Piparkakuja Cidre Ledový Cider 2017

Today’s cider review will be very special. Special, because cider that is to be reviewed today has not been commercially launched yet (partly because of bureaucratic reasons). This Ledový cider (Czech for ice cider) was crafted by Petr Vacek from Prague with apples coming from an orchard based in Kamenice nad Lipou and Český Dub owned by his grandparents and grandparents of his wife. Since Petr prefers his cider on the sweeter side and he’s well familiar with the winemaking methods since he was nearly 5 years old (the advantages of living in a vineyard in the Czech Republic), he has started straight away three years ago with making ice cider. The name of Petr’s cider is ‘Piparkakuja’, which is supposed to mean ‘gingerbread’ in Finnish.Company: Piparkakuja Cidre
Place of Origin: Prague, Czech Republic
Apples: unknown apple varieties from orchards in Kamenice nad Lipou and Český Dub
Sweetness as per label: 
ice cider
Package type: 
500ml amber glass bottle with flip top cap
Recommended type of glass: 
white wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale amber with a giant foam that only slowly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Body is high with a creamy texture.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is very aromatic and has notes of oak, vanilla and strong alcohol. Also, light smokiness, baked apples and strong whisky notes with pears, fresh apples, caramelised apples and toffee.

Taste: the first sip is medium to strongly sweet with a high acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, a strong note of alcohol followed by oakiness, notes of stems, baked apples, caramel, vanilla, caramelised apple, a touch of orange. Finishes with light medicinal notes, raisins, low astringency and light bitterness.

Overall: Petr’s ice cider is very aromatic with clear notes and aromas. It has an array of strong and delicious apple flavours. Every sip felt like an interesting journey. Also, the sweetness was nicely balanced by the high acidity. What I also loved were the strong oaky/woody notes (note: this cider wasn’t aged in oak at all!). Yet, the flavour of alcohol was very strong. Way too strong, overpowering other yummy flavours so I had a feeling I was drinking a whisky mixed with ice cider or at least a bit outbalanced ice cider with an ABV of 12%, not 7.5%. Personally, I liked it but I can imagine that not everyone will be a fan of this ice cider. Overall, Petr’s ice cider is unique in a way and could be an interesting offering if not the aggressive taste of alcohol. It has a great potential and will most probably find fans but I think it could be much better without the overpowering boozy taste. 4/6

Availability: not launched yet.

Price:  a sample of Piparkakuja Cidre Ledový Cider 2017 was provided by Petr.