When I mentioned to Tom Oliver at CiderWorld 2018 in Frankfurt that I’m going to review the Gold Rush #5 soon, a cider that he created in collaboration with Ryan Burk of Angry Orchard, NY, USA Tom replied then that this batch sold out unexpectedly quick. And that actually, since Ryan also attended the cider fair, Tom brought samples to Frankfurt so he together with Ryan could blend a new batch of this cider later in the hotel.
Gold Rush #5 was slowly fermented by wild yeasts in old oak barrels and tanks. Also, it underwent a malolactic fermentation.
Company: Oliver’s Cider and Perry
Place of Origin: Ocle Pochard, Herefordshire, UK
Apples: a blend of vintage bittersweet and sharp cider apples from Herefordshire
Sweetness as per label: dry
Package type: 330ml amber glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or snifter
Appearance: pours a clear pale amber with an orange hue and a white quickly dissipating head. Lightly sparkling. Body is low.
Aroma/Nose: the aroma is strong, phenolic and slightly citrusy with hints of funk. Also, notes of red apples, cider apples, apple skins, a light smoky note with beeswax.
Taste: my first sip is dry with a touch of sweetness and low acidity of lemon. The taste moves to a light smoky note with a gentle bitterness of grapefruit peel, orange, oak and a very low astringent taste with hints of funk. The aftertaste is extremely long with the lingering gentle bitterness of grapefruit with a smoky note, notes of leather, beeswax and apple skins. All of a sudden a medium to high astringent taste appears in the aftertaste.
Overall: briefly, Tom Oliver and Ryan Burk at their best. Their Gold Rush #5 is a rather light cider with a beautiful and rich array of aromas and proper cider components such as tannins, notes of funk, a very long and extremely pleasant aftertaste with refreshing grapefruit notes. Absolutely gorgeous! It’s like a great play, filled with twists and turns. Like the astringent taste that was almost not detectable when I began the tasting but after around 15 minutes the tannins were almost mouth puckering. Gold Rush #5 is a cider to be enjoyed in sips. Its magnificent flavour is strong, lingers on and on and you don’t want it to stop. However, I can imagine it won’t be a cider for everyone due to notes of funk and strong tannins. For me, it was a pure joy in a glass. I’ll be surely ordering some more. 5.5/6
Availability: from Tom’s online shop. Locally in London from the Cider House and in Bristol from the Bristol Cider Shop or in Ham at The Salutation Inn and many others. In Amsterdam from Appels en Perren. In Copenhagen from Holm Cider. In Germany exclusively from CiderKultur.
Price: Gold Rush #5 was a sample provided by CiderKultur.