Cydr Radosny Bzowy 2021

Elderflower cider is rather associated with warmer time of the year than autumn or winter but I’m going to give it a go despite the gloomy weather anyways. Bzowy (with Elderflowers) 2021 is another creation of Radek and Mikołaj of Cydr Radosny from Wroclaw, Lower Silesia, Poland. It’s a cider that was briefly infused with fresh elderflowers. Last year their elderflower cider won 2nd and 3rd place in the category flavoured cider in the Greater Cup Poland 2021.

Their ciders are not commercially available yet but the guys are working hard to change this. Currently, their working on opening their cidery. Fingers crossed!

Company: Cydr Radosny
Place of Origin: Wrocław, Lower Silesia, Poland
Ingredients: a blend of old locally grown apple varieties and fresh elderflowers
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 6.5%
Package type: 750ml clear glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or tumbler

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale yellow with a huge foam that only slowly reduces to a small ring. The carbonation is low. Body is medium. There is also some sediment in the bottle. It is also floating in the glass.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong and dominated by elderflower. I can also get some spiciness to it.

Taste: it starts bone dry with a low acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, notes of elderflower, lemon and moderate astringency. Finishes dry with a touch of lemon zest-like bitterness and a lemon candy aftertaste.

Overall: I remember trying this cider earlier this year. Back then I thought it was good but in comparison with Floribunda’s Holunder Cider al Sambuco, it tasted a bit watery, not complex enough. Something was missing. Now, nearly half a year later, I’m having this cider again. And, in my opinion, it’s taste improved a lot. Now the Cydr Radosny Bzowy 2021 is somehow more complex as it has an astringency and a bitter note that contribute a lot to the overall perception of this cider. It’s still light but not watery. Also, the taste is rather long-lasting. I can imagine it is thanks to the bottle aging on the lees. Also, the elderflower note is more intense than I remember. It’s again cold outside and still I’m enjoying every drop of this cider. However, I’m not getting any apple character here as it is covered by the overwhelming note of elderflower. That happens quite often actually. Anyhow, I enjoyed having the Cydr Radosny Bzowy 2021 and can’t say, I would buy it agin. 4/6

Availability: unfortunately, not available commercially for now

Price: Radek and Mikolaj provided me with a sample.

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Apfeltau Der Milde 2021

The Apfeltau Der Milde (the Mild) 2021 it one of the products I missed to sample at this year’s CiderWorld 2022 in Frankfurt due to lack of time. After reading my CiderWorld’22 – visit recap, Christian of Apfeltau got in touch with me and offered providing me with a sample. How could I say no?

Apfeltau is a producer from a typical German cider region, Hessen that is giving a traditional Apfelwein a refreshing twist. After fermentation, Apfelwein undergoes freezing, then thawing and thus is being concentrated so the end product has an ABV of 21%! An ice cider usually has an ABV between around 8-14%.

Company: Apfeltau
Place of Origin: Hanau, Hessen, Germany
Apples: a blend of locally grown apples
ABV: 21%
Package type: 200ml clear glass bottle with cork
Recommended type of glass: tumbler

Appearance: pours a clear deep amber without any foam. No signs of carbonation. High-bodied.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong and rich. The first note I get is dried peach, dried apricot, red apple, baked apple and alcohol.

Taste: my first taste is only slightly sweet with a faint lemon-like acidity. On the mid-palate, dried peach, red apple, baked apple, a touch of apple seeds-like bitterness and alcohol. Finishes with a gentle note of apple-seed like bitterness and baked apple.

Overall: A sample of the Apfeltau Der Milde 2021 was sent to me a few months ago. Since it is already November, when I am sampling this product, you can see that I wasn’t rushing to sample it. Alcoholic beverages that have ABV over 20%, in my opinion taste better when it’s freezing outside. And, as it’s -1 degrees Celsius outside and with this the conditions are perfect for trying such a beverage, off we go with a review. The Apfeltau Der Milde 2021 is surprisingly fairly dry as it only has a touch of sweetness so this is indeed not a typical ice cider. The taste is clean with lovely notes of various dried fruits being balanced not only by some acidity but also by a gentle bitter note to it. More to that, all of these notes have sort of coating properties in the oral cavity (must be the high density) so the pleasant drinking experience, lovely fruity notes is being extended, and the balanced taste goes on and on. Apfeltau claim on their website that Der Milde will be to everyone’s liking. It’s hard to disagree. I also have a small confession to make. My initial intention was to have a small glass of the Apfeltau Der Milde. But since I enjoyed it that much, I had to pour myself another glass of that lovely beverage. And, then another…I think it speaks for itself. I would buy more. 5/6

Availability: directly from Apfeltau

Price: Christian provided me with a sample.

Cydr Radosny Kamieniaki 2021

Finally, I can review a cider made from my favourite apple variety available in Central and Eastern Europe, Bohnapfel! The name of this cider is Kamienaki, which is a synonym for Grochowka in Polish and Bohnapfel in German. It is a single-varietal cider that was made using using wild yeast by a very talented cider makers duo, Radek and Mikołaj of Cydr Radosny from Wroclaw, Lower Silesia.

Their ciders are not commercially available yet but the guys are working hard to change this. Currently, their working on opening their cidery. Fingers crossed!

Company: Cydr Radosny
Place of Origin: Wrocław, Lower Silesia, Poland
Apples: Bohnapfel
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 7.7%
Package type: 750ml clear glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or tumbler

Appearance: pours a lightly cloudy deep golden yellow with a huge foam that only slowly reduces to a small ring. The carbonation is low. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is moderately strong and fruity with notes of ripe yellow apple, apple skin and apple stem.

Taste: it begins bone dry with high acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, notes of lemon, yellow apple, quince and moderate astringency. Finishes dry with a touch of lemon zest-like bitterness and a note of caramel.

Overall: I’m afraid it’s going to be another boring and kind of predictable review. This is because AGAIN, I enjoyed having a cider made by the guys from Cydr Radosny. Bohnapfel is a variety considerably high in tannin but its tannin content compared to a typical bitter-sweet variety such as e.g. Kingston Black is rather low. Yet, when drinking the Cydr Radosny Kamieniaki 2021, the level of tannins’ astringency and bitterness may fool you and let you believe that actually you are drinking a cider made with a bittersweet apple variety such as Kingston Black. Only the level of acidity will not fool you. It’s really high! I must say that in the beginning, I thought that the high acid load was a bit disturbing. But you get used to that after a while. Speaking of acidity, interestingly, this is another Polish cider from 2021 that has a really high acidity (Zywer Foszt 2021; Zywer Pańskie 2021). Anyways, I enjoyed the complexity of the Cydr Radosny Kamieniaki 2021, the rare ability of Polish cider to give the cat’s tongue and the fruity flavours of yellow apple, quince and lemon. If only not the moderately strong nose and a rather high acidity, the score might have been different. One of the ciders I would like to drink more of. 4.5/6

Availability: unfortunately, not available commercially for now

Price: Radek and Mikolaj provided me with a sample.

Zywer Pańskie 2021

In 2021, Zywer, a cider maker from Kańczuga, Subcarpathian, Poland had only two ciders in portfolio, Brus (see my review here) and Foszt. This year, however, apart from Brus and Foszt, additionally three new ciders were added. As you might have already guessed, today I’m going to review one of the new arrivals. I’m going to begin with Cydr Pańskie, a cider made from two apple varieties, Oberländer Himbeerapfel and Transparente de Croncels. Oberländer Himbeerapfel is the dominating one in the blend. Although the Zywer Pańskie 2021 was released only this year, it was already awarded Bronze in the category still dry cider in the 12th international SISGA cider awards in Asturias, Spain.

Previously, I reviewed their Brus 2020 and Foszt 2021.

Company: Cydrownia Zywer
Place of Origin: Kańczuga, Subcarpathian, Poland
Apples: a blend of old apple varieties such as Oberländer Himbeerapfel and Transparente de Croncels grown locally
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 6.6%
Package type: 750ml green glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or tumbler

Appearance: pours a cloudy golden without any foam. No gas. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is weak with notes of tomato stem, some sulphur, something spicy. Yellow and green apple. Apple stem appears after a while.

Taste: my first taste is dry with a touch of residual sugar with high acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, yellow apple, green apple resembling Antonovka a bit, lemon, a bit watery. Finishes dry with a lingering note of green and yellow apple with a touch of bitterness..

Overall: At first, I thought the Zywer Pańskie 2021 tasted like a watered-down lemon juice. Better than most of Polish craft cider but still average. And, I felt really disappointed. I was thinking: “All these awards are really worthless!”. Then, after a few minutes, I poured another glass of the Zywer Pańskie 2021, took a sip… and…the taste suddenly started to open…new flavours appeared and drinking this cider turned out to a quite an enjoyable experience. I especially loved the notes of yellow and green apple that I initially thought came from Antonovka, but Tomek assured me he didn’t use this apple variety in the blend. The Zywer Pańskie 2021 has a nice and good length but the nose could have been stronger and richer. But, overall, and after it warmed up, I felt very satisfied with my glass content. Therefore, in this particular case I would advise not to drink it at the recommended temperature of 8-10 degrees Celsius but rather at 14 degrees Celsius. This is the moment when sour lemon juice transforms into a complex and pleasant cider. Another interesting and pleasant cider from Cydrownia Zywer! Cheers! 4/6

Availability: click here for the full list of stockists.

Price: Tomasz provided me with a sample.

Buzdovan Red Apple Cider

This is the last review of a cider from the portfolio of Buzdovan from Croatia. As the name indicates, it’s made with red skin apple varieties. I wasn’t told, which apple varieties were used for that cider but they all come from Croatia.

Previously, I tried their marvelous Buna that scored 6 out of 6 and Apple & Elderflower, Apple & Ginger and Apple.

Company: Buzdovan
Place of Origin: Sisak, Croatia
Apples: a blend of red skin apple varieties grown in Croatia
Sweetness as per label: medium dry
ABV: 5%
Package type:
330 ml amber glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass:
white wine glass

Appearance: pours an almost clear golden yellow colour and a large head that quickly reduces to a ring around the glass. Medium carbonation and surely artificial. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is moderately strong with notes of apple stem, apple juice, skin of red apple and fresh apple flesh.

Taste: it starts moderately sweet with low acidity of lemon. On the middle-palate, low astringency, apple stem and low bitterness. Finishes with a touch of apple stem-like bitterness.

Overall: Let’s start with that that the description of the level of sweetness medium dry is accurate. The Buzdovan Red Apple Cider on the sweeter level but surely not overly sweet. One can actually tell that it was made using red apples as both on the palate and on the nose aromas of red apples come to the front. The Buzdovan Red Cider has a long-lasting woody note of apple stem that some may not find palatable as it comes with a touch of bitter taste to it. This may may disrupt the overall impression. Anyhow, I shared this cider with a friend and interestingly, she didn’t enjoy having the Buzdovan Red Apple because of that bitter note that I just mentioned. At the beginning, I thought it gave some depth to this cider. But after a longer while even I thought that there was something in this cider that was somehow disturbing. Again, since Buzdovan is the only craft cider maker in Croatia, I think it is a good alternative to industrial alco-pops. But the Red Apple still needs some improvement in my opinion. 3/6

Availability: only in Croatia for now. Apple Cider can be purchased directly from Tomislav at info@buzdovan.hr

Price: a bottle of this cider was provided by Tomislav of Buzdovan

Cydr Radosny Rosanke 2021

Rosanke is a name of a cider made by Radek and Mikołaj of Cydr Radosny from Wroclaw, Lower Silesia, Poland. This is also apparently a beer style originally brewed in Warmia, a region in northern Poland. In a nutshell, it is a saison made with various herbs such us lavendel, rosemary, etc. and honey. For their Rosanke, Radek and Mikolaj used fermented apple juice obtained from a blend of old apple varieties and several herbs such as Mentha aquatica, lemon balm, blackcurrant leaves, elderflowers, lavender and spruce. As for cider made by Cydr Radosny, I’m not exactly sure now what is the difference between Rosanke and botanical cider to be honest. Especially that it is not a beer hybrid.

Previously, I’ve tried their Bretoffowy 2020, Igielkowy z Imbirem, marvelous Antonovka 2021, Atak Jabluszek 2021 and Boiken 2021 from Cydr Radosny’s product portfolio.

Their ciders are not commercially available yet but the guys are working hard to change this. Fingers crossed!

Company: Cydr Radosny
Place of Origin: Wrocław, Lower Silesia, Poland
Ingredients: a blend of locally grown apple varieties Mentha aquatica, lemon balm, blackcurrant leaves, elderflowers, lavender and spruce
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 6.2%
Package type: 750ml clear glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or tumbler

Appearance: pours a hazy golden yellow with a huge foam that reduces to a small ring. The carbonation is medium. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is very strong and rich with notes of elderflower, red fruit, sweet grass, herbal with an aroma of peppermint and some smokiness to it.

Taste: it begins dry with a moderate acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, notes of lemon, yellow apple, elderflower, sweet grass, gentle touch of cinnamon, astringency and smokiness. Finishes dry and herbal with some smokiness, sweet grass and a distant flavour of peppermint.

Overall: Whether you call it Rosanke or botanical cider, it definitely tastes herbal. Thanks to many ingredients used for this cider, drinking the Cydr Radosny Rosanke 2021 is like a constant guessing of flavours that one is currently getting. There are multiple flavours that come to light when the temperature rises. I had a lot of fun while drinking as I could get a lot of different herbal notes and each sip was an in-depth exploration. Although, I must admit that I was not capable of naming all of them. The length and structure was good as not all aromas come to the front immediately. However, the apple character for me was not too strong enough. Also, as it warmed up it became somehow blunt, boring. Additionally, I had the Cydr Radosny Rosanke 2021 on a rather chilly evening and I thought it had a cooling effect so I would recommend having this cider during a bit warmer weather. Especially that Rosanke is a rather light cider. In summary, I felt like in a sort of a fun and pleasant quiz having Rosanke 2021 and getting and naming all the flavours. If one of you, my dear Followers had the Cydr Radosny Rosanke 2021, let me know the aromas you were able to get. Curious to know your thoughts! 4/6

Availability: unfortunately, not available commercially for now

Price: Radek and Mikolaj provided me with a sample.

Zywer Foszt 2021

After a short break, Cider Explorer is back with a new cider review! It’s going to be a cidermaker, whose cider I had a pleasure to review last year, Cydrownia Zywer from Kańczuga, Subcarpathian, Poland. Basically, it is a cider maker coming from the south-eastern corner of Poland. Previously, I reviewed their Brus 2020. Now I’m going to evaluate their Foszt.

Btw, Foszt is Polish for rustic wooden board. Hence, I expect the Zywer Foszt 2021 to taste like one? Let’s give it a try.

Company: Cydrownia Zywer
Place of Origin: Kańczuga, Subcarpathian, Poland
Apples: a blend of old apple varieties such as Bohnapfel, Reinette, Boskoop, Bancroft and Oberländer Himbeerapfel grown locally
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 6.9%
Package type: 750ml green glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or tumbler

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale golden with a foam that reduces to a ring. The carbonation is medium and natural. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is moderately strong with notes of yellow apple, overripe yellow apple, woody notes of apple stem to it.

Taste: my first taste is bone dry with moderate to high acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, yellow apple, ripe yellow apple, apple stem, wood, quince and pear. Finishes dry with a lingering note of lemon, touch of bitterness (apple stem- like) and some off notes coming from lees.

Overall: The Zywer Foszt 2021 is a good example of a typical cider made with old apple varieties grown in Eastern Europe. Notes of yellow apple, quince and even pear, high acidity of lemon are typical aromas one may get from a cider made from old apple varieties grown in this region. And, these will be found also in this cider. The Zywer Foszt 2021 is light, yet I wouldn’t say it’s watery. Some may say it’s too loaded with acid. However, the lower level of acidity most probably would make this cider taste watery. So in that sense it is balanced. Then again, the relatively high acidity makes this cider rather a good food companion. On its own and for those with a gentle stomach, the Zywer Foszt 2021 might be too harsh. Anyway, I enjoyed it and can’t say anything bad about it. It is aromatic, it’s not one dimensional. The taste is relatively long. One more comment, the Zywer Foszt 2021 is recommended to drink at low temperatures between 6-8 degrees Celsius. And, this time I have to agree with that recommendation. As it warms up, the level of acidity gets even more aggressive and dominating, and it gets harder to appreciate it. But overall, a good cider! 4/6

Availability: click here for the full list of stockists.

Price: Tomasz provided me with a sample.

Buzdovan Apple & Ginger Cider

Today’s review is about a cider blended with ginger from a cider maker from Croatia, Buzdovan. For his cider, Tomislav uses locally grown apples. In this case, he added some ginger.

Previously, I tried their marvelous Buna that I rated with 6 out of 6, Apple & Elderflower and Apple.

Company: Buzdovan
Place of Origin: Sisak, Croatia
Ingredients: a blend of locally grown dessert and ginger
Sweetness as per label: semi dry
ABV: 5%
Package type:
330 ml amber glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass:
white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale straw yellow colour and a large head that reduces to a ring around the glass. Medium carbonation and surely artificial. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is strong with a dominating flavour of ginger. I can’t get anything else apart from ginger.

Taste: it begins very sweet with low acidity of lemon. On the middle-palate, yellow apple, ginger, lemon and low bitterness. Finishes with a touch of bitterness and a note of grapefruit.

Overall: I had already several ginger-flavoured ciders before but this one is one of the best so far. I am aware that my tasting notes don’t really disclose why, on earth, this cider tastes that good but let me describe you what I felt when sampling this cider. It starts with a striking sweetness which gives you a sugar crash at first but then is nicely balanced out by a sort of coating note of acidity and flavour of lemon along with ginger. The delicious taste goes on and on and on. It doesn’t taste like a ginger beer or a lemonade at all. Also, interestingly the Buzdovan Apple & Ginger Cider is both refreshing and warms you up a little at the sam time. Something that shouldn’t co-exist but in the case of this cider actually works. One can say that in terms of flavours the Apple & Ginger is not richt but the drinking experience is fantastic. A good cider for those who enjoy a flavoured cider but also for cider drinkers with an exquisit taste. 4.5/6

Availability: only in Croatia for now. Apple Cider can be purchased directly from Tomislav at info@buzdovan.hr

Price: a bottle of this cider was provided by Tomislav of Buzdovan

Cydr Radosny Boiken 2021

I got used to several apple varieties that are widely used for single varietal ciders in Germany but also in many parts of Eastern and Western Europe such as Bohnapfel, King of the Pippins, Boskoop or Kaiser Wilhelm just to name a few. However, this is the first time I’m going to sample a single-varietal cider made only with Boiken. Boiken is an old apple varietal described for the first time in Bremen, German in the early 19th century. It is supposed to taste fruity and lightly acidic.

Since Radek and Mikołaj of Cydr Radosny from Wroclaw, Lower Silesia, Poland have been experimenting with different apple varieties and had access to Boiken, they made a single varietal cider using this variety using wild yeast.

Previously, I’ve tried their Bretoffowy 2020, Igielkowy z Imbirem, marvelous Antonovka 2021 and Atak Jabluszek from Cydr Radosny’s product portfolio.

Their ciders are not commercially available yet but the guys are working hard to change this. Fingers crossed!

Company: Cydr Radosny
Place of Origin: Wrocław, Lower Silesia, Poland
Apples: Boiken
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 6.3%
Package type: 750ml clear glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or tumbler

Appearance: pours a hazy pale golden yellow with a foam that reduces to a small ring. The carbonation is medium. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is moderately strong and fruity with notes of yellow apple, lemon, peach and some funk..

Taste: my first taste is dry with moderate acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, notes of lemon, yellow apple, peach, delicate astringency and leather. Finishes dry and fruity with a touch of lemon, some smokiness, a low bitter note and a distant flavour of peppermint.

Overall: I’ve been thinking about the score for this cider and it didn’t come easy to be frank. This is because I loved it on one hand but one another it doesn’t have all features of a perfect cider. The thing is that the Cydr Radosny Boiken 2021 is not very rich in terms of flavours but somehow while drinking it I had the impression that everything was in a very good balance. The lingering flavour of lemon is very refreshing, the acidity is not aggressive at all so it can be surely appreciated by a larger audience. Also, the tannin is present yet gentle, giving a lovely mouthfeel and contributing to the structure and pleasant taste. The wild yeast also gave its two cents to the taste leaving a light note of leather so this may be off-putting to some. I have truly enjoyed the Cydr Radosny Boiken 2021. This is one of these ciders that I would like to have in my cider cellar as it is just a pleasure to drink on any occasion. But since the aroma and the the taste were not that rich in terms of flavours. I unfortunately can’t get more than 4.5/6 Anyhow, Boiken seems to be a good apple variety for a single varietal cider.

Availability: unfortunately, not available commercially for now

Price: Radek and Mikolaj provided me with a sample.

Buzdovan Apple Cider

Back to the cider portfolio of Buzdovan from Croatia. Today ‘s review is on their Apple Cider made as the name reveals from apples. Apples used for this cider are locally grown in Croatia and are dessert or eating apples such as e.g. Granny Smith.

Previously, I tried their marvelous Buna that scored 6 out of 6 and Apple & Elderflower.

Company: Buzdovan
Place of Origin: Sisak, Croatia
Ingredients: a blend of locally grown dessert or eating apples incl. Granny Smith.
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 5%
Package type:
330 ml amber glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass:
white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale straw yellow colour and a large head that reduces to a ring around the glass. Medium carbonation and surely artificial. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is moderately strong with notes of flesh of dessert apples and yellow apple.

Taste: it starts moderately sweet with low acidity of lemon. On the middle-palate, green apple, yellow apple, watery, low bitterness. Finishes with a touch of bitterness and a distant note of wood.

Overall: The Buzdovan Apple Cider tastes like a light wine with appley flavours. It’s drinkable and without any faults (at least I couldn’t identify any). But I didn’t enjoy having it. Despite of pleasant notes of green and yellow apple along with a touch of lemon, it didn’t quench my first nor I didn’t find it refreshing. For a cider made with dessert apples the Buzdovan Apple is not bad, though it is still lacking body and depth as the taste is rather watery. Also, it’s certainly not dry as indicted on the label. Medium dry is more appropriate in my opinion. Still I’m sure it will find an audience that will appreciate it as it’s not bad. Especially that the Croatian cider market is dominated by one alco-pop producer. 3/6

Availability: only in Croatia for now. Apple Cider can be purchased directly from Tomislav at info@buzdovan.hr

Price: a bottle of this cider was provided by Tomislav of Buzdovan