Erbachhofer is an apple variety that has been used for making Apfelwein or, as locals call it, viez in German Saarland but also in small Luxembourg. When it was time to make a blend for the Farmhouse, my personal favourite cider from Ramborn, Caroline, the cider maker at Ramborn kept some separated Erbachhofer as it simply tasted so good. Hence, tasting Erbachhofer, a cider from Ramborn’s Cellar Editions should give one a picture of what Luxembourg’s cider apples are really like.Company: Ramborn Cider Co.
Place of Origin: Born, Luxembourg
Apples: single variety Erbachhofer
Sweetness as per label: medium dry
Package type: 330ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or snifter
Ingredients: contains sorbic acid
Appearance: pours a clear amber with orange hues and no head. No carbonation. Body is medium.
Aroma/Nose: the nose is rich and slightly sweet with notes of red and yellow apples, overripe apples, apple juice, oak, and a hint of pear. I can also get a very distant flavour of caramel, cinnamon and cloves.
Taste: it starts with low sweetness and a delicate watery taste with relatively high lemon-like acidity that instantly stimulates your salivary glands to produce saliva. Subsequently, a note of red apples and yellow apples, light astringent taste, oak and apple-seed bitterness appear with a strong smoky note, detectable only in the beginning. A lingering lemon flavour with moderate apple seed-bitterness and a hint of green apple in the aftertaste.
Overall: when I tried an apple juice made from Erbachhofer I thought it tasted glorious. Hence, it is not a surprise that also a cider made from this apple variety has an exceptional palate. Ramborn’s Erbachhofer is rich, with a good structure and nicely preserved refreshing appley taste. I was especially fond of the apple-seeds-bitterness, which was quite strong but not disturbing at all. It made me feel that I’m really drinking a traditional viez from Luxembourg. In addition, I enjoyed the fact that the Erbachhofer is a still cider, not sparkling. For those who are not fans of sour-tasting cider, the Erbachhofer may be less palatable. Taken together, The Farmhouse is still my favourite but I wouldn’t say no to a glass of Erbachhofer if it’d be offered. 4.5/6
Availability: since it is a special edition cider the availability might be limited and therefore hard to get. In Germany available at this moment only from The Hop Shop Trier.
Price: Erbachhoffer was kindly sent to me by Adie from Ramborn Cider Co.