De vergeten Appel Het Bonte Appeltje 2016

Today I’m sampling Het Bonte Appeltje, which is another cider from the Dutch cider maker, De vergeten Appel based in Tilburg in the province of North Brabant. Similarly to the previously sampled Moesj 2016, it comes in two versions, matured without and with oak chips. Johan, the cider maker at De vergeten Appel told me that Het Bonte Appeltje is his favourite cider.

Company: De Vergeten Appel
Place of Origin: Tilburg, North Brabant, Netherlands
Apples: made from apples coming from orchards, The Raakveld in Tilburg and ‘de Regte Heijden’ Riel and also from Moergestel and Schijndel
ABV: 6%
Package type: 375ml green champagne bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: flute or wine glassHet Bonte Appeltje 2016 

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy pale golden with a massive short-lived head and beautiful bubbles. High carbonation. Body is low to medium. Some sediment in the bottle. Aroma/Nose: the nose is vinous, slightly sweet and exhibits notes of yellow apple, some funk, white grapes and wood with a distant floral touch. Inviting. Taste: the first sip is dry with some residual sweetness to it and a quite high level of lemon-like acidity. The mid-palate has notes of fresh sour apples, yellow apples, unidentified flowers, with notes of white wine or champagne. The finish is dry with a distant hint of grapefruit bitterness. Very gentle astringency with a woody touch, flavour of lemon and spicy bite in the finish. Overall: it’s like like biting into a freshly cut, juicy sour apple with a quite high level of acidity. Its taste is not dominating, with a lovely apple taste, which is certainly not boring. 4.5/6

Het Bonte Appeltje 2016 Met Eikenhout gerijpt

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a small white head. Low carbonation. Body is low to medium. Aroma/Nose: the aroma is weak and slightly vinous with overripe yellow apples, pears and vanilla. Taste: it begins dry with some residual sweetness to it and a medium to high level of acidity. The mid-palate has notes of lemon, pear, baked apples, white wine with a hint of yellow apple and vanilla. The finish is dry and slightly astringent with notes of lemon. Overall: the acidity seems to be again slightly lower than in the version that was not aged with oak chips, but it’s still high. The taste is heavier, with an additional note of vanilla. 4/6

Final verdict: Het Bonte Appeltje 2016 matured with oak chips appears to be richer in terms of flavours than the cider that was matured without oak chips. But in my view, the first one is more balanced, tastes lighter and therefore is more drinkable. Hence, I personally prefer the first one. However, I think that both taste lovely, yet different. I’m sure that the cider matured with oak chips will appeal to many as well. It’s just a matter of preferences. Both versions of Het Bonte Appeltje 2016 have a quite high level of acidity and therefore might not please every crowd. However, they will certainly pair well with fish or Asian dishes.

Availability: Apples en Perren in Amsterdam. CiderCider in Rotterdam, Cafetaria ‘t Hofke in Eindhoven, De Bierbrigadier and De Burgerij in Tilburg, Kamp & Rozen in Doorn. Online in the Netherlands from Sans Blah Blah.

Price: both versions of Het Bonte Appeltje 2016 were kindly sent to me by Johan from De vergeten Appel for testing.