Cider on draught is still a rare species in Poland as most bars/pubs stock bottled cider. However, it must be noted that cider produced by the vast majority of Polish cider makers is available exclusively in bottles. So when I saw that Przemek Iwanek from Piwo i Cydr, a cider expert, who brings his expertise and passion for cider to every organized cider tasting, released his own cider available exclusively on draught I knew I had to sample it!
Przemek released his first cider on Friday 30th June 2017 in two versions, Wytrawny (Dry) and Wit Cider under the brand name Pełnia (Fullmoon). The official launch of Pełnia was posted as a Facebook event in all participating bars across Poland, which is also a good of promoting cider culture in Poland. In addition, a limited number of kegs available only in cider-friendly bars made the cider sampling even more exciting.
This time I’m reviewing two ciders, the Wytrawny and the Wit Cider.
WYTRAWNY (ABV: 6.5%), sampled in Jabeerwocky, Warsaw at 16PLN (3.80 EUR)
This is Przemek’s basic cider, which is made from apples grown in the Grójec region, Masovia, one of the largest farming region in Poland. Appearance: clear, golden yellow. Lightly carbonated. The body is also low. Aroma: yellow apples, light white wine flavour and something smelling buttery-like. I don’t necessarily find the aroma pleasant. Taste: not entirely dry with low residual sweetness, low citrus-like acidity, notes of both green and yellow apples, apple juice and unripe green apples with something chemical and butter-like tasting. Low astringency and refreshing green apple flavour in the aftertaste. Wytrawny is much better on the palate than on the nose. However, due to the chemical and buttery notes, I didn’t find it appealing. 2.5/6
WIT CIDER (ABV: 6.5%) sampled in 4Hops, Wroclaw at 13PLN (3.10 EUR)
Wit Cider is a botanical cider made with the Wytrawny as a base with coriander, orange peel, curaçao and liquorice. It was inspired by American cider makers, who in contrast to European cider makers, freely experiment with all possible fruits and spices. Personally, I haven’t come across any Wit Cider in Europe until now. Appearance: light cloudy, pale golden yellow. Lightly carbonated with slowly reducing white head. The body is also low. Aroma: coriander, yellow apples, rotten apples and something buttery-like. Again, I don’t find the aroma pleasant. Taste: similarly to the Wytrawny, not entirely dry with low residual sweetness, low citrus-like acidity, notes of coriander, both green and yellow apples with unripe apples, orange peel, delicate bitterness with something butter-like tasting on the mid-palate. Low astringency, refreshing green apple flavour and chalky feeling in the aftertaste. Again, I found the buttery flavour on the nose and on the palate disturbing. Also, the taste is much better than the nose. I enjoyed the taste of coriander and orange peel. I think that Przemek didn’t overdose the ingredients. I didn’t get any curaçao and liquorice, but they might have been well hidden in the background contributing to the overall flavour. 3/6
Overall: I preferred the Wit Cider over the Wytrawny as it was richer in terms of flavours and quite nicely balanced with other ingredients. However, both ciders tasted unfortunately very average. It was Przemek’s first attempt to make cider on a larger scale so I strongly believe that the next batch will be simply better. Fingers crossed!