Smykan Jaskół 2015

Did you know that Poland is one of the largest apple producers in the world after US and China? Until only recently most Polish apples were exported to countries like Russia. Everything changed when Russia introduced a ban in 2014 on the import of apples from the UE as this led to a cider boom in many countries including Poland. Today I would like to introduce you four guys from Smykan, Krakow, Poland, who took the advantage of the situation and make cider from Polish dessert apples.

Jaskol received a silver medal at the 2015 International Wine Trade Fair Enoexpo in Cracow.Smykan_Jaskol.jpgCompany: SLOW FLOW GROUP
Place of Origin: Raciechowice, Poland
Apples: a blend of Grochowka (Bohnapfel), Jonagored and Champion from organic farms.
ABV: 7%
Package type: 750ml green wine bottle with crown cap.
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or flute
Note: unpasteurised, unfiltered with natural sediment. No sulphites added.

Appearance: pours a lightly hazy, pale golden body with a strong head, which quickly disappears. High carbonation. There is some sediment in the bottle.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma has funky notes with a relatively strong barnyard and leather touch. Some pear and mild apple notes are also perceivable. Very pleasant and complex nose. I am really enjoying the aroma of this cider.

Taste: The palate is not as impressive as the nose. It is quite tart with some barnyard and fruit touch but pleasant. I can’t sense any residual sugar, hence I would say it is a dry to medium dry cider. The taste has some moderate bitter notes with a hint of overripe apples. The mid palate has a light sulphuric note, which I don’t like. The finish is dry with a gentle and crisp touch of pear. Drinkable and refreshing.

Overall: Not bad for a cider made from dessert apples. Guys from Smykan have produced a really nice, complex and drinkable cider. Still a tiny bit too watery though but I wouldn’t mind buying it again. Moreover, I will always choose cider without sulphites added if possible. The only thing I can complain about is the crown cork on a beautiful wine bottle, which leaves a disappointing impression. Taste wise I think there is some room for improvement but overall the impression is really good. UK and France, beware as it looks like the competition is growing in the Eastern Europe! This Polish craft cider gets 4 out of 6. 

Availability: good wine and craft beer shops across Poland such as Wine Concept, Produkty Niewinne i Winne, Raj Piwosza, Piwny KolektywChmielolak or Mielzynski all about wine. Interestingly, cider seems to be seasonal in Poland, so be prepared that it will be quite a challenge to find craft cider in the winter.

Price: purchased May 2016 from Białe czy Czerwone? Wola Park in Warsaw for ca. 32 PLN (7.8 EUR).