Distelberger Glückssprudel

After trying a few still Birnenmosts from Lower Austria, it was time to take the plunge and try sparkling Birnenmost, the Distelberger Glückssprudel. Glückssprudel means fountain of happiness in German. IMG_2514Company: Distelberger Genuss-Bauernhof
Place of Origin:
Amstetten, Lower Austria, Austria
local pear varieties
Sweetness as per label: 
trocken (dry)
Package type: 
1000 ml clear bottle with screw cap
Recommended type of glass: 
white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale straw yellow with a small quickly dissipating head and medium carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong and sweetish with notes of ripe, yellow apples, green apples, sweet and ripe pear, zinc oxide and herbal notes.

Taste: my first sip is lightly sweet with almost no acidity. On the mid-palate, mirabelle plum, gooseberries, low and lingering pear seed bitterness. Finishes dry with a lingering pear seed bitterness.

Overall: Again, to provide you with an unbiased review, I shared a bottle of this sparkling Birnenmost with my friend. Interestingly, this time we had completely different thoughts about this one. But let’s start what we both enjoyed. The nose is clean, rich, lightly sweet with nice fruity notes. Taste-wise not too sweet, with the right level of sweetness and a lingering bitter note. Exactly this bitter note, turned out to be a feature that divided me and my friend. Whereas my friend adored this lingering bitterness,  I had to grimace a bit. And, the reason why I didn’t appreciate this Birnenmost. So sometimes it’s just a matter of personal preferences. Quality-wise it’s a good Birnenmost. This fountain of happiness clearly does not make everyone happy. 4/6

Availability: directly from their shop or through Mostbarone.

Price: Glückssprudel was a sample provided by Toni from Mostbarone.


Crest Cyder Golden

If you are wondering why the Crest Cyder is called Crest Cyder, the answer is quite simple. The Browns, who make this cider have a family crest. The crest was adapted into a cider-themed logo with apples and trees, which you can see in the picture below.Company: Crest Cyder Company Ltd
Place of Origin: Eaton Crescent, Somerset, UK
Apples: a blend of bittersweet and bitter-sharp varieties
Sweetness as per label: medium dry
Package type: 
500ml clear glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: 
wine glass

Appearance: pours cloudy pale amber with an orange hue and no head. No carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is strong with notes of honey, the spiciness of pepper, caramel, apple seeds, notes of funk, alcohol and distant herbal notes.

Taste: it starts dry with a light residual sweetness with low to medium acidity of lemon, orange and vinegar. Moderate astringency, caramel, funk, spicy of pepper, notes of honey, a bit watery. Finishes with low bitterness and a not of orange blossom.

Overall: briefly, the Crest Cyder Golden is an English farmhouse cider that comes with some pleasant flavours like orange blossom and caramel and notes that might be considered by some as off-putting such as funk, vinegar. It has a bit more acidity to it than farmhouse style ciders I tried until now. In addition, this acidity makes this cider taste more refreshing. I thought that the spiciness was also quite interesting as it seems to be quite rare. Anyway, the Crest Cyder Traditional is still my favourite. The Crest Cyder Golden is worth trying though! 4/6 
Availability: online through Scrattings. in the UK and in many European countries
Price: a sample was provided by Michael and Carol from Crest Cyder. 

Torgglerhof des Pichler Josef Ander Dog

Before CiderWorld 2019 in Frankfurt, I have never heard of Ander Dog cider made by Torgglerhof des Pichler Josef based in Saltaus (St. Martin in Passeier), South Tyrol, Italy. At the fair, I attempted to approach these guys and try their cider, but their booth was constantly busy and packed with event-goers, who wanted to try a cider in a beer bottle with a catchy label. Admittedly, I was curious myself too but I left Frankfurt without getting a taste of Ander Dog. Fortunately, Martin from Torgglerhof des Pichler Josef reached out to me after CiderWorld asking if I were interested in trying their cider. I just couldn’t resist.
The Torgglerhof des Pichler Josef Ander Dog won the most points in the category sparkling cider, 112 of 120 at CiderWorld 2019 in Frankfurt. Can you feel my excitement?

Company: Torgglerhof des Pichler Josef
Place of Origin: Saltaus (St. Martin in Passeier), South Tyrol, Italy
Apples: South Tyrolean apples
Sweetness as per label: n/a
ABV: 4.5%
Package type: 330 ml amber glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or chalice glass. Eventually flute.

Appearance: pours a clear pale straw with a light reddish hue and a large, slowly dissipating white head. Medium to high carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is moderately strong with notes of pink and yellow apples, lightly woody of apple stems and honeydew melon.

Taste: it begins moderately sweet with low acidity of lemon and rhubarb. On the mid-palate notes of rhubarb, lemon and yellow apples. Finishes relatively quickly with a note of rhubarb and green, unripe banana along with a distant note of honeydew melon.

Overall: Without a doubt, this is a very interesting offering and I can see why it was awarded by the jury of CiderWorld 2019 in Frankfurt. I don’t think I have tried a cider like this before. This is because of unique flavours both on the nose and palate. Ander Dog tastes like a cross between an apple and rhubarb sparkling wine. A rather strange but still very tasty combination that you would never expect looking at the beer bottle. I had it on a very hot day and I thought it was very refreshing, light and drinkable. Nevertheless, the nose is rather moderately strong and the taste finishes relatively fast. Once the temperature went up, it got sweeter and, at least for me, less palatable. Anyway, in my opinion, it’s definitely interesting and worth trying. 4.5/6 

Availability: directly from Torgglerhof des Pichler Josef

Price: a sample was provided by Martin from Torgglerhof des Pichler Josef

DaDa Cider Сидр #4 Полусухой (Cider #4 Semi-Dry)

DaDa is not only the name of a Russian cidery from Moscow. The name DaDa is also a nod to the art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century. Not many know that Dadaism was also flourishing in Russia between 1914 and 1924. Therefore, Anton of DaDa Cider picked up this particular name for this cidery, to honour Russian artists.Company: DaDaCider 
Place of Origin: Moscow, Russia
Apples: a blend of Russian apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: semi-dry
ABV: 6%
Package type: 500 ml green glass bottle with screw cap
Recommended type of glass: snifter or wine glass

Appearance: pours an almost clear golden with a white and quickly dissipating head.  Medium carbonation. Body is low to medium. Some sediment in the bottom.

Aroma/Nose: moderately strong with notes of baked apples, apple pie and fresh yellow apple. Distant note of cinnamon.

Taste: my first impression is lightly sweet with high acidity of lemon. Further on the palate, notes of quince, apple stems, yellow apple and White Transparent apple, low astringency, low bitterness. Finishes with a note of apple seed bitterness and distant white wine.  

Overall: It’s 36 degrees Celsius today in Berlin and so I was really looking forward to trying something cooling and refreshing. And, I found it. The Dada Cider Semi-Dry is exactly what I needed. It has a lovely scent with notes of baked apples and fresh yellow apples that already promise some cooling experience. The mid-palate has a lovely apple-y flavour with a very refreshing acidity that to some might be eventually too high. Also, the taste is clear, rich and quite longlasting. What’s not too like? Personally, I enjoyed it. It did a good job and it was a pleasure to drink. And, I wouldn’t mind to have it again. 4/6

Availability: widely available in Moscow. Online from Pivoluchshe.

Price: Anton passed me a bottle at CiderWorld 2019 in Frankfurt. 

El Gaitero Sidra Pomarina Brut

Pomarina is one of the sidras belonging to the portfolio of Grupo El Gaitero from Villaviciosa, Asturia, Spain. This particular sidra is made by the Cardin family with five different apple varieties De la Riega, Raxao, Verdialona, Regona and Durona de Tresali grown in their 45ha farm in Villaviciosa, Asturias. Pomarina is fermented at low temperatures and subsequently aged on its lees. After two months, Pomarina is moved to a pressured tanks for secondary fermentation and in the next step bottled. 

Pomarina often picks up award from worldwide cider competitions. Only recently, from International Cider Challange 2019.Company: Grupo El Gaitero
Place of Origin: La Espuncia, Villaviciosa, Asturia, Spain
Apples: a blend of  5 apple varieties De la Riega, Raxao, Verdialona, Regona and Durona de Tresali
ABV: 7%
Package type: 750ml champagne corked and wired bottle
Recommended type of glass: wine glass, chalice glass or flute 

Appearance: pours a clear, pale golden with a big white foam that very quickly dissipates. Carbonation is high with small nice bubbles and seems to be natural.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong with notes of vinegar, white wine, champagne, apple stems, distant grapefruit and herbs/vermouth incl. notes of rosemary and peppermint.

Taste: it begins dry with high acidity of lemon and vinegar. Smokiness, lemon, the bitterness of grapefruit pith, peppermint, a hint of elderflower. Finishes with a note of peppermint and grapefruit or blood orange. Notes of funk in the aftertaste.

Overall: If I had to describe the taste of this sidra in one sentence, I would say that it tastes like a combination of champagne with lovely notes typical for sidra from Asturias. The scent is lovely and with every sniff, I’m able to discover and identify more notes. In terms of taste, it’s dry and has gorgeous citrusy notes along with peppermint that make it taste very refreshing. A great option for a hot summer day. No surprise it picked up so many awards. But if you don’t like notes of vinegar, this might not be the right choice for your palate. Pomarina would go great with any seafood and fish. I’d love to drink it again. 5/6

Availability: almost every market in Asturias, Spain. As for other European countries check supermarkets selling products from Mediterranean countries.

Price: Monica passed me a sample at CiderWorld 2019 in Frankfurt.

Mūrbūdu Pussalds Ziemas Sidrs Aukstais Nr. 5

Since my knowledge of Latvian is very limited I couldn’t understand the label and grabbed a bottle of cider that turned out to be a winter cider. And, it was 35 degrees Celsius in Berlin today. Anyway, the Mūrbūdu Pussalds Ziemas Sidrs Aukstais is a cider with various spices typically used for mulled cider or mulled wine such as cinnamon and additionally aged in bourbon barrels for one month.Company: Mūrbūdu Sidra Darītava
Place of Origin: Ērģemes pagasts, Valkas novads, “Klētnieki”, Latvia
Ingrdients: a blend of apple varieties from old apple orchards and various spices
Sweetness as per label: pussalds (semi-sweet)
ABV: 5.9%
Package type: 
330 ml amber glass with crown cork 
Recommended type of glass: 
wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a clear pale amber with a little head that quickly dissipates. Low and artificial carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is moderately strong with notes of apple pie, baked apples, anise, cinnamon, vanilla.

Taste: my first taste is moderately sweet with a medium acidity of lemon and yellow apples. On the mid-palate yellow apples, baked apples, apple pie, orange, smokiness. cinnamon. Finishes dry with a note of lemon, vanilla and low bitterness.

Overall: it might be a winter cider but the acidity makes it refreshing and suitable also for summer. Also, could anyone resist the lovely flavour of apple pie with cinnamon? So, I thought. Furthermore, it’s palate is rich and it has a longlasting taste of citruses and apple pie. Actually, one of the best flavoured/mulled ciders I actually had. Also, it’s not too sweet or too dry so it has a huge chance of becoming a crowd pleaser. Not only for the winter time. I enjoyed it very much and others surely will too. 5/6

Availability: in around 60 bars and restaurants in Riga incl. Spirits and Wine, Folkklubs Ala, Trompete Taproom, Kanepes Kulturas Centrs, Radisson Hotel and Laska Bar.

Price: Pussalds Ziemas Sidrs Aukstais Nr. 5 was a sample provided by Mūrbūdu.

Tabun Cydr z Otomina Renety 2018

The Tabun Renety 2018 is a cider made with a few kinds of reinettes coming from a single orchard located approx. 10km from Gdansk. Renety is Polish for reinettes, name of old apple cultivars. Michał Tabun Cydr crafted only 800 bottles of this cider, 400 of which will be released only in 2020.
Recently, the Tabun Renety 2018 was commended by the judges of the Three Counties International Cider & Perry Competition 2019 in the UK in Class 8 – Bottle Conditioned Cider. Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: a blend of pippins
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
ABV: 7.4%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass wired and corked
Recommended type of glass: 
flute or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a lightly cloudy pale yellow with a tiny white head. Low to medium natural carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is strong with notes of fresh unripe pineapple, yellow apples, apple stems. In the background notes of peppermint and green apple.

Taste: it starts bone dry with low acidity of lemon. Smokiness, yellow apples, low bitterness and a bit watery taste on the mid-palate. Finishes dry with a note of lemon candies and distant bitterness.

Overall: I love the scent! It’s strong with dominating, refreshing and magical note of fresh pineapple. Also, the palate is strong, longlasting with many delicious citrusy flavours.  I think it must have been aged on its lees but this just adds complexity as I’m not getting any off-notes that might be off-putting. The Tabun Renety 2018 tastes just right. I enjoyed it and I think it would go well both on its own and with food. Though, fans of sweet cider will be disappointed as it is bone dry. Summarizing, The Tabun Renety is a light cider, yet rich that I enjoyed having. I would buy more. 4.5/6

Availability: at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin, Alfroalko in Gdynia, Mikkeller Warsaw in Warsaw and Winnacja in Cracow.

Price: a bottle of this cider was provided by Michał (Restauracja Otomin).