Kerisac Cuveé Brut

Black is considered in marketing as a colour of class, sophistication and high quality. I wonder if the black label of the cidre from Brittany created by a French mainstream cidre brand Kerisac has something to do with good taste.CompanyEts Guillet Freres Cidres Kerisac
Place of Origin: Guenrouët, Brittany, France
Apples: a blend of cider apples
Sweetness as per label: brut
ABV: 5%
Package type: 750ml green glass champagne corked bottle
Recommended type of glass: flute, white wine glass or boleé

Appearance: pours a lightly cloudy golden with orange hues/pale amber and a huge white head, which slowly dissipates to a thin ring around the glass. Strong carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is very rich and exhibits notes of pear, red apples, dried fruits, dried apricots, peaches, raisins with underlying green herbal notes. Lovely!

Taste: the first impression is some medium sweetness with low to medium acidity. Moderate astringent taste, dried apricots, raisins, ripe pear, baked apples, ripe fig, dried fruits, thyme and green herbal notes on the mid-palate. The finish is dry with a lingering astringent taste, flavours of crisp apple with dried fruits. Also, there is a spicy tingling on the tongue combined with a slightly chalky taste.

Overall: Wow! I would never expect a mainstream cidre to taste so glorious! It’s extremely rich with a huge breadth of various dried fruit notes that don’t get boring at any time. Quite on the contrary, with every sip, you discover a new delicious flavour that moves smoothly to another one you have already identified. It makes you want to go on a real cider exploration journey. Cuveé Brut is very quaffable and perfect for any season of the year. Actually, I’ve shared a bottle of the Cuveé Brut with my friend and we both loved it so the bottle got empty within 10 minutes. It was an amazing experience, which I’m going to repeat. It’s a cidre for everyone. 5/6

Availability: broad in France. Outside of France, I was available to track it only in Berlin in KaDeWe.

Price: purchased locally in Berlin from the KaDeWe at 4.98 EUR. Worth every cent.

Les Celliers Associés L’Authentique French Cider Raspberry

Next up is another cider recently released by Val de Rance from Brittany. It’s their Les Celliers Associés L’Authentique French Cider Raspberry. Apparently, this raspberry cider received Bronze at the International Cider Challenge in London 2018. Previously, I reviewed the PearLemon Ginger and Brut.Company: Val de Rance
Place of Origin: Pleudihen-sur-Rance, Brittany, France
Ingredients: French cider, raspberry juice from concentrate, natural raspberry flavour,  natural flavour, potassium bi-disulfite. 
ABV: 4.5%
Package type: 330ml amber glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear ruby with a large white head that doesn’t dissipate at all leaving a large foam. Medium carbonation. Low to medium body.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is very strong and smells of raspberry candies and raspberry candy powder.

Taste: it starts lightly sweet with low acidity of lemon and raspberry. On the mid-palate, lingering note of raspberry candy that moves towards raspberry candy powder note and creamy raspberry. Finishes with a taste of candy powder and a distant chemical and slightly bitter note.

Overall: Similarly to previously tasted ciders from their range, the Les Celliers Associés L’Authentique French Cider Raspberry can be also classified as a fruit cider and an alco-pop. Both the nose and the palate are dominated by notes typical for raspberry candies and powder candies. I can’t say that the taste is unpleasant as it was the case with previously tastes Pear and Lemon Ginger. Quite on the contrary, it’s actually drinkable. But it is definitely not a cider but a raspberry-flavoured unidentified beverage. I’m not exactly sure what’s the point of realising a product that is called a cider but has only an array of different kind of raspberries flavours. For those who don’t want to taste the flavour of apples in their cider. 2.5/6 

Availability: in Finland online through Redbev, in Germany through Ebrosia and Vinoscout.  In the UK through Dunnels. And, many more.

Price: a sample was provided by Nolwenn from Les Celliers Associés.

Écusson Cidre Rosé

Would you believe it? Écusson, a cidre brand from France is turning 100 this year. The company was established in 1919 by Georges Leroy in a village of Livarot, Normandy and later acquired by the Eclor Group, transforming Écusson into one of their commercial cidre brands available in supermarkets. Approximately 20 cider apple varieties are grown in Écusson’s orchards.

Cidre Rosé, launched in 2007 is a single varietal cidre from Rouge Délice.Company: Cidreries du Calvados La Fermière (CCLF)/ Eccuson
Place of Origin: Livarot, Normandy, France
Apples: Rouge Délice
ABV: 3%
Package type: 750ml champagne corked bottle
Recommended type of glass: flute, chalice glass or bolée 

Appearance: pours a clear, pale orange with reddish hues and a huge white head, which dissipates within seconds. Nevertheless, carbonation is surprisingly low. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong with notes of red berries, strawberries, fresh apple flesh, crisp red apple, oak in the background.I can get also a light earthy note with dried fruits and raisins.

Taste: it starts very sweet with low-berry acidity. Fruity on the mid-palate with notes of strawberry, red berries, red apple, dried fruits, raisins and light oak. The finish is dry with a delicate astringent note and lingering red berries-acidity, a hint of bitterness and a note of blueberry.

Overall: Écusson’s Cidre Rosé is a fruity and refreshing cidre ideal for a lazy afternoon. Although the initial high sweetness strikes you in the first sip, the Rosé gets more fruity accompanied by lovely notes of strawberry, red berries and light oak. But still, it will be rather appreciated by those who like sweet cider. I have shared a bottle of the Rosé with a friend, who loved it and would buy it again. As for me, I would rather go for something less sweet. On another note, Écusson Cidre Rosé would pair well with sweet pancakes and goat cheese. Doesn’t taste too bad for a commercial cidre. 4/6

Availability: Broad in supermarkets in France such as Carrefour or Auchan. Otherwise, check out grocery stores selling French products. In Germany from Gourmemaison, Lieferello, Gourmetage. Through France Export in France. In Estonia from Tallink.

Price: purchased locally from Galeries Lafayette Berlin at 3 EUR.

Les Celliers Associés L’Authentique French Cider Pear

I’m very much intrigued by the label of this product released by Les Celliers Associés. It is claimed to contain 100% French apples but when you take a look at the ingredient list, you’ll discover that apart from French cider, pear juice from concentrate, natural flavour, green lemon flavour and potassium bi-disulfite has been added. And, it’s called Pear. This is quite misleading, don’t you think? Company: Val de Rance
Place of Origin: Pleudihen-sur-Rance, Brittany, France
Ingredients: French cider, pear juice from concentrate, natural flavour, green lemon flavour, potassium bi-disulfite. 
ABV: 4.5%
Package type: 330ml amber glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale amber with an orange hue and a large white head that slowly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Low to medium body.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong and smells artificial of pear. Hints of caramel and apple stems.

Taste: it begins sweet with low acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, artificial notes of pear and pear ice with hints of caramel. Finishes with a note typical for a juice from concentrate.

Overall: Adding flavours and juice from concentrate to real cider should be not only banned but also punished! All I can get here is an artificial flavour of pear both on the nose and on the palate and a note typical for juice from concentrate. Somewhere deep in the background one may find a note of caramel that most probably comes from cidre that was used here. Why use pear from concentrate if you can use fantastic juice from perry pears? This is a complete misunderstanding. I wish I can quickly forget that I had it all. 1/6 

Availability: in Finland online through Redbev, in Germany through Ebrosia and Vinoscout.  In the UK through Dunnels. And, many more.

Price: a sample was provided by Nolwenn from Les Celliers Associés.

Reflets de France Cidre Fermier de Bretagne Brut

Reflets de France is a French food brand established in 1996, belonging to the Carrefour Group. They claim that each product was tested and approved by Joël Robuchon, who is a French chef and restaurateur possessing the highest number of Michelin stars in the world. Since Reflets de France provide typically French products, it’s not a surprise that they also offer their own cidre produced by Cidrerie Le Brun. Today’s review is on Cidre Fermier de Bretagne Brut. Company: Reflets de France, Le Brun
Place of Origin: Plovan, Brittany, France
Apples: unknown
Sweetness as per label: brut
ABV: 5.5%
Package type: 750 ml green glass champagne corked bottle
Recommended type of glass: bolée or flute

Appearance: pours a hazy pale amber with a small white head, which immediately dissipates. Highly carbonated with beautiful strings of bubbles. Body is light.

Aroma/Nose: a very rich smell pours out of the bottle with notes of barnyard, apricots, raisins, ripe apples, wood and a very distant vinegar.

Taste: it starts watery with almost no sweetness, and medium lemon-like acidity. The mid-palate is moderately bitter in the beginning, then it gets milder so I get grapefruit peel with a lingering smokiness and gentle astringency. The aftertaste is watery with a detectable taste of alcohol and a note of watermelon.

Overall: after such an inviting smell you’d expect your cider to taste at least as good. But not here. It was absolutely terrible! It tasted harsh and sour, completely unbalanced providing no drinking pleasure. It’s hard to believe that this cider was made by Cidrerie Le Brun. This is officially the worst French cidre I had so far. And the least drinkable. I can name you at least a dozen ciders available in Berlin for less than 5 Euro that are much better than this crap. Avoid! 1.5/6

Availability: at your local Carrefour supermarket. In Berlin from Galerie Lafayette.

Price: Galerie Lafayette at 4.97 EUR.

Les Celliers Associés L’Authentique French Cider Lemon Ginger

Today’s review is going to be about Lemon Ginger produced by Les Celliers Associés from Pleudihen-sur-Rance, Brittany, France. It’s one of the ciders recently added to their product portfolio under the brand name L’Authentique French Cider. It was rewarded Silver at the International Cider Challenge 2018 in London. Company: Val de Rance
Place of Origin: Pleudihen-sur-Rance, Brittany, France
Ingredients: French cider, lemon juice from concentrate, natural ginger flavour, green lemon flavour, potassium bi-disulfite. 
ABV: 4.5%
Package type: 330ml amber glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale amber/deep golden with an orange hue and a massive white head that slowly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Low body.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong and smells of ginger beer with hints of green lemon.

Taste: it starts sweet with low acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, notes of ginger beer and lemon. And something earthy. Faint notes of red apples. Finishes with a spicy note of ginger beer.

Overall: The previously reviewed Les Celliers Associés L’Authentique French Cider Brut was a pleasure to drink. But Lemon Ginger is nothing else but a ginger beer with a taste of green lemon. It’s not unpleasant but I simply wouldn’t call it a cider at all. Cider is here only used as a carrier of flavours as I’m not getting any notes that might suggest that it’s cider that I’m drinking. So if you fancy a ginger beer with a taste of lemon go ahead. I’ll pass. 2.5/6 

Availability: in Finland online through Redbev, Alko, in Germany through Ebrosia and Vinoscout.  In the UK through Dunnels. And, many more.

Price: a sample was provided by Nolwenn from Les Celliers Associés.

Les Celliers Associés L’Authentique French Cider Brut

Les Celliers Associés/Val de Rance, a cooperative of cider makers from Brittany, France recently launched a completely new range of ciders called L’Authentique French Cider. I’m going to start with their Brut. Company: Val de Rance
Place of Origin: Pleudihen-sur-Rance, Brittany, France
Apples: locally sourced cider apples
ABV: 4.5%
Package type: 330ml amber glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale amber/deep golden with a huge white head that quickly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Medium body.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong and actually pours out of the glass. On the nose, notes of dried apricots, caramel, lightly acidic apples and fresh apple skin.

Taste: it begins moderately sweet with low acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, notes of lemon, smokiness, wood, caramel, dried apricots, still fermenting apples and low bitterness of slightly burnt caramel. No astringency.

Overall: I judged a book by it’s cover. From a French cidre in a beer glass, I didn’t actually expect much. But the bottle content is sensational! The scent is strong and magical with multiple flavours. The palate is similarly gorgeous with fantastic notes typical for French cidre such as dried apricots and caramel. The Brut is light, thus very drinkable. Pure pleasure in a glass. Though the palate could be slightly longer although it would be a lie to call its length short. It’s because the taste is so magnificent you want this taste to last forever. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the bottle size is just right. If I had more of it, I would get sugar overload. I had the Brut with a friend and she loved it exactly like I did. I’d love to have it again. This time with Galletes. 5/6 

Availability: in Finland online through Redbev, Alko, in Germany through EbrosiaAmazon and Vinoscout.  In the UK through Dunnels. And, many more.

Price: a sample was provided by Nolwenn from Les Celliers Associés

Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué Les 3 Fréres Brut

As explained in one of my previous reviews, Roger Jan, the father of three brothers was the one who founded Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué. Roger initially bought the orchard in 1990 to grow apples and sell them. In 1992, the oldest brother Mathieu joined his father to help in the orchard. And, they started making cider for their family and friends. In 1995, the youngest Guillaume joined the family business and five years later the youngest, Joseph, joined Chateau de Lézergué. Company: Cidrerie du Chateau de Lezergue
Place of Origin: Ergué-Gabéric, Cornouaille, Brittany, France
Apples: 
locally grown cidre apples
ABV:
 5%
Package type: 
750ml green glass champagne corked and wired bottle
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass, chalice glass, flute or bollée

Appearance: pours a cloudy vivid orange and a large white head that slowly reduces to a ring. High carbonation. Body medium.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is strong with sweet and fruity notes of dried apricots, woody of apple stems.

Taste: it begins only lightly sweet with a low acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate watery, smokiness, apricots, moderate astringency. The finish is dry with notes of apricots and of distant herbs.

Overall: similarly to the previously sampled cidres, the Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué Les 3 Fréres Brut is a very pleasant tipple. It has a gorgeous scent and lovely and longlasting taste. Admittedly, a bit watery but still very drinkable and tasty. After having so many cidres from this cider maker, I have the impression that they are very similar to each other. Only tiny differences are noticeable like the level of sweetness. So in a way, Les 3 Fréres Brut is a copy of other cidres from the range of Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué. Nevertheless, a very tasty copy. I shared a bottle of this cidre with a friend and her thoughts were similar to mine. In addition, as she is more into sweet cidre, next time, she would take their Demi-Sec. This time I have to agree with her. 4.5/6

Availability: mainly in Brittany, France. In Germany through Couple of Wines.

Price: a sample of this cidre was provided by Lucian from Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué.

Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué Cidre de Bretagne

Cidrerie du Chateau Lezergue make approximately 2-3 million bottles annually, which translates to 200.000 litres. For their cidre, Cidrerie du Chateau Lezergue uses a number of traditional French cidre apple varieties such as Kermerrien, Marie-Ménard, Prat-Yeod, Douce-Moen, Kroc’hen Ki and Douce-Coêtligné.Company: Cidrerie du Chateau de Lezergue
Place of Origin: Ergué-Gabéric, Cornouaille, Brittany, France
Apples: 
locally grown cidre apples
ABV:
 5%
Package type: 
750ml green glass champagne corked and wired bottle
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass, chalice glass, flute or bollée

Appearance: pours cloudy pale amber with a white head that very slowly reduces to a ring.  High carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong and fruity with notes of apricots, caramel, dried fruits and oak.

Taste: it starts lightly sweet with low acidity. Followed by a smoky note, apricots, low to medium astringency, light herbal notes, light woody from stems with low to medium astringency. Finishes dry and spicy with notes of toffee and oaky tannins.

Overall: apparently you can’t go wrong with cidre made by Cidrerie du Chateau de Lezergue as this is another excellent offering from them. This cidre is a delightful and balanced combination of flavours of caramel with dried fruits and oaky notes. It’s light with clear notes. No funk at all. Also, interestingly, the taste changes while the temperature is rising giving more oaky flavours. I had it on a warm day and thought it tasted glorious on its own. So it’s a great summer cider and a crowd pleaser. It will go well with duck or galettes. 5.5/6 

Availability: mainly in Brittany, France. In Germany through Couple of Wines.

Price: a sample of this cidre was provided by Lucian from Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué.

 

Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué Les 3 Fréres Demi-Sec

Previously, I’ve reviewed the Les 3 Fréres Doux from Cidrerie du Chateau de Lezergue. Now it’s time for a less sweet offering, Les 3 Fréres Demi-Sec. It was awarded Silver at the 2017 Concours Général Agricole in Paris.Company: Cidrerie du Chateau de Lezergue
Place of Origin: Ergué-Gabéric, Cornouaille, Brittany, France
Apples: 
locally grown cidre apples
ABV:
 4%
Package type: 
750ml green glass champagne corked and wired bottle
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass, chalice glass, flute or bollée

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale amber with orange hues and a white head that very slowly reduces to a ring.  High carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is very strong, refreshing and fruity with notes of fresh green apple flesh, fresh apple juice, apricots, cider apples.

Taste: it starts lightly sweet with low acidity. Followed by a lightly watery note, smokiness, apricots, low to medium astringency, light herbal notes, light woody from stems. Finishes dry with light raisins and a very distant note of burnt caramel -like bitterness and fresh sharp apples.

Overall: The Les 3 Fréres Demi-Sec is a pure pleasure in a glass. It has a structure, good length and gorgeous strong scent. The level of sweetness is just right and will please every cider drinker. I was sitting in the kitchen (because all the best parties happen in the kitchen) and sipping this cidre with a friend (who has a sweet tooth) and we were both oohing and aahing. It’s a very light offering that will go great in the summer but also will taste great in the winter. I enjoyed literally every sniff and every drop. An excellent and very drinkable cidre crafted by Cidrerie du Chateau de Lezergue.  Congrats! 5.5/6 

Availability: mainly in Brittany, France. In Germany from Couple of Wines.

Price: a sample of this cidre was provided by Lucian from Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué.

 

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