BlakStoc Ginger For My Honey

I shall continue my journey with cider blended with ginger. Ginger For My Honey is another cider made by the genial cider maker, Karl from Austrian BlakStoc. Ginger, Honey and West Coast Aroma hops were added to the Styrian apples creating an interesting offering. Company: BlakStoc Cider GmbH
Place of Origin: Vienna, Austria
Ingredients: Styrian apples with ginger, honey and West Coast Aroma hops
ABV: 3%
Package type: 330ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy golden yellow with a fizzy short-lived white foam that reduces to a ring. Medium carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is spicy and exhibits notes of fresh ginger, ginger ale, lemon and elderflower with some pine in the background. 

Taste: it begins lightly sweet with low acidity of lemon. Strong spicy hot ginger notes with a hint of fermented yellow apples, and a touch of elderflower on the mid-palate. Finishes with a subtle bitterness of grapefruit and a lingering and refreshing ginger flavour.

Overall: Ginger For My Honey is surprisingly light and refreshing. I could imagine drinking this also on a summer day. But to be honest, from Karl, I expected more surprising flavours/weird mixes. And, his Ginger for My Honey is rather predictable. It tastes like a natural, refreshing and zesty ginger ale with a little citrusy twist. This is one of those ciders that can be a crowd-pleaser as it is difficult not to like it. But there is not that much of Karl’s genius in it as it was in case of Buddha’s Hand or Lazy Day Cucumber. 3.5/6

Availability: widely available in Austria (Der Grissemann or Beer Lovers) and Italy (e.g. Hops Beer Shop, or Tutti Fritti in Milan; Birreria della Torre in Trezzo sull’Adda). Also available in the UK (Newcomer Wines in London), Czech Republic and Germany.

Price: Karl passed me a bottle at CiderWorld 2019 in Frankfurt

BlakStoc Omg Ugly Apple Cider

After the moreish Buddha’s Hand Lemon Cider I’m giving BlakStoc’s another cider a try. Omg Ugly Apple Cider. Omg are the first letters of hops used in this cider, Oak, Mosaic and Golding. Company: Blakstoc Cider GmbH
Place of Origin: Vienna, Austria
Ingredients: Styrian apples with the addition of Oak, Mosaic and Golding hops
ABV: 7%
Package type: 330ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden yellow with a fizzy short-lived white head. Medium carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: it smells sweet, fruity and floral of elderflower and pear. There is also a herbal note to it.

Taste: the initial taste is slightly watery with low sweetness and medium lemon-like acidity. Elderflower and pear with a herbal note on the mid-palate. It finishes dry with a touch of bitterness coming from apple seeds.

Overall: Omg from BlakStoc is drinkable and tastes quite ok. However, it doesn’t taste like cider at all. Hops that were added to this cider dominate the palate giving a floral character and covering the appley taste. Nothing special. For those who can’t live without hops. 3.5/6

Availability: widely available in Austria (Der Grissemann or Beer Lovers). Also in Italy (e.g. Hops Beer Shop, or Tutti Fritti in Milan; Birreria della Torre in Trezzo sull’Adda), the UK (Newcomer Wines in London), the Czech Republic and Germany.

Price: purchased during my trip to Italy from Pizza Che Storia in Montegrotto Terme, Italy at 4 EUR.

Blakstoc Lazy Day Cucumber

Karl of Blakstoc is a genius in terms of creating wonderful compositions from various fruits and hops based on cider. Recently, he even dared to blend cider with lacto fermented cucumber juice, elderflowers and hops! The newest addition to Karl’s range is called Lazy Cucumber Day. Company: BlakStoc Cider GmbH
Place of Origin: Vienna, Austria
Ingredients: apple cider, apple juice, lacto fermented cucumber juice, elderflowers, hops, sulphites.
ABV: 3.5%
Package type: 330ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale golden with a fizzy short-lived white foam that reduces to a ring. Medium carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is moderately strong and slightly sweet with notes of cucumbers that were pickled in brine with herbs, and herbs used for pickled cucumbers in vinegar, fresh cucumber and honeydew melon.

Taste: it starts moderately sweet with low acidity of lemon and pickle brine. On the mid-palate notes of fresh cucumber, pickled cucumber and brine, elderflower, herbs used for pickled vinegar in vinegar but without the vinegar. Finishes with a note of honeydew melon and low astringency.

Overall: it requires a lot of guts to create a cider with so weird ingredients and release it. But let’s focus on the taste. Surprisingly, all the flavours go well together creating a very interesting yet strange tipple. It’s like drinking pickled cucumber juice’/brine that is quite sweet and refreshing. Also, the taste could last a bit longer. I shared it with a friend who likes sweet cider. And, she was actually a bit traumatised after having the Lazy Cucumber Days. So it’s clearly not for everyone. Anyway, in my opinion, it’s extremely difficult to create a cider like this. Admittedly, the Blakstoc Lazy Cucumber Days is a very intriguing offering and well worth trying. But I don’t think I would buy it again. Only because it is a bit too sweet for my palate. If you dare, try it. 4/6

Availability: in Summer 2018 widely available in Austria (Der Grissemann or Beer Lovers) and Italy (e.g. Hops Beer Shop, or Tutti Fritti in Milan; Birreria della Torre in Trezzo sull’Adda). Also available in the UK (Newcomer Wines in London) and in the Czech Republic.

Price: Karl from BlakStoc passed me a bottle at CiderWorld 2019 in Frankfurt.

Blakstoc Buddha’s Hand Lemon Cider

Austrian BlakStoc is made by four friends from Vienna of three nationalities, Austrian, Italian and U.S-American, who found a market niche and decided to fill it with their hopped cider. Hopped cider is indeed somewhere between beer and cider. BlakStoc’s lineup features currently hopped cider with additions of many fruits and spices such as ginger or quince.

Tonight I’m giving their Buddha’s Hand Lemon Cider a try. Buddha’s Hand Lemon Cider is made with zest and albedo of kaffir lime, bergamot, Meyer lemon, Buddha’s Hand citron, orchard apple juice, Hopsteiner’s experimental Lemon Drop hops.Company: BlakStoc Cider GmbH
Place of Origin: Vienna, Austria
Ingredients: zest and albedo of kaffir lime, bergamot, Meyer lemon, Buddha’s Hand citron, orchard apple juice, Hopsteiner’s experimental Lemon Drop hops
ABV: 4%
Package type: 330ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy golden with a light orange hue and a fizzy short-lived white foam. Medium carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aromas pour out of the glass. The nose is very fruity, aromatic and citrusy with notes of bergamot, baked lemon, kaffir, lemon, with a hint of peppermint and yellow apples.

Taste: my first taste is lightly sweet, with low to medium acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate, bergamot, kaffir, light to medium astringent taste, orange, baked lemon, yellow apples. Finishes with a light citrusy note of orange and lingering baked lemon. Leaves a lingering taste of bergamot and orange with a gentle touch of bitterness.

Overall: the cider purist in me has to admit that guys from Blakstoc did a phenomenal job with their citrusy blend the Buddha’s Hand Lemon Cider. It’s extremely refreshing, and citrusy but without the sourness. I enjoyed every single sip full of richness while it lasted. I shared this tiny bottle with a friend who claimed that she hasn’t drunk anything that refreshing and drinkable before. Buddha’s Hand Lemon Cider has a structure, great taste and power. And, I’m craving for more. 5.5/6

Availability: in Summer 2018 widely available in Austria (Der Grissemann or Beer Lovers) and Italy (e.g. Hops Beer Shop, or Tutti Fritti in Milan; Birreria della Torre in Trezzo sull’Adda). Also available in the UK (Newcomer Wines in London) and in the Czech Republic. In Germany from Beyond Beer, and in Berlin from the Muted Horn.

Price: Karl from BlakStoc passed me a bottle at CiderWorld 2018 in Frankfurt.