by now. That’s why I grabbed a bottle of cider to cuddle up with. I decided to sample a Latvian cider with ginger made by Mūrbūdu.Company: Mūrbūdu Sidra Darītava
Place of Origin: Ērģemes pagasts, Valkas novads, “Klētnieki”, Latvia
Ingredients: a blend of apple varieties from old apple orchards with ginger
Sweetness as per label: unknown
ABV: 5.2%
Package type: 
330 ml amber glass with crown cork 
Recommended type of glass: 
wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with a little white head that quickly dissipates. Medium and artificial carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is moderately strong with notes of fresh ginger, ginger ale, yellow apple skin and earthy notes.

Taste: my first impression is lightly sweet with a low to medium acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, notes of ginger ale, lemon juice, fresh ginger and a hint of pineapple. Finishes slightly spicy with a distant note of yellow apples and low astringency.

Overall: the first thing I got after I took the initial sniff, was an earthy note. I had to grimace as I didn’t find it pleasant. But it might be just me. Anyway, there are also ginger notes present and are pleasant both on the nose and on the palate. Even if they dominate and not much cider flavours come through. It’s not very rich in terms of flavours and only the spiciness of ginger lingers on but it’s quite nicely drinkable. Overall, I think that the Mūrbūdu Ingvera Sidrs Džindžeris is indeed a nice warmer that could also be appreciated on hot summer days. 4/6 

Availability: in around 60 bars and restaurants in Riga incl. Spirits and Wine, Folkklubs Ala, Trompete Taproom, Kanepes Kulturas Centrs, Radisson Hotel and Laska Bar.

Price: Mūrbūdu Ingvera Sidrs Džindžeris was a sample provided by Mūrbūdu.

Gutshof Kraatz Altländer Pfannkuchenapfel Schaumwein

This is one of the products that I sampled during the visit to Florian Profitlich’s premises in the Uckermark. At the time, Florian wasn’t really fond of his product as, during secondary fermentation in the bottle, wild flavours appeared that he’s not a fan of. Whether I loved it? Just read below.

Altländer Pfannkuchenapfel is an old apple variety dating back to 1840 in Altes Land near Hamburg. It’s actually a cooker with pleasant acidity.Company: Gutshof Kraatz
Place of Origin: Nordwestuckermark-Kraatz, Brandenburg, Germany
Apples: Altländer Pfannkuchenapfel locally grown in the Uckermark
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 8%
Package type: 750ml green champagne bottle wired and corked
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or flute

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a huge white head. High carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong with notes of pear, leather, quince, yellow apples and distant hexane.

Taste: my first impression is dry with no residual sweetness and medium acidity of lemon. The mid-palate has notes of yellow apples, Bretts, smokiness, notes coming from lees, low astringency. Finishes citrusy with some bitterness of grapefruit pith.

Overall: My tasting notes don’t show the beauty of this product. It’s one of the most pleasant ciders or sparkling Apfelweins that I recently had. The taste is complex, wild and has an incredible length. The finish is citrusy with delicious flavours of grapefruit pith. Florian is a fan of clear taste in cider and didn’t like the notes of leather and Bretts. But these flavours are exactly what make this cider so special and give it more depth. I shared a bottle with a friend and she also enjoyed the Altländer Pfannkuchenapfel. Perhaps not as much as I did but still. So despite some wild notes on the palate, it is a product for everyone. This is definitely something I will buy again. 5/6

Availability: from their shop and online shop. In Berlin from Schaufenster Uckermark located in Markthalle Neun. Online from QRegio. In Frankfurt from Apfelweinhandlung.

Price: Florian contacted me and asked if I’d like to try his apple wine.

Distelberger Holunderblüte

In order to keep up with the newest trends in cider/perry, Toni Distelberger of Distelberger Genuss-Bauernhof from Mostviertel, released also a hopped Birnenmost blended with elderflower syrup. Furthermore, it comes in a 33cl bottle and has an ABV of only 4.5%.Company: Distelberger Genuss-Bauernhof
Place of Origin:
Amstetten, Lower Austria, Austria
Ingredients: 
Birnenmost, water, elderflower syrup, hops
Sweetness as per label: 
unknown
ABV: 
4.5%
Package type:
 330 ml amber glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: 
white wine glass, chalice glass or flute

Appearance: pours a clear pale straw yellow with a huge white head that immediately dissipates. Medium carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong with notes of elderflower, lemon, ripe and unripe mango.

Taste: my first taste is moderately sweet with low acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, notes of elderflower, unripe and ripe mango and lime. Finishes with a lingering note of unripe mango and distant ripe pineapple.

Overall: I’m taking the fifth sip and still don’t know what to tell you about this beverage. But I’ll try. I think that the Distelberger Holunderblüte is a quite well done hopped perry. In a blind tasting, I would never tell it was diluted with water nor that it was hopped. The taste of elderflower is obviously there and difficult to ignore but further notes that obviously come from hops are in a nice balance with elderflower and go well together. I really liked the gentle acidity as it made this Birnenmost taste like sauvignon blanc. All the flavours seem natural, move smoothly from one to another and are in a good balance. As I expected, there is no flavour of perry/Birnenmost at all. But I enjoyed it anyway. 4.5/6

Availability: directly from their shop or through Mostbarone.

Price: Distelberger Holunderblüte was a sample provided by Toni from Mostbarone.

Les Celliers Associés L’Authentique French Cider Raspberry

Next up is another cider recently released by Val de Rance from Brittany. It’s their Les Celliers Associés L’Authentique French Cider Raspberry. Apparently, this raspberry cider received Bronze at the International Cider Challenge in London 2018. Previously, I reviewed the PearLemon Ginger and Brut.Company: Val de Rance
Place of Origin: Pleudihen-sur-Rance, Brittany, France
Ingredients: French cider, raspberry juice from concentrate, natural raspberry flavour,  natural flavour, potassium bi-disulfite. 
ABV: 4.5%
Package type: 330ml amber glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear ruby with a large white head that doesn’t dissipate at all leaving a large foam. Medium carbonation. Low to medium body.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is very strong and smells of raspberry candies and raspberry candy powder.

Taste: it starts lightly sweet with low acidity of lemon and raspberry. On the mid-palate, lingering note of raspberry candy that moves towards raspberry candy powder note and creamy raspberry. Finishes with a taste of candy powder and a distant chemical and slightly bitter note.

Overall: Similarly to previously tasted ciders from their range, the Les Celliers Associés L’Authentique French Cider Raspberry can be also classified as a fruit cider and an alco-pop. Both the nose and the palate are dominated by notes typical for raspberry candies and powder candies. I can’t say that the taste is unpleasant as it was the case with previously tastes Pear and Lemon Ginger. Quite on the contrary, it’s actually drinkable. But it is definitely not a cider but a raspberry-flavoured unidentified beverage. I’m not exactly sure what’s the point of realising a product that is called a cider but has only an array of different kind of raspberries flavours. For those who don’t want to taste the flavour of apples in their cider. 2.5/6 

Availability: in Finland online through Redbev, in Germany through Ebrosia and Vinoscout.  In the UK through Dunnels. And, many more.

Price: a sample was provided by Nolwenn from Les Celliers Associés.