Dorset Nectar Medium

Did you know that Dorset Nectar’s cider maker, Ryan Strong was recently named a cider superstar by Imbibe? This young guy has recently obtained a BA degree in history, heritage and archaeology from Strode College and is considering to study Archaeology to get a Master’s degree. In the meantime, he supports his family in Bridport, Dorset, UK by making delicious organic cider.

Previously, I sampled their Old Harry Rocks and the Wildcat.Company: Dorset Nectar
Place of Origin: Bridport, Dorset, UK
Apples: local organic cider apples 
Sweetness as per label: medium
ABV: 5%
Package type: 500ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass
Note: no sulphites added, fermented with natural yeast

Appearance: pours a cloudy amber with an orange hue and no head. No carbonation. Body is medium. Sediment in the bottle. Little flecks floating on top.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is fruity and sweetish with notes of fermented apples, cider apples, red apples, caramel and beeswax.

Taste: it begins slightly sweet of caramel with a low to medium level of lemon-like acidity. On the mid-palate red apples, beeswax, light bitterness, light bubblegum, grapefruit, some oakiness, medium astringent taste, a slightly watery and lightly smoky note. It finishes dry with a lingering light astringent taste, hints of blood orange, grapefruit and red apples.

Overall: this is proper stuff! It’s less sweet than advertised so I would rather classify it as medium dry than medium. Anyway, the palate is very rich with a lovely set of flavours and nice smooth tannins. Boys and Girls, this is how real English cider should taste like. Fantastic! I’m going to order this one definitely more often. 5/6

Availability: in the UK only. From their online shop, Scrattings, Eebria, Cider Supermarket.

Price: purchased from Scrattings at £2.50 (approx. 2.87 EUR). Karl and Susan were kind enough to take up the challenge and ship some cider to Berlin. Thank you!

Galipette Cidre Biologique

This is the first time I’m reviewing cidre made from French cidre apples, developed by a French company Les Celliers Associés but owned by a company registered in Stockholm, Sweden. Galipette is French for somersault or flip and at the same time a brand name owned by Cider Supply Co., a start-up established by three entrepreneurs from Finland and Sweden. They have currently two products in their portfolio, Cidre Brut made with cidre apples from Brittany and Cidre Biologique made with cidre apples from Normandy. I shall start with the Cidre Biologique, which is a blend of Carting, Sweet Moen, and Belle Fille de la Manche from organic orchards.Company: Les Celliers Associés
Place of Origin: Pleudihen-sur-Rance, France
Apples:
cidre apples grown in Normandy such as Carting, Sweet Moen, and Belle Fille de la Manche
ABV:
 4.0%
Package type: 
330ml amber glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear vivid amber with a large white head that slowly dissipates. High and artificial carbonation. Body medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is clear and quite strong with notes of fresh red apples, wood, dried apricots, sweet and juicy pears and a hint of caramel.

Taste: my first taste is lightly sweet with a low acidity of lemon. Subsequently, you experience sudden but gentle tannic kick, which quickly gives way to notes of freshly pressed apple juice, juicy pears, dried apricots, woody and a hint of caramel. Finishes quite quickly leaving a distant note of slightly burnt caramel.

Overall: I’ll start with the looks. I must say that I love the bottle design as it’s modern yet it reminds me of vintage apothecary bottles. As for the bottle content, the taste is clear, I haven’t detected any notes of funk or sulphur. Also, it’s clearly made with cidre apples and tastes quite ok. But in comparison to countless cidres I’ve tried recently in Normandy, it lacks any character. Despite the fact that the Cidre Biologique has a structure, its taste is not rich and I know that I will forget it very quickly. It’s a technically correct cidre, which is not necessarily interesting but definitely very quaffable and food friendly. 4/6

Availability: in the UK from Waitrose and Eebria. In the Netherlands from Cider Cider and Drank Direct. In Sweden from Systembolaget.

Price: a sample of this cidre was provided by Cider Supply Co.

Brauhaus Gusswerk Papagena

Since Brauhaus Gusswerk is based in Salzburg, the city of Mozart, it’s not a surprise that the brewers named their cider after one of the characters of Mozart’s opera. Papagena is the love of Papageno, a bird catcher known from the most famous Mozart’s opera, the Magic Flute. The Papagena is an organic, vegan and sulphite-free cider made from apples grown in Mühlviertel. Previously, I sampled their Big Arlet.Company: Brauhaus Gusswerk
Place of Origin: Salzburg, Austria
Apples: organic apples grown in Mühlviertel
Sweetness as per label: unknown
ABV: 4.5%
Package type: 330ml clear bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or chalice glass
Note: 
organic, sulphite free, vegan

Appearance: pours a very cloudy pale golden and a white foam that only slowly dissipates. Lightly carbonated. Body is medium. Sediment in the bottle.

Aroma/Nose: smells of lightly sweet of fresh apple juice and fresh yellow apples, tart apples and a hint of yeast. Moderately strong scent.

Taste: it starts lightly sweet with a medium acidity of lemon. Taste of must and yeast with a light astringency. Finishes quickly with a refreshing taste of lemon flesh with a touch of bitterness.

Overall: I remember having this cider a few years back before becoming Cider Explorer. Back then, I thought that the Papagena was boring and tasted like an unmatured cider. Today, after evaluating nearly 300 ciders, I would consider the Papagena a pleasant and  complex enough drop. Not bad for a cider made by a brewer. Although, for my palate, it could be a bit less sweet and the taste more lingering and overall more exciting, but apart from that, it has a nice level of acidity and a good level of tannins. It’s a cider that can be appreciated by everyone. I would buy it again especially that it is widely available in Berlin. 4/6

Availability: broad in Germany e.g. from Ciderei and in Austria.

Price: The Papagena from Brauhaus Gusswerk was a sample provided by Ciderei

Cidrerie des Terroirs Le Terroir

Finally! My 10-day antibiotic course is over and I’m allowed to drink other beverages containing alcohol than cough syrup. So today I’ll give you an artisan cidre from Cidrerie des Terroir located in Brittany. It’s called Le Terroir. Interestingly, Cidrerie des Terroirs are actually two Brittany cidreries in one. In 2003, Cidrerie de Colpo merged with Cidrerie du Terroirs laying a foundation to Cidrerie des Terroirs. Company: Cidrerie des Terroirs
Place of Origin: Lizio, Morbihan, Brittany, France
Apples: 
selected organic cider apples grown in Brittany
ABV:
4%
Package type: 
750ml green glass champagne corked and wired bottle
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear vivid orange with a large white head that slowly reduces to a ring that stays. Medium to high carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is moderately strong and the first note that I get is a funky note, which quickly gives way to notes of apricots, French cider apples, caramel with distant notes of sea salt and peat.

Taste: my first taste is moderately sweet with a low acidity, apricots, cider apples, a smoky note, oaky notes, and low astringency. It gets more citrusy towards the finish with a note of lemon and orange, but also notes of caramel and a lingering note of burnt caramel-like bitterness with a touch of sea salt and a very distant peaty note.

Overall: Maybe it’s because it’s the first cider after my 10-day antibiotic course but Le Terroir does really stand out from other cidres from Brittany I had so far. Perhaps it is indeed the influence of the terroir but I can actually taste notes of sea salt and peat. Both the nose and the palate are complex and rich. Taste-wise I’m actually thrilled. The palate is like a good movie with many characters that appear one after another and with many twists and turns. The longer you drink it, the more layers you get to uncover and the beauty underneath. The tannin is gentle, the level of sweetness optimal. An excellent and quality organic cidre from Cidrerie des Terroirs. Pair it with cheese or Galettes, you’re gonna love it even more. 5/6

Availability: directly through Cidrerie des Terroirs.

Price: a sample of this cidre was provided by Lucian from Cidrerie des Terroirs

Dunkertons Perry

Dunkertons Perry was recently named one of the 10 best perries by Independent. It is made with perry pears carrying fabulous names such as Merrylegs, Red Horse, Moorcroft, Painted Lady or Thorn, all grown in unsprayed, organic orchards. On the label, you can find a statement that the fruit comes from EU/NON EU agriculture (see picture below). Intriguing. Company: Dunkertons
Place of Origin: Pembridge, Leominster, Herefordshire, UK
Pears: perry pears including Merrylegs, Red Horse, Moorcroft, Painted Lady or Thorn grown in unsprayed, organic orchards coming from EU/NON EU agriculture
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 golden with a white short-lived foam. Medium carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is medium strong. On the nose notes of pears, peach, vinegar, cloves, nail polish remover, leather with hints of funk,

Taste: my initial taste is low to medium sweetness with the low acidity of vinegar. Followed by a light bitterness and spiciness and notes of pears, cloves, high alcohols, nail polish remover. Finishes dry with a taste of pear with a very low astringency.

Overall: It looks like you can’t go wrong with Dunkertons. Even with their perry. Dunkerton’s Perry is smooth, complex, with a long-lasting taste. It’s not going to be everyone’s liking due to off notes of nail polish remover and vinegar though. So if you are sensitive to these flavours bear that in mind. Otherwise, a delicious drop that will go well with food. I had it with Saint Agur cheese and thought it was very tasty! But I was expecting more tannins, to be honest, and all I could get was a delicate touch of astringency. I just wonder where the fruit used to make this perry comes from. 4.5/6

Availability: in the UK through their online shop and their new facility in Cheltenham. Also from BristolCiderShop, CraftDrinkThe Belgian Beer Company or Beers of Europe. In the Netherlands look out for Ciderwinkel and Appels en Peren. In Switzerland from Ciderhouse.ch. In Estonia from Siidrimaja. In Copenhagen from Holm Cider. In Germany exclusively from CiderKultur.

Price: Dunkertons Browns was a sample provided by CiderKultur.

OBC Cidre Bio

OBC – Original Berliner Cidre has crafted a cider from organic apples grown in orchards of Brandenburg. This product is entirely vegan-friendly. Can you imagine that OBC Cidre Bio was made using a vegan yeast? (is there a non-vegan yeast at all?). Also, the label is vegan and compostable along with the vegan label adhesive. This is my third cider from OBC after the Strong and Rosé.Company: OBC-Cidre GmbH
Place of Origin: BerlinGermany
Ingredients: fermented apple juice from German organic orchards, carbon dioxide, sulphites
ABV: 4%
Package type: 330ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale yellow with a white fizz that quickly dissipates. Low artificial carbonation. Low to medium body. Some sediment in the bottle.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is weak with notes of sulphur, white wine, lemon, yellow apples and a hint of caramel.

Taste: my first taste is moderately sweet of sugar with a hint of burnt sugar with the low acidity of lemon and yellow apples. Finishes dry with a touch of bitterness, peppermint and a hint of canned pineapple.

Overall: OBC’s Bio is a very average offering. There might be many notes on the palate and on the nose but they don’t seem to have a positive impact on the overall impression. Like an orchestra without a conductor. The Bio tastes natural and seems to be made from quality apples but I simply didn’t enjoy having it. And, this sulphur note after opening the bottle…Anyway, I would consider it as an alternative to industrial ciders in Berlin, but just don’t expect too much. 3/6 

Availability: you can find OBC products in every Späti in Berlin (‘Späti’ is a term used in Berlin for a small corner shop/kiosk open 24/7 selling beer, milk, candies, etc). In addition, you can find OBC in Ambrosetti or KaDeWe. Online from Ciderei and Weinquelle Hornig.

Price: OBC Cidre Bio was a sample provided by Ciderei.

Floribunda Ginger Cider

Although Franz Eggert of Floribunda passed me the bottle of his Ginger Cider already in April at CiderWorld 2018 in Frankfurt, I resisted to sample it simply because I thought that the ginger flavour will be too hot or too spicy. But after trying a cider with ginger from another cider maker, try to guess which one ;-), I understood that ginger can add some refreshing taste to it and decided to finally give it a go after an extreme delay. Apologies, Franz!Company: Floribunda
Place of Origin: Salurn/Salorno, South Tyrol, Italy
Ingredients: apples and ginger
ABV: 6.5%
Package type: 750 ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass:  flute, chalice glass or wine glass

Note: no sulphites, organic

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale amber with a little white head that quickly dissipates.  Medium and natural carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is strong with beautiful notes of flowers such as lily of the valley and lily. Also, aromas of grapefruit, blood orange, and dried ginger. 

Taste: it begins dry with a touch of sweetness and low acidity of lemon. On the mid-palate orange, a bit watery taste, yellow apples, dry ginger, light spiciness and lily. Finishes dry with some spiciness to it and flowery notes.

Overall: the nose is absolutely spectacular! Strong, clear with no hints of funk, only flowers and a ginger-citrusy touch. I don’t remember trying anything like this before. It took me ages (ok, 10 minutes tops) before I took the first sip cause the smell was so hypnotizing. Do I have to mention that the nose increased expectations to an extremely high level? Taste wise the Ginger Cider is complex with layers of flavours, pleasant and very easily drinkable. Extremely refreshing and not too spicy. I especially loved the lily notes coming right after the dried ginger making it really something. But it finishes a bit too fast and tastes a tiny bit too watery. Also, the taste of apple was only detectable far in the background. I think the palate is very unique although I must confess that I expected a tiny bit more. In my opinion, the Ginger Cider is a very good drop that stands out, is suitable for every palate and time of the year. I really loved its unique aroma and palate. If I could I would drink it every day. A must try! Would pair well with Asian dishes and chicken. 5/6

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

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

Kernhaus Cider Birne

‘Kernhaus’ is what a German botanist would call the fruit core of an apple. But Kernhaus is also the name of a cider brand from Hamburg established by Maren and Martin. As many Germans, Maren and Martin discovered cider on one of their many trips around the world. In addition, a longer stay in England has also helped them to maintain their love for cider. So after producing many more or less drinkable batches of cider, they found a cider maker in Germany who could press the juice for them and take care of the cider production.

Their Birne was awarded Silver at the International Cider Challenge in 2018.

Company: Kernhaus Cider
Place of Origin: Hamburg, Germany
Ingredients: apple cider, pear juice (11%), sulphites
ABV: 4%
Package type: 330ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or flute

Appearance: after opening the bottle, 1/3 bottle content immediately escaped leaving a lot of mess. Pours a clear golden with a white fizz that is gone after a few seconds. Low artificial carbonation. Medium body.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is sweet of pear juice with notes of wood, yellow apples. The nose is strong, clear and aromatic.

Taste: my first taste is sweet with only a touch of acidity of lemon. Pear juice, some wood, light apple stems, faint yellow apple flavour and a touch of astringency to it. In the aftertaste a light lemon candy flavour.

Overall: Kernhaus’ Cider Birne is not my cup of tea. As for me, it’s overly sweet with a too dominating flavour of pear juice. But in terms of quality, it is a well-made drop. The aroma is clear, quite strong, pleasant and gives an idea about the taste. Taste wise the length could be longer. Also, a richer flavour on the palate would round up the taste. Summarizing, fans of sweet cider should be delighted. 3.5/6 

Availability: online in Germany from Ciderei, Getränke Paradies Wolf or Solvino.

Price: Kernhaus Birne was a sample provided by Ciderei.

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.

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