Gwynt Y Ddraig Welsh Cider (Welsh for the Dragon’s wind) is the largest cider producer in Wales, UK. Cider has been produced on the farm since 2004 and various cider types have received many awards since then. Today I am sampling the Black Dragon, the Overall Champion from the Hereford Championships in 2010.
Company: Gwynt y Ddraig Cider and Perry Company
Place of Origin: Pontypridd, Wales, UK
Apples: cider apples grown by traditional methods in ageing orchards
Sweetness as per label: medium dry
Package type: 500ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or flute
Appearance: pours a clear, golden amber with orange hues and a thin ring along glass walls. Low petillant-type carbonation. Body is medium.
Aroma/Nose: Unexpectedly the aroma is dominated by sweet notes of caramel, ripe and fermenting apples, apple skins and apple pie. There are also hints of white wine and vanilla. I can also perceive a hint of booze.
Taste: The first taste has medium sweetness with caramel and vanilla notes. The sweetness is followed then by moderate acidity coming from tart apples. The medium taste has low bitter notes. The finish is rich but to my disappointment very short. Dry and light watery finish has cinnamon like spiciness with a touch of baked apple and green notes. Booze like taste is perceivable throughout the whole sip.
Overall: I expected something more from an award-winning cider. I admit that the Black Dragon is complex and that the caramel and spicy cinnamon notes are quite unique. But something is just missing here. And the rich in flavors but short finish is really disappointing. The Black Dragon is just not my thing. 3.5/6
Availability: quite broad. In Wales you shouldn’t experience any issues finding Gwynt y Ddraig ciders. In other parts of Europe they should be also available through beer shops selling craft beer.
Price: purchased locally in Berlin from Hopfen & Malz at 3.5 EUR.