Dunkertons Breakwells Seedling

There is a constantly rising trend of organic foods, beers and wines in the market around the world, but also of organic ciders. And, Dunkertons is one of the few British cider makers producing cider from organic cider apples. More than that, Dunkertons were one of the first to introduce organic farming to the apple orchards in Herefordshire. It was in 1988, long before the boom begun.

Today I give you Dunkertons Breakwells Seedling, a single-varietal cider made form  Breakwells Seedling, an apple variety that was discovered at Perthyre Farm, Monmouth, Wales over a century ago.Company: Dunkertons
Place of Origin: Pembridge, Leominster, Herefordshire, UK
Apples: a single varietal from Breakwells Seedling from organic farms.
Sweetness as per label: medium dry
ABV: 7.5%
Package type: 500ml amber glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass, white wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale amber with faint orange hue and a large, white short-lived foam, which leaves a white ring around the glass. Medium carbonation. Low to medium body. There is some sediment in the bottle.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is tannic and sweetish with lovely notes of juicy red apples and a hint of apple juice. Also, I can get wild notes, beeswax, leather, distant acetic note and nail polish.

Taste: the first sip is medium dry of caramel with a moderate acidity of lemon. Strong astringent taste and bitterness on the mid-palate followed by notes of nail polish, vinegar, barnyard, smoked cheese, red apples, grapefruit and a light watery flavour. It finishes dry with lingering astringent notes and a hint of grapefruit-bitterness with red apples. Alcohol is well hidden despite the high ABV of 7.5%.

Overall: Dunkerton’s Breakwells Seedling Cider is a cider that every cider lover needs to try as it tastes simply extraordinary. The combination of strong tannins, wild notes and flavours of fruity, crisp yet sweet and juicy red apples with citrus notes is simply mind-blowing and make this cider suitable for every palate. However, it’s a cider to sip at a slow pace rather and than drinking without stopping. I think that the Breakwells Seedling is another masterpiece from Dunkertons’ apart from Black Fox that I tried earlier. To be honest, I wouldn’t tell that the Breakwells Seedling is a single-varietal cider. So yes, I would definitely buy it again! 5/6

Availability: from their online shopbroad in the UK Bristol Cider Shop, Beers of Europe,  Abel&ColeCrumpton Hill Farm Shop,  However, outside the UK the availability is rather limited to CiderKultur in Germany, Ciderwinkel in the Netherlands, Opily Jabko and Dobry Cider in the Czech Republic.

Price: Dunkertons Breakwells Seedling was a sample provided by CiderKultur.

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InCide Holunder

Actually, it was a cider tasting among friends that led to the creation of InCide Holunder (‘Holunder’ is German for ‘elder’) made by Julia and Aaron Schwegler located in Korb, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. After Aaron, who is actually a winemaker by profession, tried a number of average tasting ciders he has decided to make his own ‘Apfelmost’ from old apple trees that grew around the vineyard. Since the first batch received a very positive feedback from friends and guests visiting the vineyard, Aaron and his wife Julia decided to launch their InCide Holunder in 2015 commercially. Company: InCide Drinks e.K.
Place of Origin: Korb, Baden Württemberg, Germany
Ingredients: sparkling apple wine with elderflower syrup (12%)
ABV: 5.5%
Package type: 750ml clear glass bottle with screw cap
Recommended type of glass: flute or wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with a white fizz that is gone after a few seconds. Low to medium artificial carbonation. Medium body.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is very aromatic and strong with notes of fresh blackcurrant fruits and leaves with gooseberries freshly picked from the garden. Also, some floral aromas incl. distant jasmine and elderflower.

Taste: it begins medium sweet with a low acidity of lemon. The mid-palate has a note of blackcurrant fruits and leaves, tastes lightly astringent with a lingering note of lemon powder candy and delicate herbal undertones.

Overall: if I hadn’t reviewed the label first, I would have never guessed that I was drinking a beverage made from apples with an addition of elderflower syrup. InCider Holunder has an extremely beautiful nose. It’s like sun-warmed blackcurrants picked up straight from the garden and trapped in a bottle. It has a brilliant aroma that you’ll certainly fall in love with. But I could get only faint hints of elderflower here. Not to mention any apple flavour (it’s a shame if you’re asking me). Taste wise the InCider Holunder has depth and a nice length and it was a real pleasure drinking it. But rather after the meal due to the medium level of sweetness than before as advertised (it’s like with dessert wine, it is to be served with dessert, not as an aperitif). On another note, I can very well imagine InCider as a great base for cocktails. But Julia has already thought about it –> check out InCide’s website for some summer cocktails recipes. Whether I would buy it again? Absolutely! Even though I couldn’t taste any apple here. 4/6 

Availability: only Southern Germany for now incl. Getränke Maisch in Gerlingen; Kö8 in Köngen, Getränke Ebinger GmbH in Großbottwar. Online from Weinhaus Kreuz or Perbaccowein,

Price: InCide Holunder was a sample provided by Julia from InCide Drinks.

Maeloc Sidra Extra Ecológica

Maeloc Sidra Extra Ecológica was one of the four Spanish sidras that were available from Carrefour Express located at the famous La Rambla in Barcelona. I’ve already tried the Etiqueta Blanca from El Gateiro and wasn’t in the mood for Pear Cider from The Good Cider so I didn’t have much choice left. This is how I ended with a bottle of the Sidra Extra Ecológica from Maeloc, an organic cider brand from Galicia, Spain. Interestingly, it won a Gold Medal at the International Cider Challange 2014.Company: Maeloc Way
Place of Origin: A Coruña, Galicia, Spain
Apples: organic Galician apples
Sweetness as per label: doesn’t say
Alc: 4.1%
Package type: 750 ml green glass champagne corked bottle
Recommended type of glass: flute

Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with a large white head, which quickly dissipates. High and unlikely natural carbonation. Low to medium body.

Aroma/Nose: it has almost no aroma. Only faint notes of yellow apples and still fermenting apples.

Taste: it starts medium sweet with low acidity. On the mid-palate ripe yellow apples, hints of lemon and orange with a touch of astringency. And, that would be it.

Overall: as expected, Sidra Extra Ecológica from Maeloc turned out to be a fizzy soft-drink tasting like a quite sweet version of an effervescent multivitamin with orange flavour and a touch of astringency. I thought it was below average and didn’t pair well with the tapas I  purchased at the Mercat de la Boqueria (famous food market in Barcelona). Just a waste of time and money. How could it pick up an award??? 2/6

Availability: seems to be available in many supermarkets across Europe.

Price: bought locally in Careffour Express in Barcelona at 2.75 EUR.

Goldkehlchen Weichsel

My last acquaintance with Cider from Goldkehlchen, the cider maker from Austria was rather so-so. So this time I’m trying their ‘Weichsel’, a cider blended with sour cherry juice. Interestingly, ‘Weichsel’ is a term used for sour cherry in Austria, Switzerland and some parts of Bavaria. In Berlin, we call it ‘Sauerkirsche’.Company: Goldkehlchen KG
Place of Origin: Vienna, Austria
Ingredients: wine and juice obtained from Styrian apples blended with sour cherry juice
ABV: 4.5%
Package type: 330ml clear bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear ruby red with a light pink head that slowly dissipates. Medium, artificial carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is sweet with notes of sour cherries, black currant, strawberries, almonds and ripe red apples.

Taste: it starts lightly watery and lightly sweet at the same time with low to medium acidity, then a moderately astringent taste appears, notes of berries and light sour cherries. A touch of bitterness appears. Ends with a light sourish note of sour cherries.

Overall: I liked it. Especially, I was fond of the notes of cherries and various berries with a light refreshing acidity. The Weichsel from Goldkehlchen is a decent fruity offering that has a pleasant, intense and complex nose. But also the palate has a nice structure and decent length. What’s important, the Weichsel doesn’t taste like juice but a pleasant fruit wine that can be likeable by everyone. A really nice drop that I could have again. It will pair well with cheese but also with ice cream. 4/6

Availability: broad in Austria. But also in Germany from Ciderei, Gourmondo, Austrian Shop, Fräulein Lecker, Kochhaus. In Sweden from Brill & Co.

Price: Weichsel from Goldkehlchen was a sample provided by Ciderei.

Where to drink/buy cider in Wrocław?

Wrocław – the meeting place. With this slogan, this Polish city is trying to boost tourism and attract travellers. Therefore, I thought it I will lend them a hand by compiling a list of spots in Wrocław where you can meet and greet the locals over a glass of craft cider. Let me give you a brief tour through the Wrocław’s bars offering cider.Bars/Pubs

Initially, I thought that Academus is a student haven due to its name. However, everyone who likes international beer and Polish cider come here. This small pub and B&B in one is run by a friendly couple, who really pay attention to their guests’ needs. It’s located in the city centre, just a few steps from the main square. From time to time they have Cydr Tradycyjny z Trzebnicy on draught, which is a local cider from Trzebnica located 30km from Wrocław. You can click here to find if and which cider is currently available on draught. Also, you can choose from their selection of bottled Polish craft cider.

Vaffa Napoli is located in the historical Jewish Quarter and is actually a restaurant serving pizza and other Italian foods. Apart from really delicious pizza, they have craft cider from Cydr Smykan available in bottles and sometimes on draught. To check their current offer on tap click here.

Not far away from Vaffa Napoli, you can visit also Marynka, Piwo i Aperitivo, a craft beer bar. I come here mainly for the delicious cider, which you can find in the fridge, Japko from Winnica De Sas but also because you can sit outside in the summer and enjoy the nice weather. Interestingly, they have a book with requests for draught beer, etc. so don’t forget to leave a note ‘CYDR’ there. Another advantage is that they have a food truck on their premises, Happy Little Truck serving absolutely delicious, and probably the best pizza in Wrocław. Try their pizza ‘Capperi’, which pairs excellently with Japko.

  • 4 Hops  (Ofiar Oświęcimskich 46, 50-059 Wrocław)

4 Hops is another centrally located craft beer bar with an austere interior design, with no fuzz and friendly staff that knows good beer. Unfortunately, no any sort of outdoor seating is available. More to that, they rarely have cider on tap. Bottled ciders available at 4 Hops feature Manufaktura Cydru (I reviewed their Wytrawny and Półsłodki) and Circus Cider, both from Warsaw. You can check if they currently have any cider on draught by clicking this link. The staff keep their offer up to date.

  • Szynkarnia (św. Antoniego 15, 50-073, Wrocław)

Another spot for cider lovers, in the summer at Szynkarnia you may find at least one cider on draught from one of the Polish craft cider makers such as Cydr Chyliczki or Cydr Smykan. You can check their current offer here. In addition, bottled cider is available here. To be honest, I never come here as Szynkarnia is always crowded and full of loud speaking people. Also, they seem not to have a good ventilation system as the strong smell of food is rather disturbing. So cider is the only reason to visit Szynkarnia, if you dare.

  • Pasibus (many locations, for the map, click here)

Pasibus is a burger chain so if you want to drink sweet and flat cider of unknown origin, PasiCydr (you can find the review here) with your burger you may taste it at one of their restaurants across Wroclaw.

SHOPS

  • Drink Hala (Ludwika Rydygiera 15, 48-300 Wrocław)

Located in a neighbourhood called Nadodrze, which with every day gets more popular among locals. Drink Hala is basically a craft beer shop with a really huge selection of Polish craft cider. But you will find here also a range of commercial cider from Poland and the UK such as Westons, as well. I usually come here, when I want to buy a bottle of a recently launched cider as they simply would have every Polish cider here sooner or later. I haven’t seen such an extensive selection even in Warsaw.

Another craft beer shop stocking also Polish craft from Cydr Smykan and Kwaśne Jabłko along with Polish commercial cider brands.

  • Dobre Moce (Grabiszyńska 233H, 53-234 Wrocław)

Dobre Moce is a wholesaler and retailer in one. Since they are based quite far from the city centre I never made it to pay them a visit. However, I know that they stock cider from Manufaktura Cydru.

If there are more cider spots in Wrocław worth mentioning, just drop me a line! I would be happy to update my post.

Floribunda Apfel-Cider

Floribunda is a small family business from Salorno, South Tyrol, Italy made up by Franz Egger and his daughter Magdalena. The Egger family has been growing apples since the 1980’s, and making cider since 2002 when their first cider made from Gravensteiner hit the shelves. Through the years the Eggers have been experimenting with various apple varieties, fruits and introducing new ciders. In 2005 they switched to the unfiltered and sulphite-free manufacturing.

Today I’m reviewing their Apfel-Cider, which is made from three organic apple varieties Topaz, Gold Rush and Pilot. Apfel-Cider received 90 points in the category of sparkling cider at the CiderWorld Awards 2018 in Frankfurt.Company: Floribunda
Place of Origin: Salurn/Salorno, South Tyrol, Italy
Apples: a blend of Pilot, Gold Rush and Topaz
ABV: 6%
Package type: 750 ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass:  flute or chalice glass

Note: no sulphites, organic

Appearance: pours a cloudy straw yellow with a huge quickly dissipating white head. High and natural carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is not very strong but extremely rich with notes of yellow apples, apple stems, fresh green leaves. Also, lightly floral with notes of gooseberries, fresh white grapes and skins, and distant fresh quince. That’s not all, a note of caramel appears once the Apfel-Cider warms up a little.

Taste: my first taste is dry with a touch of sweetness with a low to medium acidity of lemon. Then it gets a little bit watery with fruity and floral notes incl. rose, lychee, light banana, passionfruit, green apples. The finish is dry with a distant green grassy note, light astringency, a hint of bitterness with gooseberries,  fresh green apples and light pear. Also, a very distant sauerkraut and butter note.

Overall: I’m speechless. The more I’m drinking Floribunda’s Apfel-Cider the more the taste comes through and more unique aromas and flavours I get to discover. The flavours might be not strong, but they are clearly there and transform all the time into completely new flavours that weren’t there just a minute ago. Really amazing. Set of flavours on both, the nose and the palate are really special. Also, I like the almost creamy texture of this cider. A really pleasant and light drop. Nevertheless, I still have a few critical notes. First of all, the aroma could be stronger and despite many layers of delicious flavours, there are a few notes that might be considered as disturbing. In addition, the aromas on the palate could be a little more lingering as the taste disappears a bit too fast. In summary, Floribunda’s Apfel-Cider is a light and aromatic cider for connaisseurs, for those who take time and deeply explore what they drink. I loved it but it’s not for everyone. Will you take up the challenge? 4.5/6

Availability: directly from Floribunda. In Spain from Aramburu Cultura Gastronómica.

Price: Franz kindly passed me a bottle at CiderWorld 2018 in Frankfurt

Hogan’s Dry

John Stewart was a very special person in Hogan’s life. John was Hogan’s neighbour and the person who actually introduced Alan Hogan to cider and cider making. It is thanks to John Alan learned how to make cider from locally grown cider apples and how to appreciate it. Think about John Stewart next time you drink Hogan’s cider.

Today I’m trying their Dry, which is advertised as peaty and smoky.Company: Hogan’s
Place of Origin: Alcester, Warwickshire, UK
Ingredients: English cider apple juice, water, sugar, carbon dioxide, malic acid, preservative: potassium metabisulphite (sulphites)
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 5.8%
Package type: 500ml amber glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden with no head. Slightly sparkling. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is tannic with hints of funk, notes of lemon, grapefruit and beeswax with a distant acetic acidity.

Taste: it starts relatively dry with a low acidity of both lemon and acetic acidity. Then the taste moves to notes of grapefruit (quite prevalent), blood orange, light beeswax, a light watery taste, smoky note and a medium astringent taste. It finishes dry with citrusy notes of grapefruit and with a smoky note. Also, there is a lightly biting taste due to carbonation.

Overall: similarly to the previously reviewed Medium, the Dry from Hogan’s could be described as a cross between English cider and a Spanish sidra. But it’s drier, similarly rich, yet light and watery. It’s a nice cider with a refreshing citrusy and smoky twist, exactly as advertised. Too watery perhaps so I would suggest considering to not water down this cider that much. Overall, it didn’t hook me but I thought it was quite ok. A pleasant, refreshing and light cider for every palate. 3.5/6 

Availability: from their online shop. In Germany exclusively from CiderKultur. In the UK from Crumpton Hill Farm Shop.

Price: Hogan’s Dry was a sample provided by CiderKultur, a recently opened webshop run by two cider aficionados offering a selection of great cider.