Julian Erkert Cider Manufaktur Fat Cat Cider 2018

Julian’s adventure with cider began in 2017 when he tried Aspall Cider in a London pub for the first time. Back in Switzerland, he ordered whatever cider from England he could find, which only strengthened his passion for cider. Funny enough, Julian lives in Thurgau, a region of Switzerland well known for apple production. So, Julian started reading about apple varieties grown in this area and contacted local apple producers, which in Autumn 2017 led to making his own three cider varieties. Next year, due to a great harvest and positive feedback he established Julian Erkert Cider Manufaktur and released his first cider, the Fat Cat named after his fat cat Carlo, who usually sits under Julian’s apple tree.

Company: Julian Erkert Cider Manufaktur
Place of Origin: Tägerwilen, Switzerland
Apples: Engishofer, Sauergrauech, Usterapfel, Klosterapfel, Bohnapfel, Schneiderapfel, grauer Hordapfel and two unknown bittersweet varieties
ABV: 5.9%
Package type: 330 ml clear glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or pint glass. Julian recommends drinking straight from the bottle.

Appearance: pours cloudy pale amber with a light orange hue and a slowly dissipating white head. Medium carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is moderately strong with notes of bubble gum, red apples, a hint of lemon, orange and banana.

Taste: it begins with a touch of sweetness and low citrusy acidity. On the mid-palate notes of orange, lemon, low bitterness of grapefruit peat and low to medium astringency. Finishes with a note of apple stem, bubble gum and citrusy acidity of lemon and orange. Red and yellow apples.

Overall: believe me or not but it’s been another super murderously hot day in Berlin. And, I really needed a glass of refreshing cider. Luckily for me, I grabbed a bottle of Julian’s creation, Fat Cider. As it turned out, it has been a brilliant decision as Fat Cat did the job. Not only it was very drinkable and citrusy refreshing, but it also had lovely gentle tannins that rounded up the taste and many notes that appeared while I drank it. Interestingly, Fat Cat is gently citrusy although the level of acidity is not high at all, thus it can be hugely appreciated by a crowd. To me, it’s a cider to enjoy and drink every day. Not only in summer but also in winter. Also, I think that Fat Cat is very food-friendly as it will go well with any food. I would really like to drink it again. Grab the Fat Cat if you have a chance! Well done, Julian. 5/6 

Availability: local restaurants and bars in Tägerwillen. And, directly through Julian.

Price: a sample was provided by Julian himself

Ivan & Cyrill Hossli Siider 2017

Siider is not only an Estonian equivalent for cider. Oh no. In Swiss German, you can also come across this term. Since Ivan & Cyrill Hossli from Aargau didn’t like another Swiss term for cider „suure moscht“, they decided to call their cider Siider.
Their Siider is a blend of 20 old apple varieties. The juice is fermented with wild yeasts in oak barrels and subsequently undergoes secondary fermentation in a bottle.

Company: Ivan and Cyrill Hossli
Place of Origin: 
Aargau, Switzerland
Apples: 
a blend of twenty apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: 
trocken (dry)
ABV: 
6.6%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass champagne corked and wired bottle
Recommended type of glass: 
white wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a lightly cloudy golden with a large white head that quickly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Body is low to medium. Sediment in the bottom.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is weak and lightly acidic with notes of green banana, overripe yellow apple, woody of apple stems, a hint of caramel and sulphur of fireworks and alcohol.

Taste: my first taste is dry with low to medium acidity of lemon. Watery, low to medium astringency, low bitterness, unripe banana. A hint of sulphur of fireworks, yellow apple. Finishes with a note of unripe green apples and chalk.

Overall: I wish I could write something positive about this cider. But that would be simply a lie. The nose is weak and rather boring. Also, there are not many flavours on the palate. Furthermore, Siider finishes quickly leaving a note of unripe green apples and chalk. There is, unfortunately, not much positive I can say about this beverage.  Perhaps two things. It certainly tastes natural. And, once it warmed up the taste improved but it was still rather uninteresting. But overall, the Siider 2017 made a worse impression on me than the vintage 2016. I’m truly sorry, guys, but I think there is still a lot of work for you to be done. 2.5/6

Availability: in bars and restaurants in Aargau.

Price: Siider 2017 was a sample provided by Cyril Hossli.

Ivan & Cyrill Hossli Siider 2016

Siider is made by two brothers Cyrill and Ivan in Aargau, Switzerland. Cyril is studying winemaking in Switzerland and Ivan is a wine lover. One day an idea of making cider from apples grown in their grandfather’s apple orchard came to them. It is worth mentioning that in the past, “suure moscht’ was a popular beverage in this area but then sadly faded into oblivion. Cyrill and Ivan’s first cider trials started in 2012 with 25 bottles. They enjoyed what they made, hence in 2014 they bought their first oak barrel. In 2016, they had already 12 oak barrels.

Siider is made with 20 apple varieties. Juice is fermented with wild yeasts in oak barrels and subsequently undergoes secondary fermentation in a bottle.

Company: Ivan and Cyrill Hossli
Place of Origin: 
Aargau, Switzerland
Apples: 
a blend of twenty apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: 
trocken (dry)
ABV: 
7.7%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass champagne corked and wired bottle
Recommended type of glass: 
white wine glass

Appearance: pours a hazy golden with a large white head that quickly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong. Yeasty with notes of banana, yellow apples, grass, wood and orange.

Taste: my first taste is dry with medium to high acidity of lemon. Then comes a watery note, smokiness, a note of a lemon peel, yellow apples and low bitterness. Finishes with a note of orange and mandarine flesh, a bit woody of apple stems and a mineral note.

Overall: Siider made by the Hossli brothers is fruity with a pleasant note of orange and mandarine flesh. But it leaves a long aftertaste of lees. Also, Siider tastes very yeasty so I suspect it wasn’t disgorged or wasn’t disgorged properly? I hate to say it but it wasn’t a pleasure drinking it due to a light bitter/lees aftertaste. The taste was long and the scent was strong so it surely has a potential and it tastes natural but it’s simply not there yet. 3/6

Availability: in bars and restaurants in Aargau.

Price: Siider 2016 was a sample provided by Cyril Hossli.

BlackDot D’icy Sirens

Two friends and expats living in Switzerland, Lee (from the UK) and David (from New Zealand) started as a microbrewery. Recently they determined to take on also the cider world and introduced their first cider D’icy Sirens (anagram of Cidre Eysins, a district in the canton of Vaud) made from Gala, Jazz and Magnum Bonum grown in local orchards. Currently, they are experimenting with Gala as a single variety and a blend of Gala and pears with a Champagne yeast. So a new range of ciders from Lee and David can be expected in bars in Switzerland soon. Company: BlackDot Brewery
Place of Origin: Aigle, De Vaud, Switzerland
Apples: a blend of 3 apple varieties including Gala, Jazz and Magnum Bonum
ABV: 6.8%
Package type: 330ml amber bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or snifter glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale golden and a white foam that only slowly dissipates. Lightly sparkling. Natural carbonation. Body is medium. Creamy texture. Sediment in the bottle.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is strong, it pours out of the glass with notes of apple stems and pears. Further notes are banana, yellow apples and a hint of bubblegum and alcohol.

Taste: it begins dry with some residual sweetness to it and a low acidity of lemon. Notes of pears, yellow apples, white wine and hints of vanilla and wood. A bit watery. Finishes with a fruity and gentle bitter taste leaving a bit weird feeling on the tongue.

Overall: I will be honest with you. Lee provided me with two bottles. I tried the first one and had mixed thoughts on their cider due to its aftertaste. Unfortunately or fortunately, I had some issues with WordPress and my tasting notes and remarks with regard to this cider were gone (one of the worst things that can happen to a blogger). Luckily, I had one spare bottle that I could use for this review. The nose didn’t differ much from what I remembered. It was surprisingly rich and strong for a cider made from eaters and cookers. Taste-wise it was also dry, light and fruity. It had a structure and good length. Only the aftertaste was less pronounced than I remembered, but still rather disturbing. I think that it must have been left a bit too long on its lees and some off-notes impacted the taste of this drop. Especially as it warmed up the aftertaste was getting less palatable. This is a good cider, surprisingly good, but just remember to drink it chilled. Also, the D’icy Sirens is very food friendly and will go well with pork or cheese with intense flavour. I wouldn’t mind having it again. 4/6

Availability: directly from the BlackDot brewery or in local bars in Aigle in Switzerland.

Price: D’Icy Sirens was a sample provided by Lee from BlackDot