Halfpenny​ Green Florin

The Halfpenny Green Florin is a keeved cider made with only one apple variety, Villberrie. The keeving process is typical for French style cidre and not really spread in the UK. But Anthony from the Halfpenny Green Cider Company is one of the cider makers in the UK using this cidermaking method.

Recently, Florin won the 3rd prize at Royal Three Counties Show 2019 in Malvern. Company: Halfpenny Green Cider Co.
Place of Origin: Farthingdales, Crab Lane, Bobbington, West Midlands, UK
Apples: Villberrie
Sweetness as per label: sweet
ABV: 5.5%
Package type: 750 ml clear glass champagne corked and wired bottle
Recommended type of glass: flute or wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale amber with an orange hue and a large, slowly dissipating white head. High carbonation. Body is medium. Sediment in the bottle.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is strong with notes of dried apricots, woody of apple stems, orange and butterscotch. Also, hints of funk.

Taste: it begins very sweet with low acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate notes of dried apricot, peach, apricot marmalade, funk, medium to high astringency and apple stems. Finishes with notes of apricot marmalade and low bitterness of burnt caramel.

Overall: due to the high sweetness of this cider, Tony asked me to sample his cider with my friend who likes sweet cider, which I did. But even for her, this cider was too sweet so after a while, she got tired of it. The Florin was indeed sweet but I thought the sweetness was still manageable. Additionally, Florin had a lovely set of delicious flavours both on the nose and on the palate. Although, it has to be noted that distant notes of funk were a little turn off to my friend. The taste didn’t finish very quick but I’d wished it lasted longer so I could appreciate these delicious flavours longer. I don’t think I would buy it again due to the high sweetness but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy having it. Those having a sweet tooth will be surely impressed. 4.5/6 

Availability: directly through Halfpenny Green Cider Co. Exclusively for Cider Explorer followers, a discount code for a Box of 6 (can be mixed) CEXPbox6, giving you £3 discount. For a Box of 12 (can be mixed), a discount code CEXPbox12. This gives you £6 discount. And, from Scrattings

Price: a sample was provided by Tony from the Halfpenny Green Cider Co.

Mr. Plūme Ābolu Sidrs Dzirkstosais 2016

Spring has arrived in Europe (at least in Berlin) with sunshine and temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius. So I thought to give a try to a nicely chilled sparkling cider Ābolu Sidrs Dzirkstosais 2016 from Mr. Plūme. The Dzirkstosais is a blend of various Latvian apple varieties and local crab apples, and also two vintages. Interestingly, the Dzirkstosais was obtained using the keeving process combined with several rackings, a method that retains the sweetness in cider. Company: Mr. Plūme sidra darītava
Place of Origin: Jumpravas pagasts, Lielvārdes novads, Latvia
Apples a blend of various Latvian apple varieties and local crab apples
Sweetness as per label: semi-sweet
ABV: 5.5%
Package type: 
375 ml amber glass champagne corked bottle
Recommended type of glass:
flute or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale golden with a large white frothy head. Carbonation is high and natural. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is fruity and acidic with notes of lemon, lime, fresh green and ripe yellow apples, ripe juicy pears and a hint of yeast and cloves.

Taste: it has a lightly sweet and slightly acidic start. Next notes that come into play are of lemon, yellow and green apples, ripe pears. Also, a smoky and vinous note with a light astringent taste appear on the mid-palate. The finish is dry and short with a light astringency, a taste of ripe pears and yellow apples with a hint of green apples. A very distant hint of bitterness and light chalky taste as well.

Overall: should good or bad news come first? I’ll start with what I liked, the Dzirkstosais from Mr. Plūme is very fruity and aromatic, both on the nose and the palate. Especially, I was fond of the ripe pear taste. Also, I loved the structure, nicely balanced sweetness and acidity with a touch of soft tannins. However, I have a comment to make here. The finish is too short so the lovely fruity taste of the Dzirkstosais disappears too fast. Also, it lacks a bit body. In spite of that, I enjoyed the Dzirkstosais very much. I think it’s a versatile cider that can be likeable by everyone, as it is not too sour, not too dry or too sweet. Just the finish is too short. But, yes, I would love to have it again. 4/6 

Availability: available from Mr. Plūme. At farmers markets and many other places in Latvia. Possibly also from Siidrimaja in Tallinn, Holm Cider in Copenhagen and MostBirnHaus in Austria.

Price: Ābolu Sidrs Dzirkstosais 2016 was a sample provided by Māris from Mr. Plūme.