Ice cider is actually a very recent creation. For the first time, it was created approx. 30 years ago in Quebec, where the temperatures in the winter may drop to the minus-twenties °C at night. Apples for ice cider are picked from the trees at -8 to -15 degrees C so only a few countries have suitable weather conditions for the production of ice cider. Poland is one of the countries that have lows in this temperature range. And, a few Polish craft cider makers have already taken advantage of the weather and created ice cider or even ice perry. Now there is another daredevil on the Polish ice cider scene, Krzysztof Winnicki from WINI. Krzysztof has just released only 350 bottles of his Lodowy, which was basically his first attempt at creating ice cider and already picked up a silver medal at the Sagardo Forum 2017. Company: WINI
Place of Origin: Dębe, Masovia, Poland
Apples: a blend of three old apple varieties
Package type: 350ml clear glass bottle with natural cork
Recommended type of glass: dessert wine glass, white wine glass or cognac glass
Appearance: pours a clear amber with a light orange hue. Still. The body is medium to thick.
Aroma/Nose: it smells sweet of caramel, toffee, stone fruits, raisins, ripe baked and cooked apples, but also slightly earthy with green notes and some alcohol to it.
Taste: my first taste is sweet with a low acidity of red fruits, especially raspberries. On the mid-palate caramel, light lemon, freshly sliced red apples, herbal notes with a hint of peppermint. In the aftertaste light lemon, and a freshly sliced lightly sour apple with a lingering touch of peppermint.
Overall: the bar was already set high by other cidermakers producing ice cider from Canada and Poland, which I sampled previously. Interestingly, WINI’s ice cider has a very unique taste profile and thus tastes different compared to previously reviewed ciders, Cydr Lodowy Chyliczki and Domaine Lafrance Ice Cider 2013. The nose is incredibly rich and vivid with aromas of baked and cooked apples, raisins and toffee. Taste wise it’s nearly too sweet with many layers of flavours, ending with an interesting hint of peppermint. Personally, I found it too sweet for my liking, as there was not enough acidity to balance the sweetness. Hence, I would recommend next time using more acidic apple varieties in the blend. But for those who have a sweet tooth, it will be a feast! I would pair it with blue cheese or fois grais, but you can try it with a cheesecake or vanilla ice cream if you take it really sweet. Krzysztof created an extraordinary, complex and pleasant ice cider. Congrats! 4.5/6
Availability: directly from WINI. Also, from selected wine and craft beer stores in Poland. Due to a limited stock, it might be sold out soon!
Price: Cydr Jabłkowy Lodowy 2017 was a sample provided by Krzysztof from WINI