I’m going to surprise you. Apples used for this Polish cider don’t come from Poland. Michal of Restauracja Tabun, Otomin, Poland wasn’t fully satisfied with cider made from local apple varieties as they lacked the tannin. So in 2020, as an experiment he imported a batch of Kingston Black from Somerset, UK and made a single-varietal cider using a method that he previously used for e.g. the Wytrawny 2019, Wytrawny Dziki 2019 or Wytrawny 2018. I guess Michal must have been happy with the end result as this year, he is planning to plant a few English cider apple varieties incl. Kingston Black and Dabinett as Brexit may no longer allow for export of this English good (I’m not an expert though). So I’m really looking forward to trying the Krik 2020!
As for the name, Krik is the name of a graffiti artist active in the Tri-city (the Tri-city is made up of three cities- Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia) in Pomerania, Poland. Krik is also the one who designed the label of this cider. So the “Krik 2020” is a sort of a tribute to this artist.
Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: Kingston Black
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
Package type: 750 ml green glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass
Appearance: pours a cloudy pale amber with an orange hue. Medium body. Low to moderate natural carbonation.
Aroma/Nose: the aroma is strong – once I opened the bottle my friend could get the aroma from the other side of the room. First notes that I could get were of funk with a touch of sulphur and milled, ripe red apples. After a while, I could also get a touch of something spicy resembling juniper.
Taste: it begins with a touch of sweetness and initially a sharp taste (disappears after a few sips) with low to medium acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, notes of dried apricots, ripe, shredded red apples, caramel and low astringency. The finish is dry with long-lasting notes of lemon, caramel and a touch of bitterness.
Overall: In a blind tasting, I would have never guessed that Krik was made from Kingston Black. I would rather say it’s a Normandy-style cider but perhaps drier and with higher acidity than the Normandy counterparts. Michal’s cider is full-bodied but doesn’t taste syrupy. The level of sweetness is just right, not too dry, not to sweet. Actually, I would rather put it on the scale of sweetness as medium dry. The acidity gives a lovely balance to this cider (btw, I’m actually quite surprised by the acidity that Kingston Black can give). I especially loved the long-lasting aftertaste that lasted forever- the combination of caramel, lemon and a subtle touch of bitterness. Mind-blowing! The wild notes of funk on the nose may put some of you off at first but you will not find them on the palate so I still I think it may be a cider for everyone. Especially that I shared the Krik 2020 with a friend who thought that this was the best Polish cider she ever had. I must actually agree with her – the Krik 2020 is one of the best Polish ciders I ever had (even though made with Somerset apples). I guess the Krik 2020 case shows how important apple varieties are for cider making. As for food-pairings, I can imagine having this cider with soft cheeses made with sheep or goat milk. Michal, this time I have absolutely no reasons to complain. Get ready, I’ll be coming back for more 😀 5/6
Price: a bottle of this cider was provided by Michał (Restauracja Otomin)