Beard & Sabre Yardarm

Sailors favourite time of the day on the ship was just around 11am when the Sun passed the yardarm (the spar and mast to which the sails are set), and the first-morning drink was allowed. Hence, the Yardarm, a medium cider crafted by guys from a British cider maker Beard & Sabre is supposed to help you relax and enjoy the moment.

Yardarm is fermented for 6 months at room temperature with champagne yeast, subsequently undergoing malolactic fermentation.

Company: Beard and Sabre Cider Company 
Place of Origin: Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK
Apples: a blend of cider apples
Level of Sweetness: medium
ABV: 5.5%
Package type: 500ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass, snifter or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a lightly cloudy amber with light orange hues and no head. No carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose exhibits notes of crisp and fresh red apple, fermented apple, caramel, vanilla, hints of funk and a very distant note of nail polish.

Taste: it begins with a medium sweetness and a note of a sweetener, followed by low to medium acidity (like biting into a crisp tart red apple). On the mid-palate notes of red apples, apple skin, a strong note of smoked cheese, oak, caramel and hints of lemon and funk. It finishes dry with a moderate astringent taste, red apple note and a sweetener-like taste with a very distant bitter note.

Overall: guys from Beard & Sabre have been producing consistently good cider at least based on my experience. Also, their Yardam is a very drinkable cider with a good level of tannins, lovely apple forward taste, nice sweetness and level of acidity (slightly higher than usually found in an English cider). All these flavours produce a refreshing and easy going cider suitable for everyone. Briefly, it tastes like a refreshing lemon iced tea, but with the buzz. Only the sweetener taste is a bit of a turn-off to me, but overall it is a really decent drop. I think I wouldn’t say no to another pint of the Yardam. 4/6  

Availability: Beard & Sabre attend many food festivals in the UK. Otherwise, check Eebria or Fetch the Drinks, I wasn’t able to find any other store outside the UK selling their cider.

Price: came with my Orchard Box subscription.

Beard & Sabre Dark Raven

Technically, it will be my first apple cider from the craft cider company, Beard and Sabre. As the last time, I’ve tried their Pumpkin Cider (you can see the review here) and I was astonished because the Pumpkin Cider was not only drinkable but really tasty. I think it it’s time for one of their real ciders made from apples, the Dark Raven! Dark Raven came fifth of twenty in the 2016 Cider and Perry Trials, Hereford as per their website.Company: Beard and Sabre Cider Company 
Place of Origin: Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK
Ingredients: traditionally pressed vintage cider apple blended with burnt sugar molasses, caramel.
ABV: 4%
Package type: 500ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass, snifter or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale orange with no head. No carbonation.

Aroma/Nose: the nose has green apples, toffee, cream, sweet, fermented apple, red apple, apple skin. Quite fruity.

Taste: it starts with a moderate sweetness, nicely balanced out with a moderate and pleasant acidity. Apple skins, red apples, fermented apples, pears and caramel on the mid-palate with a hint of cloves. The finish is dry and mildly astringent with a touch of bitterness. Strangely enough, it has a sweetener-like aftertaste.

Overall: I was slightly confused by the Cider Drinker, who reviewed the Dark Raven before me (see here for the link to his video). I expected an overly sweet toffee-like tasting cider. Well, this is not what I thought of this cider. The Dark Raven is indeed sweet, but not too sweet for my liking. I would describe it rather as a medium sweet cider with the right balance of sweetness and acidity. Also, many flavours on the palate make this cider very rich and drinkable. Briefly, I loved it! This cider is one of my favourites right now. 5.5/6 

Availability: from their online store. Also, they attend many food festivals in the UK. Otherwise, check Fetch the Drinks, I wasn’t able to find any other store outside the UK selling their Cider.

Price: came with my Orchard Box subscription.

Beard & Sabre Barbary Corsaire

The Barbary Corsaire from Beard & Sabre is not an apple cider but, interestingly, a pumpkin cider. No apples added! I know that pumpkin is a typical autumn veggie and it is spring already but to be completely honest as cider purist I had some objections towards the Barbary Corsaire.

Beard & Sabre Barbary Corsaire.jpg

Company: Beard and Sabre Cider Company 
Place of Origin: Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK
Ingredients: fresh local pumpkins
ABV: 3.5%
Package type: 330 ml can conditioned spiced pumpkin cider
Recommended type of glass: pint glass 

Appearance: pours a very hazy, yellow body with a fast-reducing white head. Medium to high natural carbonation. Carbonation is perceivable also on the tongue. Body is light.

Aroma/Nose: There is pumpkin on the nose with funky barnyard notes and strong sulphuric – fire works like smell– which doesn’t go away but increases with the rise of temperature. Due to the sulphuric note, the scent is quite disturbing.

Taste: at first it tastes watery, only slightly sweet with a nice acidity. The medium palate has some pumpkin, watermelon and cucumber hints with unidentified green notes. The aftertaste is a bit dry and slightly astringent with lingering sulphuric notes (again fire works like) and a hint resembling pumpkin seeds. Refreshing.

Overall: Well, pumpkin to me is a completely tasteless veggie. Sorry, pumpkin lovers! However, I have no idea how the guys from Beard & Sabre did it but they turned a tasteless pumpkin into a quite pleasant and even complex and crisp cider. Nice seasonal experiment I must say. But pumpkin cider from Beard & Sabre is something I would try once out of curiosity but then I would return to cider made from apples. On another note, I have to say that there is so much sulphur in this cider that I could easily use it to produce a sort of liquid firework 🙂 4/6 

Availability: Seasonal.

Price: came with my favourite and currently the only cider subscription shipping to Germany Orchard Box.

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