Mūrbūdu Ingvera Sidrs Džindžeris

It might have been warm last week but summer is definitely gone by now. That’s why I grabbed a bottle of cider to cuddle up with. I decided to sample a Latvian cider with ginger made by Mūrbūdu.Company: Mūrbūdu Sidra Darītava
Place of Origin: Ērģemes pagasts, Valkas novads, “Klētnieki”, Latvia
Ingredients: a blend of apple varieties from old apple orchards with ginger
Sweetness as per label: unknown
ABV: 5.2%
Package type: 
330 ml amber glass with crown cork 
Recommended type of glass: 
wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with a little white head that quickly dissipates. Medium and artificial carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is moderately strong with notes of fresh ginger, ginger ale, yellow apple skin and earthy notes.

Taste: my first impression is lightly sweet with a low to medium acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, notes of ginger ale, lemon juice, fresh ginger and a hint of pineapple. Finishes slightly spicy with a distant note of yellow apples and low astringency.

Overall: the first thing I got after I took the initial sniff, was an earthy note. I had to grimace as I didn’t find it pleasant. But it might be just me. Anyway, there are also ginger notes present and are pleasant both on the nose and on the palate. Even if they dominate and not much cider flavours come through. It’s not very rich in terms of flavours and only the spiciness of ginger lingers on but it’s quite nicely drinkable. Overall, I think that the Mūrbūdu Ingvera Sidrs Džindžeris is indeed a nice warmer that could also be appreciated on hot summer days. 4/6 

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: Mūrbūdu Ingvera Sidrs Džindžeris was a sample provided by Mūrbūdu.

Mūrbūdu Pussauss Apinots Saison Sidrs

I know that this again will be a review of a flavoured/mixed/hopped cider but I can’t help it. This seems to be the trend now among European cider producers. This hopped cider is made by Mūrbūdu from Latvia. Their Apinots is a semi-dry cider flavoured with two American hop varieties Mosaic and Citra. 
Company: 
Mūrbūdu Sidra Darītava
Place of Origin: Ērģemes pagasts, Valkas novads, “Klētnieki”, Latvia
Ingredients: a blend of apple varieties from old apple orchards with hops Mosaic and Citra
Sweetness as per label: pussauss (semi-dry)
ABV: 5%
Package type: 
330 ml amber glass with crown cork 
Recommended type of glass: 
wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a cloudy golden with a little white head that quickly dissipates. Low and artificial carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is moderately strong with notes of fresh, ripe mango but also unripe mango with lychee and a hint of pine.

Taste: my first taste is lightly sweet with a low to medium acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, yellow apples, a watery note, unripe and ripe mango with lychee. Finishes dry with a note of pine and lemon.

Overall: Some may think that hops are to cider what milk is to coffee. Milk will make even bad coffee taste good. But unfortunately, hops will not do the same to bad cider. American hops might have indeed added pleasant aromas and richness to the Mūrbūdu Pussauss Apinots. But the hops didn’t help to hide the fact that cider with a watery taste,  lacking body was used to make this cider. I’m not trying to say that Mūrbūdu Pussauss Apinots is undrinkable as its taste is quite ok. But once the initial notes of hops are gone,  a longlasting watery note appears revealing a rather weak cider base. It’s quite disappointing. Also, hops are too dominating and I can’t get any apple flavour at all. Summarising, drinkable but not amazing. 3/6

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: Mūrbūdu Pussauss Apinots Saison Sidrs was a sample provided by Mūrbūdu.

Abavas Get Real

I’m used to more elegant either wine or champagne bottles released by Abavas from Latvia. But this time Martins decided to take a different approach this time. His new addition to the product range is Get Real, a cider made with apple and quince and aged with oak chips.Company: SIA Abavas dārzi, “Kalējkrāmi”
Place of Origin: 
Slampes country, Tukuma region, Latvia
Apples: 
a blend of selected Latvian apple varieties and quince
ABV: 5%
Package type: 330ml amber glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: chalice glass or wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with a large short-lived white head. Medium and artificial carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is quite strong and smells fruity of quince, mirabelle plum, yellow apples and a hint of pineapple.

Taste: it starts moderately sweet with low to medium acidity. Smokiness, quince, canned pineapple, quince jam and a faint hint of yellow apples. Finishes fruity leaving a note of quince.

Overall: The AbavasGet real can be considered as a naturally tasting alternative to industrial alco-pops. It tastes very fruity with lovely notes of quince, yellow apples and interestingly canned pineapple. But it has no further depth than this. Admittedly, it thought it was enjoyable on a warm summer day in Berlin. But it’s just not for more demanding cider drinkers. Anyway, I’m sure it could be a great crowd-pleaser as it is a quality and tasty tipple. So if you are looking for a cider after work or for a party, you will not be disappointed. 3.5/6 

Availability: in Finland from ALKO. In Belgium from Cideris, in the Netherlands from CiderCider, and in Latvia from Spirit & Wines.

Price: Get Real was a sample provided by Abavas.

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.

Mūrbūdu Aveņu Pussausais Nr.3

Apart from cider made with Latvian apples, Paul from Latvian Mūrbūdu experiments also with various fruits. The Mūrbūdu Aveņu Pussausais Nr.3 is a seasonal cider made with local raspberries.Company: Mūrbūdu Sidra Darītava
Place of Origin: Ērģemes pagasts, Valkas novads, “Klētnieki”, Latvia
Ingrdients: a blend of apple varieties from old apple orchards and locally grown raspberries
Sweetness as per label: pussalds (semi-sweet)
ABV: 5%
Package type: 
330 ml amber glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: 
wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a clear ruby red with a little head that quickly dissipates. Low and artificial carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is strong with notes of raspberries, frozen strawberries, wild strawberries. A hint of sour cherry.

Taste: my first impression is dry with low to medium acidity of strawberries and yellow apples. Smokiness, frozen strawberries, raspberries with a hint of sour cherry and yellow apple. Finishes dry with low astringency, notes of wild strawberries and frozen strawberries.

Overall: I wouldn’t mind if every fruit cider tasted like this. This is exactly how a fruit cider should be like. Not like a one-dimensional sparkling juice but a lovely creation bursting of multiple flavours. Also, what’s important, despite dominating berry notes I can get a flavour of yellow apples. I enjoyed every sip, followed by an unbelievably long aftertaste. I hope it won’t be only a seasonal cider. I have absolutely nothing to complain and would definitely like to have more. Paul, this is fantastic! 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: Aveņu Pussausais Nr.3 was a sample provided by Paul from Mūrbūdu.

Mūrbūdu Pussalds

Do you know where did the name of Mūrbūdu actually come from? In Latvian, Mūru means ‘wall’ and Būdu means ‘house’. So if you combine these two words together you get ‘the wall house’. This is because the building where guys from Mūrbūdu make their cider comes from the Soviet era. When Mūrbūdu took over the run-down USSR-style building, there were only walls. Hence, the name.

Today’s review is on the semi-sweet cider Pussalds from Mūrbūdu.Company: Mūrbūdu Sidra Darītava
Place of Origin: Ērģemes pagasts, Valkas novads, “Klētnieki”, Latvia
Apples a blend of apple varieties from old apple orchards
Sweetness as per label: pussalds (semi-sweet)
ABV: 5%
Package type: 
330 ml amber glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: 
wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a little head that quickly dissipates. Low and artificial carbonation.  Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is strong and with notes of ripe and sour yellow apples, mirabelle plums and some alcohol.

Taste: my initial taste is sweet of sugar with low acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, yellow apples, ripe pears, mirabelle plums and low astringency. Finishes lightly acidic with a touch of astringency and alcohol. 

Overall: First of all, I would rather classify it as sweet than semi-sweet. I thought it was way too sweet for my liking. Also, I didn’t like the sugary taste in the beginning. But this is exactly what others may appreciate in this cider. Secondly, Pussalds has a structure and lovely fruity notes and clear taste. The same happens in the scent. It tastes apple-y so you can taste the fruit it was made from. Overall, Pussalds is a good cider but rather for those who like their cider on the sweeter side. 4/6

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 was a sample provided by Paul from Mūrbūdu.

Mūrbūdu Zaļš 2018 Sausais Jaunsidrs

Zaļš, green in Latvian is my next cider made by Paul from Mūrbūdu after their Pussauss Abolu Sidrs.Company: Mūrbūdu Sidra Darītava
Place of Origin: Ērģemes pagasts, Valkas novads, “Klētnieki”, Latvia
Apples a blend of local apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 4.6%
Package type: 
330ml amber glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: 
wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a little head that quickly dissipates. Low carbonation.  Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is intense and fruity with notes of ripe yellow apples and apple skin with baked apples and vanilla biscuit/cake.

Taste: my first taste is dry, watery of medium to high acidity of lemon. Lemon taste and acidity linger on. Finishes dry with a note of lemon, a touch of green apple and mirabelle plums. 

Overall: the scent is lovely, very fruity and apple-y. It’s really exceptionally rich and beautiful. So, you obviously get hungry for more. But what you actually get is quite disappointing. Taste-wise, I didn’t get much apart from a quite high acidity of lemon and a watery taste. One can tell that Paul is skilled in the art judging by a fantastic scent but the taste was rather average and it wasn’t enough to call this cider good. It would go well with food such as chicken, veal or fish. 3/6

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: Zaļš 2018 Cidre verde. Sausais Jaunsidrs. Pētnieku sērija Nr. 01. was a sample provided by Paul from Mūrbūdu.