The Celtic Marches company is a cider producer based in Bishops Frome, Herefordshire, UK, but with family roots going into Mid Wales and the Welsh borders. Two persons stand behind Celtic Marches. One is Susan Vaughan, who is in charge of sales, marketing and brand development and her brother Robert Hancocks, who grows the apples and make cider. It’s my first time trying their cider. Cheers!
Company: Celtic Marches Beverages
Place of Origin: Bishops Frome, Herefordshire, UK
Apples: apples made on a family farm. Varieties grown on the farm include Dabinett, Michelin, Harry Masters, Three Counties and Yarlington Mill.
Sweetness as per label: medium
Package type: draught
Recommended type of glass: pint glass
Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with a tiny white head, which quickly dissipates. No visible signs of carbonation. Body is medium.
Aroma/Nose: extremely funky nose with notes of leather, beeswax and barnyard. Very tannic. Also, it has a solvent-like smell with notes of vinegar, ethyl acetate and undisclosed higher alcohols (fusel alcohols). Somewhere in the background red apple skins.
Taste: the first sip is moderately sweet (but not too sweet) with moderate acetic-like acidity. The taste moves then to both red apple skins and apple seeds with funky notes of barnyard, leather and beeswax. The aftertaste has lingering solvent-like and tannic note with moderate astringency and a pleasant hint of bitter almonds to the end.
Overall: Wow! This stuff is extremely rough and funky! Nice balance of sweetness and acidity. Also, abundant off-flavors will make you either fall in love in this cider or hate it. So it is not a cider for everyone. Also, bear in mind that due to fusel alcohols, which judging by the taste are present in high concentration here, you will not wake up fresh the next day if you drink too much of it. As for me, I fell in love…5/6
Price: had locally at the Williams Ale & Cider House in London for 4.75 GBP (5.45 EUR). One of very little pubs in London with a selection of real cider on tap. And, delicious fish and chips!