Tabun Cydr z Otomina Nehou 2020

This is the third cider from the line up of Tabun Cydr z Otomina from the Polish Pomerania made by Michał after the Krik 2020 and Wytrawny 2020. And, the second single-varietal cider made with a cider apple variety, this time it’s Nehou. Nehou is a bittersweet cider apple variety widely grown in England. As you can tell by its name, it’s not an English variety as it originated in Nehou, Normandy, France.

I’ve never tried a single-varietal cider made with this variety so let’s review it.

Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: Nehou
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
ABV: 7%
Package type:
500 ml amber 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 moderately strong but there is not much on the nose. All I could get were notes of funk, something spicy to it and milled, ripe apples.

Taste: my first taste is bone-dry with a very low acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, watery, with a very high astringency and notes of wood, dried apples, dried pineapple and other dried tropical fruits. Finishes dry with a lingering astringency and a note of woody bitterness.

Overall: I guess there must be a reason why there are no single-varietal cider from Nehou. The Tabun Nehou is a truly hardcore and in a way unbalanced cider. The nose is rather average with dominating notes of funk and doesn’t really say a lot about what you might expect on the palate. But when you take the first sip, you get a feeling that you have just licked the inside of a barrel or cask. I’m not kidding! The tannin in this cider is extremely strong giving a very strong woody flavor and aggressive astringency accompanied by interesting but difficult to describe fruity flavors that closely resemble tropical fruits. The length is good although the Nehou itself tastes watery. I asked Michał whether this cider was matured in a cask but until now I didn’t get an answer to my question. But that would have been my first thought that the Nehou was barrel-aged. Or maybe this apple variety is a real hardcore as a single-varietal but gives a great kick when blended? Personally, I found the Nehou too harsh, too aggressive for ma palate and wouldn’t buy it again. Nevertheless, I think it is an interesting and worth-trying offering that will certainly find a group of fans. Especially if you are into flavors that resemble barrel-aging or come from barrel-aging. 4/6 

Availability: only in Poland for now at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin. Perhaps soon in Gdynia from Afroalko, in Warsaw from Zrodlo Niebanalnych Piw i Alkoholi and in Krakow from Winnacja.

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

Tabun Cydr z Otomina Wytrawny 2020

After I published the very favourable review of the Tabun Krik 2020, Michał of the Polish Tabun Cydr z Otomina, reached out to me with regards to the Wytrawny 2020 saying: “Don’t drink it! Let it go down the drain”. How could I possibly do that with a craft cider? Admittedly, I have already done that with several industrial alco-pops but never to a proper cider made from real fruit and without unnecessary additives.

This the third vintage that I’m sampling of Michał‘s Wytrawny after the 2018 and 2019 vintage. However, this time Michał made some changes to the blend adding Granny Smith and introducing new experimental apple varieties. Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: a blend of old apple varieties with dessert apple varieties and experimental apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
ABV: 7,1%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass:
 white wine glass

Appearance: pours a hazy pale straw yellow colour with a greenish hue and a small head that reduces to a ring around the glass. Low carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is rather weak, but pleasantly fruity with notes of raw pineapple, green notes, wood, distant lemon juice and a touch of funk. 

Taste: it begins bone dry with low to medium acidity of lemon juice. On the mid-palate, slightly salty at first, watery with a lingering note of diluted lemon juice, green unripe banana, lime juice, a touch of astringency and vinegar. Finishes with a notes of lime, pear, green unripe banana and lees.  

Overall:  I had the Wytrawny 2020 on a very cloudy, gloomy and rather cold Sunday afternoon, while I think it is a cider to be drunk on a warm sunny day due to its pleasantly citrusy and thus refreshing character. The Wytrawny 2020 is a complex cider with plenty of various notes both on the nose and on the palate. With each sip I could discover a new flavor that I didn’t get before. So drinking the Wytrawny 2020 was a true cider exploring journey. And, a pleasant one on top of that. Similarly to previous vintages, it kept the citrusy character but the 2020 vintage is much more complex than just a lemon spritzer. With all these lemon, lime and green banana notes Michal managed to create a really pleasant and light drink although completely different than the Krik 2020. So why is this cider getting only 4/5? Because the nose could have been stronger and the taste a bit less watery.  I know, I always have to look for sth to complain about. Overall, the Wytrawny 2020 is a light and nicely drinkable pour that will go well on its own but will also pair nicely with e.g. Spanish tapas. 4/6 

Availability: only in Poland for now at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin and from Alfroalko in Gdynia. In Warsaw from Zrodlo Niebanalnych Piw i Alkoholi and from Winnacja in Krakow.

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

Winnica Lipowiec Cydr Roztoczański Sad 2020

Winnica Lipowiec was established in 2008 in Lipowiec by the Popko family. Lipowiec is a village located right next to the Roztoczanski National Park in southeastern Poland. And, “winnica” stands for vineyard in Polish. As the name already indicates, Winnica Lipowiec specializes in making wine, not cider. However, as you can see the Popko family also caught the cider bug thanks to the Lubelskie Stowarzyszenie Miłośników Cydru ( Lublin Cider Enthusiasts Association) that gathers cider aficionados located in Lublin Voivodeship.

The Winnica Lipowiec Cydr Roztoczański Sad 2020 is a blend of locally and organically grown old apple varieties such as Boskoop, Bohnapfel, Reinette du Canada and many others fermented with selected yeast. Subsequently, this cider was bottle conditioned and disgorged.

Although with the current volume of 100-150 L Winnica Lipowiec is still in the experimental phase, Leszek Popko is already planning to increase the production capacity and release a few ciders next year.

It’s the first time that I’m sampling a craft cider from this part of Poland.

Company: Winnica Lipowiec
Place of Origin: Lipowiec, Lublin Voivodeship, Poland
Apples: a blend of old apple varieties such as Boskoop, Bohnapfel, Reinette du Canada and a couple of others
ABV: 7%
Package type: 750ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or tumbler

Appearance: pours a cloudy dark golden yellow with a small head. Moderate to high carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is rather weak. Even after (almost) putting my nose inside the glass, I could only get faint notes of yellow apples and some quince.

Taste: my first taste is bone dry with a moderate to high acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, notes of lemon, yellow apples, slightly watery taste, and low astringency with some quince. Finishes dry with a lingering note of lemon and a touch of bitterness.

Overall: I hate to say it but Cydr Roztoczański Sad 2020 didn’t meet my expectations. It’s taste is unfortunately one-dimensional. The palate is basically dominated by notes of lemon, some quince and lees – not disturbing, definitely adding complexity to this cider. Also, the scent was almost not-existent. All this taken together leads to a conclusion that it’s not enough to call this cider a good one. My friend who also sampled this cider thought that the level of acidity was too high for her palate. In my opinion, the level of acidity was fine but still drinking this cider didn’t give me any pleasure. Not bad but not really good. It feels really hard to write this knowing how much efforts were put into making this cider. Cydr Roztoczański Sad 2020 has a potential but it is just not there yet. It’s drinkable, but preferably with food (I would recommend pairing it with fish dishes). Please don’t hate me. Fingers crossed for the next experiments! 3/6    

Availability: not available for sale yet

Price: a sample of this cider was provided by Leszek from Winnica Lipowiec

Tabun Cydr z Otomina Krik 2020

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)
ABV: 5,3%
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 

Availability: only in Poland for now at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin. Perhaps soon in Gdynia from Afroalko, in Warsaw from Zrodlo Niebanalnych Piw i Alkoholi and in Krakow from Winnacja.

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

Tabun Cydr z Otomina Wytrawny 2019

The 2019 vintage of Wytrawny crafted by Michał of Tabun Cydr z Otomnina, Poland is a blend of old apple varieties such as Antonovka and Rennet apples along with a few varieties of dessert apples. Last year, I sampled their 2018 vintage. I’m curious to see how the 2019 vintage may taste like. Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: a blend of old apple varieties incl. Antonovka and Rennete along with dessert  apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
ABV: 5,9%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass:
 white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy golden yellow colour with a small head that reduces to a ring around the glass. Moderate carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is strong, literally pours out of the glass. Notes that come through are of ripe yellow apples, funk, green notes, wood and lemon. The aroma is strong at first but quickly weakens.

Taste: it starts dry with low acidity of lemon juice and lemon peel. On the mid-palate, watery with green notes, grapefruit juice, gentle off-notes from yeast and low astringency. Finishes with a refreshing touch of grapefruit.

Overall: If not a hint of wild notes and gentle off-notes coming from lees, one could think it is a lemon soft-drink with a surprisingly lingering taste. This is because the Wytrawny 2019 tastes more like a nice and refreshing citrusy spritzer, less than a cider. And this is because it, unfortunately, lacks body. I guess the proportion of dessert apples used for this blend might be just too high in my opinion. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy having the Wytrawny 2019 but I much more enjoyed Michał‘s Wytrawny Dziki 2019. I shared a bottle of the Wytrawny 2019 with a friend and she didn’t find it special either. Drinkable, pairing well with many foods but that’s it. I’m sorry, Michał. You know I like you but I have to be honest here. 3/6 

Availability: only in Poland for now at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin and from Alfroalko in Gdynia. In Warsaw from Zrodlo Niebanalnych Piw i Alkoholi and from Winnacja in Krakow.

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

Tabun Cydr z Otomina Wytrawny Dziki 2019

It’s time for Polish cider! Today, I’m about to evaluate a cider from Tabun Cydr z Otomina made by Michał from Otomin. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts about Michał‘s cider made, he, like any other cider maker, likes to experiment. Especially that he is still trying to create the best possible cider. His Dziki (wild in Polish) is one of his recently released experiments. It’s made with 8 different apple varieties (a blend of old apple varieties and cookers) fermented with wild yeast. After fermentation, it has been aged for 6 months and then bottle conditioned.
As per Michał, his Dziki sells like hotcakes despite Covid-19.

Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: a blend of 8 apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
ABV: 6,7%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass:
 white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy bright straw yellow colour with no head. Low and natural carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma has very good intensity, literally pours out of the glass and is pleasantly refreshing with notes of lemon, grapefruit but also funk. In the background, very distant sulphur and something spicy.

Taste: my first taste is dry with low acidity of lemon and grapefruit. On the mid-palate, watery, smokiness, notes of funk, grapefruit peel and a hint of sulphur. Finishes with a pleasant and refreshing note of grapefruit peel followed by a touch of bitterness.

Overall: So far, my favourite cider made by Michał. It is lovely refreshing with notes of lemon and grapefruit but it’s not sour at the same time. Dziki has a good intensity on the nose, a good length along with complexity. It lacks a bit of body, which Michał sees as an advantage. But if you ask me, due to lack of body and a watery taste, one could say Dziki is something between a refreshing lemonade and white wine. An enjoyable one but still. This is the only comment I can make here. Again, since Dziki was fermented with wild yeast, and has some funkiness, not everyone will like e.g. my friend refused to drink it (good for me!). Overall, I’m not surprised that this cider is so popular within Tabun’s customers. I’m going to order some myself. Will pair well with fish, seafood or pizza. 4.5/6 

Availability: only in Poland for now at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin and from Alfroalko in Gdynia. Soon available in Warsaw from Zrodlo Niebanalnych Piw i Alkoholi and from Winnacja in Krakow.

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

Tabun Cydr z Otomina 2018​ (with a black crown cap)

After I posted my review about the Tabun Cydr z Otomina 2018, Michał reached out to me saying that he agrees with my critical thoughts about his cider. Therefore, he created a new cider with improved acidity, sweetness and aroma. It is made also with 14 apple varieties but in a different ratio. And, although it carries the same name, the crown cap has a different colour. Black. The previous one came with a golden crown cap.Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: a blend of 14 apple varieties including 8 dessert or cookers such as Golden Delicious, and 6 old apple varieties such as Kaiser Wilhelm or Transparente de Croncels
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
ABV: 6.2%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: 
flute or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy dark golden yellow with a tiny white head that quickly reduces to a ring. Medium to high natural carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is rather weak with notes of yellow apples, lightly vinegary, apple stem and yeast.

Taste: it starts bone dry with low acidity of lemon. Smokiness, notes of lemon, red apples, banana, yeast, a bit watery and moderate astringency. Finishes with low bitterness and a touch astringency and a note of lemon. And, off-notes coming from lees.

Overall: the Tabun with black closure tastes indeed different than the version with a golden crown cork. Some features are better but some seem to be worse compared to the cider made by Michał that I tried before. The nose is rather weak and doesn’t have many notes on the nose. Also, the nose has strong yeasty notes, which cover other possible notes in this cider. The taste of yeast and off-notes due to lees are also detectable on the palate. Surprisingly, although the level of acidity is higher than in the previous batch I don’t find this cider refreshing. Admittedly, this one is less watery so the increase of acidity indeed made a difference. But I’m still not impressed. It’s drinkable but that’s it. Michał, you can do better. 3/6

Availability: at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin and from Alfroalko in Gdynia.

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

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).

Tabun Cydr z Otomina Wytrawny 2018

Michał is a Polish cider maker, who established his cider business only in September 2018 and is lucky to have a very supportive wife Agata running a restaurant and a stud farm Tabun in Otomin, located approx. 7 km from Gdansk, Poland. For five years, he has been making cider and dreaming of setting up a cidery until his wife Agata finally convinced him to quit his job in the construction industry and do something he really loved, making cider. Isn’t Michał a lucky guy?
Apples that are used for his cider come from a single orchard. Michał works with both old apple varieties such as Landsberger Reinette, Kaiser Wilhelm or Transparente de Croncels but also with dessert apple varieties such as Champion, Spartan, Lobo or McIntosh.
At the moment, Michał has only one cider in his product range Cydr z Otomina Wytrawny (Cydr from Otomin Dry), which is bottle conditioned. However, Michał has lots of new ciders that are still ageing and will be released very soon.

Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: a blend of 14 apple varieties including 8 dessert or cookers such as Golden Delicious, and 6 old apple varieties such as Kaiser Wilhelm or Transparente de Croncels
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
ABV: 6%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: 
flute or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy golden yellow with a tiny white head. Medium to high natural carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is strong with notes of funk, lemon, herbs including peppermint. A hint of sulphur and vinegar. Lightly spicy.

Taste: it starts bone dry with low acidity of lemon. Further down it gets watery with low astringency and citrusy notes of lemon. Finishes with citrusy and herbal notes.

Overall: the cider made by Michał is a drinkable, citrusy refreshing farmhouse cider. So due to some funkiness, it might not be suitable for every palate. As for me, I enjoyed having it and wouldn’t mind having it again. But still, I have a few critical notes to make. It lacks body and tastes too watery. I think that a tiny bit higher level of sweetness and acidity could round up the taste and make this cider full-bodied. Also, it finishes too quickly, the taste simply doesn’t last long so there is still room for improvement. As I said earlier, I liked it nevertheless and can imagine it will pair great with a variety of dishes.  3.5/6

Availability: at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin and from Alfroalko in Gdynia.

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

Cydr Ignaców 2016/2017 “Mały”

The Cydr Ignaców 2016/2017 is known colloquially as the “Mały”: little or small in Polish. This is because it comes in a 275 ml bottle, which is smaller than other ciders offered by Cydr Ignaców. A volume of 275ml is served in restaurants as it is a little bit more as the volume of one 200ml glass.

The Cydr Ignaców 2016/2017 is made with multiple old Polish varieties and a couple of cookers. It is a blend of 2016 and 2018 vintage.Company: Cydr Ignaców
Place of Origin: Ignaców, Masovia, Poland
Apples: a blend of multiple old apple varieties with cookers
ABV: 6.5%
Package type: 275 ml green glass with twist off cap
Recommended type of glass:  flute or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with a tiny white head. Low to medium carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is strong and fruity with notes of yellow apples caramel, vanilla, hint of alcohol and vinegar.

Taste: my first impression is dry with a touch of sweetness and medium acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate yellow apples, smokiness, lemon, mirabelle plums, low astringency and distant grass. The finish is dry with a touch of lemon candy, low bitterness and caramel with distant vinegar.

Overall: Another cider of exceptional quality from Cydr Ignaców. The Cydr Ignaców 2016/2017 is an approachable and full-bodied cider that has a good punch of flavour in the palate, structure and good length. The flavours linger on, appear and go. They actually dance in your mouth. The acidity is well harmonised making this cider very food friendly. It would especially go well with seafood, fish or creamy cheese. I loved it and would buy it again. 5/6

Availability: might be available in wine stores, craft beers shops and good restaurants across Poland 

Price: Tomasz passed me a bottle when we met up in Warsaw.