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
cidre apples grown in Normandy such as Carting, Sweet Moen, and Belle Fille de la Manche
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.

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
selected organic cider apples grown in Brittany
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

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.

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.

Highbank Orchards Medieval Cider

Before I post my visit recap of CiderWorld 2018 I would like to share with you a review of cider that was available during CiderWorld at CiderKultur’s stand, a recently launched German webshop with craft cider.

Highbank Orchards is an organic farm based in Farmley, Cuffesgrange, Co Kilkenny, Ireland run by Julie and Rod Calder-Potts. The apple orchards were established in 1969 and have never seen any type of chemicals. Products offered by Highbank Orchards are strictly organic. Moreover, for their ciders, they use only apples and eventually honey for the Medieval Cider, which I’m going to review in a sec. They even don’t use sulphites “for freshness” how many cidermakers do. Today I give you the Medieval Cider from Highbank Orchards. Company: Highbank Orchards
Place of Origin: Farmley, Cuffesgrange, Co Kilkenny, Ireland
Ingredients: Irish organic apples with organic honey
ABV: 6%
Package type: 500 ml clear glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: it tries to escape the bottle after opening. Pours a hazy deep amber with a huge short-lived white head. Medium to high natural carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is tannic and smells lovely with notes of buckwheat honey, light caramel, red apples, overripe and baked apples with cinnamon.

Taste: it starts medium with low acidity. Red apples, overripe apples, some earthy notes, light smoky note, cinnamon and a strong astringent taste on the mid-palate. It finishes dry with a strong lingering astringent taste, a light cinnamon flavour, lightly chalky taste, distant lemon and a light note of buckwheat honey.

Overall: when I read that the Medieval Cider is made with honey I wasn’t really looking forward to trying it as I don’t have a sweet tooth. But the review had to be done. So I tried it. And, WOW! This cider is excellent! It starts with a gentle lick of sweetness, which is still within a palatable range to me. Then you experience a strong lingering tannic kick, which I always love in cider, with a touch of red apples. The addition of honey gives extra flavours to an already tasty cider made from cider apples. Well, I’d prefer it would taste a bit less sweet but for all of you looking out for an ultra-tasty sweet cider, this is a great offering. It will go well on a summer afternoon but also in the winter due to the cinnamon flavour. You’re gonna love it! 5/6 

Availability: from their online shop and on their organic farmIn Germany exclusively from CiderKultur. In the Netherlands from Ciderwinkel.

Price: Medieval Cider from Highbank Orchards was a sample provided by CiderKultur.

Dorset Nectar Wildcat Cider

Is the Wildcat Cider from Dorset Nectar as wild as the name indicates? Is it sharp as the wildcat’s claw and teeth? Or dangerously good? There is only one way to find out.Company: Dorset Nectar
Place of Origin: Bridport, Dorset, UK
Apples: local organic cider apples 
Sweetness as per label: medium
ABV: 5.5%
Package type: 500ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass
Note: no sulphites, fermented with natural yeast

Appearance: pours a cloudy amber with orange hues and no head. Slightly sparkling. Body is medium. Sediment in the bottle. Little flecks floating as well.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is fruity and exhibits notes of fresh apple juice, tart apples and red apples with caramel, beeswax and leather,

Taste: the first sip is slightly watery with a delicate sweetness and very strong tannins coating your mouth and giving a strong astringent flavour (detectable throughout the whole sip). On the mid-palate red apples, caramel, low to medium acidity with a lemon citrusy taste, some funk, fresh apple juice and apple seed-bitterness. After a while, a grapefruit-like bitterness appears on the mid-palate. The finish is dry with notes of watermelon or melon. A tingling sensation on the tongue to the end.

Overall: this cider falls into a category of anti-social ciders due to the strong astringent taste that by drying your mouth shut your mouth 🙂 Similarly to the previously reviewed Old Harry Rocks the taste explodes in the first sip leaving your eyes wide open.  But then, a beautiful lingering appley and citrusy flavour appear. It’s like a dance of many flavours. Yet it tastes different than the good Old Harry Rocks. Also, I don’t remember having a cider with both types of bitterness before, grapefruit and apples-seeds-like, which were both fantastic! The Wildcat is a lovely pour with pronounced tannins, full body and a powerful apple taste. I loved it. 4.5/6

 Availability: in the UK only. From their online shop, Eebria, Fetch the Drinks, Cider Supermarket. Locally in Bristol from Bottles and Books.

Price: came with my monthly subscription from Orchard Box.

Obsthof am Steinberg Goldparmäne Alte Bäume 2014

Imagine an apple orchard with over hundred different, mainly old and rare apple varieties, where over fifty of them are used for the production of a fine Apfelwein, which is even served in Michelin-starred restaurants. Would you like to try such Apfelwein? Who wouldn’t! Today I have the pleasure of sampling the Goldparmäne Alte Bäume 2014 produced by Andreas Schneider of Obsthof am Steinberg in Nieder-Erlenbach, Hesse, Germany.
Company: Andreas Schneider/Obsthof am Steinberg
Place of Origin: Frankfurt / Nieder-Erlenbach, Hesse, Germany
Apples: single varietal from organic King of the Pippins
ABV: 5%
Package type: 750ml green glass bottle with screw cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear deep golden with no head. No carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: a beautiful bouquet with an array of overripe and fermented apples, apricot and wood with gentle funky notes of barnyard and leather. The nose makes me think of French cidre. Very inviting.

Taste: it starts moderately sweet with medium lemon-like acidity. The mid-palate has notes of caramel, apricot, red ripe apples, some smokiness and a gentle oaky taste with a moderate astringency on the tongue. The aftertaste has apricots, a gentle white wine note and a hint of grapefruit-like bitterness.

Overall: It’s hard to believe that this is a single varietal Apfelwein. It’s so rich and wonderfully balanced. The nose reminds me of French Cidre, but the taste apart from Cidre also has notes typical of English style cider, so it tastes like a meeting of English and French cider. Andreas squeezed out every drop and every possible taste of this apple variety. Really amazing! What I found surprising is that the Goldparmäne has no bitterness typical for this apple variety. Summarizing, the Goldparmäne is a sophisticated, but still easily drinkable Apfelwein that can be served instead of dessert wine. It could be slightly less sweet though, but it’s my personal preference. 5/6

Availability: at their farm and from Apfelweinkontor.

Price: purchased online from Apfelweinkontor at 12.50 EUR.

Brauhaus Gusswerk Big Arlet

Do you think that a brewery can make a good cider? Me neither. But I have decided to give the Big Arlet from Brauhaus Gusswerk from Salzburg, Austria a try.Company: Brauhaus Gusswerk
Place of Origin: Salzburg, Austria
Apples: organic apples
Sweetness as per label: unknown
ABV: 4.6%
Package type: draught
Recommended type of glass: pint glass

Appearance: pours a very cloudy pale golden with orange hues and a white foam. Lightly carbonated. Body is medium. Some sediment visible on the bottom.

Aroma/Nose: smells refreshing of lemon, orange, acidic apples and fresh unmatured cider.

Taste: it tastes very sour with notes of lemon and grapefruit. I would describe this cider as dry as only minimal residual sweetness is detectable. The mid-palate has a taste of yeast, unmatured cider and is slightly watery. The aftertaste is dry with a touch of bitterness and astringency.

Overall: I can’t deny the fact that The Big Arlet is a complex cider as I could get many flavours on the nose and on the palate. But, Big Arlet is completely unbalanced. In the beginning, I found it quite refreshing, but after a while, I got tired of the taste and wanted to finish it ASAP. I think that many will find the citrusy flavours appealing, but I simply didn’t enjoy drinking this one.  2.5/6

Availability: Only in a few pubs in Vienna such as It’s all about the meat baby, The Brickmaker’s Pub and Kitchen, Charlie P’s Pub and Dining

Price: 5.90 EUR for a pint at The Brickmaker’s Pub and Kitchen in Vienna, Austria. BTW, I loved their Pastrami sandwich.

Crone’s Original

Robbie Crone, who established Crone’s Organic Cider in 1989, is actually a furniture maker. After several years of experimenting with cider, he made the decision to make cider instead of furniture. I feel you, Robbie.Company: Crone’s Cider
Place of Origin: Fairview, Kenninghall, Norfolk, United Kingdom
Ingredients: organically grown Bramley, Cox, russet, and spartan and organic cane sugar 
ABV: 7.4%
Package type: 500ml clear glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass, chalice glass or wine glass

Note: free from sulphites and artificial sweeteners

Appearance: pours a clear golden with no head. No visible signs of carbonation. Body is medium.
Aroma/Nose: the nose is not very strong, but rich with gentle wild notes of light barnyard, leather and wood with baked apples, sour apples and raisins.
Taste: the first sip tastes slightly sweet, thus I would classify the Original as medium dry. Fermented apples, smoky ham, red apples, raisins and very light watery taste appear on the mid-palate. Interestingly, the smoky note is lingering so you can get it even in the finish along with a distant bitterness, subtle astringency, note of lemon and a woody and smoky flavour characteristic for whisky. Despite the ABV of 7.4%, I can’t taste alcohol here.

Overall: If you are a fan of whisky or calvados, or even both, the Original will appeal to you. It’s a really a nice and complex cider with plenty of flavours to appreciate. The nose might not be strong, but rich. Interestingly, lemon notes appear only in the aftertaste, not in the beginning, which is rather unusual. I can’t call this cider brilliant perhaps as something is just missing here, but I wouldn’t mind having it again. 4/6 

Availability: only in the UK, at many festivals, pubs and online through Beers of Europe or Beautiful Beers. Locally through Books and Bottles in Bristol.
Price: came with my cider subscription delivered monthly by Orchard Box 

Dorset Nectar Old Harry Rocks

If you have recently decided to acquire a piece of land as a retirement plan, to have pigs or because you needed a barn outside the city for your hobby, and the piece of land happens to have an orchard with cider apples or old apple varieties attached, be warned as you are in a high-risk group. Soon you will end up making hectoliters of award-winning real organic cider like Oliver and Penny from Dorset Nectar in the UK. You’ve been warned!

It’s my first time trying any cider from Dorset Nectar. I’ve chosen to start with the multi-award-winning Old Harry Rocks. Company: Dorset Nectar
Place of Origin: Bridport, Dorset, UK
Apples: a blend of Brown, Dabinett, Coate Jersey, Michelin, Tremletts Bitter, Taylor, Chesil Jersey, Sweet Coppin, Harry Master’s Jersey, Yarlington Mill and Porter’ Perfection from organic orchards

ABV: 6%
Package type: 500ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or flute
Note: no sulphites, fermented with natural yeast

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale amber with no head. No carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is funky, tannic and exhibits crisp and sour red apples, cider apples, barnyard, caramel and beeswax. It’s strong and pleasant.

Taste: it starts quite dry and slightly watery with low acidity and a touch of grapefruit-like bitterness. Subsequently, you get a strong tannic kick with high tartness and astringency with a touch of lemon. The aftertaste is dry with refreshing lemon and again, grapefruit-like bitterness with a flavour of red apple.

Overall: the first sip was like a giant explosion of flavours in my mouth. If you could compare it to music it would be like a jazz jam session. Each flavour would play it’s own music at the same time creating a wonderful, balanced, refreshing and unique piece. It’s a cider to please any crowd. I loved it. 5/6

Availability: from their online shop, Eebria, Dike & Son, Artisan CidersBottles and Books in Bristol.

Price: came with my monthly subscription from Orchard Box.