Cydr Ignaców Czarny Ignac 2015

The name of ‘Czarny Ignac’, which I’m going to review tonight derives from a small town of Ignaców, where Cydr Ignaców is created. However, ‘Ignac’ also refers to a male short name ‘Ignacy’, Polish for ‘Ignatius’. ‘Czarny’ is Polish for black. So if you put all this together you get a name of the ‘Black Ignatius’. Sounds powerful and scary at the same time, doesn’t it?Company: Cydr Ignaców
Place of Origin: Ignaców, Masovia, Poland
Apples: a blend of wild apples, Ribston Pippin, Rederka and Arkad
ABV: 7.5%
Package type: 750ml green glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass:  flute or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear deep golden with a small white head. Medium carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is aromatic and clear with notes of ripe yellow apples, apple skins, quince, caramel and a hint of ripe juicy pear.

Taste: my first taste is dry with a medium acidity of lemon. The taste moves then to ripe yellow apples, quince, a gentle bitterness of caramel, a medium astringent taste with herbal hints and a hint of alcohol. The finish is dry with a lingering medium astringent taste accompanied by ripe yellow apples. Also, a champagne-like note appears.

Overall: I like my cider to taste like the plant it’s made from, which is one of the reasons I enjoyed the Czarny Ignac 2015. On top of that, both the nose and palate change with the rise of temperature. In the beginning, the nose is dominated by notes of ripe yellow apples but after a while, a note of caramel comes to the front. Tannins are pronounced but nicely balanced. Overall, the Czarny Ignac 2015 has depth, length and a flavorful finish. No question. One of the best Polish ciders I’ve tried so far. Czarny Ignacy 2015 will go well with pork or veal but also on its own. I would buy more. 4.5/6

Availability: it might no longer be available in most Polish speciality shops but I saw a few bottles of the Czarny Ignac 2015 in Frank Winkler’s Lorsbacher Thal in Frankfurt. Perhaps also through Apfelweinkontor in Frankfurt.

Price: Tomasz passed me a bottle when we met up in Warsaw.

Kwaśne Jabłko Tropikalny 2015

Marcin Wiechowski, who is in charge of cider making at Kwaśne Jabłko, is actually a psychologist by profession. Marcin, together with his wife Ewa, escaped Warsaw rat race to live in the peaceful countryside of Masuria, also known as the “land of a thousand lakes”. I am sampling their Tropikalny, which means ‘tropical’ in Polish. Previously I have sampled their Beczka 4.Company: Kwaśne Jabłko
Place of Origin:
 Świątki, Masuria, Poland
Apples:
a blend of Gravensteiner, Jonathan and Spartan
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 7
%
Package type:
750ml wine bottle with natural cork
Recommended type of glass:
white wine glass 

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy amber/orange with no head and no carbonation.

Aroma/Nose: The nose has aromas of both overripe and baked apples with tea and herbal notes.

Taste: it starts dry, but not bone dry, with low to medium acidity and a pleasant crisp apple flavour. Then moderate tannins kick in with notes of orange and gentle banana. The finish is dry with a touch of baked apples and light bitterness. Lingering herbal notes in the aftertaste.

Overall: from the name, I assumed that the Tropikalny has tropical notes. Therefore, I had the Tropikalny on two different occasions as I was intensively searching for tropical notes in this cider. And, except for gentle orange flesh and a light ripe banana note I was not able to get other tropical notes. Hence, I don’t have an idea, where did the name come from. Anyway, I think that the Tropikalny is a decent and refreshing cider, but I can’t say I’m blown away with it. The Tropikalny will appeal to those who like cider on the drier side. 4/6

Availability: directly from Kwaśne Jabłko in Masuria or through Polish wine or beer shops such as Winnacja.plZrodlo niebanalnych piw i alkoholiPod Wiaduktem in Cracow or Produkty Niewinne i Winne. In terms of bars, restaurant Jabeerwocky in Warsaw,  Lokal in Lodz, Multi Qlti Tap Bar, Pub Lawendowa in Gdansk.

Price: purchased from Zrodlo niebanalnych piw i alkoholi in Warsaw at 35PLN (8.35 EUR)

Manufaktura Cydru Wytrawny

There is a new Polish craft cider that just hit the shelves a few months ago, Manufaktura Cydru. Manufaktura Cydru was established in 2015 in a small town Podolszyn near Warsaw and currently consists of only four persons (a true craft cidery). Dorota Krawczyk, who won the Warsaw Homebrew Competition 2016 in the category of cider, is the head of cider production at Manufaktura Cydru. Recently they launched their first cider Wytrawny (dry), which was sent to me for testing.Company: Manufaktura Cydru
Place of Origin: Podolszyn, Masovia, Poland
Apples: 
Jonagold Decosta and Idared
Sweetness as per label:
dry
ABV:
4.5%
Package type: 
500ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a slightly cloudy straw yellow with no head. No carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is not very strong, but rich and pleasant. Also, rather sweet than dry. On the nose notes of juicy red apples, pears, white grapes with a hint of white wine.

Taste: the first sip is not entirely dry with some residual sweetness and medium lemon-like acidity. Subsequently, it gets slightly tart with a light watery taste. On the mid-palate notes of lemon, crisp acidic apples and yellow apples. The finish is dry with a lingering gentle honey-like flavour and a touch of distant grapefruit bitterness.

Overall: Although this cider is made entirely from dessert apples it tastes surprisingly smooth with good flavours and structure. Lemon-like acidity gives this cider a refreshing taste and good sessionability. What a shame that the summer is over as this cider would make a perfect summer drink for those who prefer their cider on the drier side, including me. The only improvement that could eventually be made is the reduction of the watery taste. Anyway, I enjoyed it and could have this cider again. I must honestly say that Manufaktura Cydru’s Wytrawny is the best and the most impressive cider made from dessert apples I had so far. Looking forward to next ciders created by Dorota Krawczyk! 4.5/6

Availability: only in Poland for now. Available in Warsaw through e.g. Skrzynka Piwa, Piwna Gwardia, Beerhub, Chmiel i Zyto, Hoppy Story, Elektoralna 24, Ingmar Piwny Sklad, Sluzewiecki Polew z BeczkiCzarodziejka Gorzalka or Stan Umyslu.

Price: Wytrawny was sent to me by Manufaktura Cydru for testing.

Winnica Chodorowa Cydr Wytrawny 2014

Winnica Chodorowa is actually a vineyard, not a cidery. Established only in 2012, in a village Chodorowa, located in the scenic Pogórze Rożnowskie area in the southeast corner of Lesser Poland, in southern Poland. Perfect area to grow wine grapes and apples! Their cider was made from apples coming from an old orchard, belonging to the vineyard. Interestingly, some of the first apple trees were planted here over 100 years ago. Let’s try it out!Company: Winnica Chodorowa
Place of Origin: KRUŻLOWA WYŻNA, Chodorowa, Lesser Poland, Polska
Apples: undisclosed apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 6.9%
Package type: 750ml green glass bottle
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass

Appearance: pours a lightly cloudy pale golden with a little white head, which reduces to a ring around the glass. Slightly sparkling.

Aroma/Nose: The nose is dry and sour. Smells of honey with floral notes and a touch of green sour apples. Very refreshing.

Taste: the first sip tastes very dry and very sour resembling Sauerkraut a little bit, but you get used to it after a few sips. The initial acidity is broken by green apple skin and flesh with a pleasant hint of honey. The finish is dry with a touch of grapefruit peel, leaving a very pleasant green apple aftertaste.

Overall: Chodorowa’s cider tastes very unique. It starts very dry and very sour, which will definitely not appeal to everyone. But as I said earlier, your taste buds get used to this taste after the initial ‘shock’. After a while, the taste is dominated by pleasant and refreshing green apple and honey notes. I hope I didn’t scare you too much 😉 I’m sure that Chodorowa’s cider would taste splendid on a hot summer day. I enjoyed it and would buy more. 4.5/6

Availability: only locally through Polish wine stores such as Winnacja.pl or Produkty Niewinne i Winne. 

Price: had it at Cyderia at 15 PLN (3.60 EUR) for a glass. Cyderia closed its doors earlier this month.

OVY Perrysuade

All I was able to find about Polskiego Cydru Fabryki, the company behind OVY Perrysuade, is that they are based near Warsaw close to the Kampinoski National Park and that they were established only in 2016.Company: Polskiego Cydru Fabryki
Place of Origin: Klaudyn, Masovia, Poland
Pears: unknown
Sweetness as per label: Semi-sweet
ABV: 4.5%
Package type: 330ml clear glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass, white wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a light hazy very pale straw. Carbonation is artificial. Some sediment in the bottle although this perry is supposed to be filtered as per information on the label.

Aroma/Nose: I can definitely smell pears and smoked cheese. There is also some sweetness on the nose along with floral notes.

Taste: It starts very sweet with no perceivable acidity, bitterness or funk. Notes of smoked cheese, some kind of salty flavour and sulphuric note. The aftertaste is just terrible and after taking two or three sips I was not able to continue drinking this perry.

Overall: After three sips the rest of the bottle landed in the sink. I’m sorry, but this perry is undrinkable. Even K cider or Heineken’s Apple Bandit tasted better. I’ve been thinking, whether I should publish this post at all. But, in the end, I came to the conclusion, that both good and bad reviews make you wanna try something out to make your own opinion. Moreover, perhaps this review can serve as a stimulus to the company behind it to improve the taste of this perry.  0.5/6

Availability: I would love to tell you but I was not able to find any shop that stores the Perrysuade.

Price: shared by a friend, who attended Warsaw Beer Festival 2017. (For the record, my friend didn’t enjoy the Persuade as well).

Cyderia – a cider bar in Warsaw. CLOSED!

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Cyderia is a cider bar, which has just recently opened in Warsaw, Poland. The owners wanted to open a bar specialized in cider and resembling a typical Asturias cider bar, but with a modern touch.

What is intriguing is that right before the opening was announced on their Facebook page, they had around 1500 followers! Seems that their marketing strategy is effective. I’ve just checked how many followers they have today: 2280. Not bad!

Location-wise, Cyderia sits on Poznanska street, which is currently the hottest meeting spot in Warsaw. On the same street, there are many other good bars, restaurants and cafes. However, they usually don’t have any real cider.

So much for the introduction. This I how my visit to Cyderia looked like.

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As mentioned already, Cyderia has been open for all of around 1 month and when I walked in there on a Saturday evening around 8.30pm, I was quite surprised that literally only two tables were occupied. I sat by the window figuring out that this would be the best spot to watch people walking in and observing the situation at the bar.

The interior design looks modern, with minimalist furniture arrangements and tasteful decorations. In the background, there was lounge music playing (before the DJ appeared), which didn’t disturb conversation.

Since there is no table service I had to place my order at the bar. The bartender was being very helpful and after a quick chat about ciders available, I’ve decided to follow bartender’s recommendation. Just a little note, there are no ciders on draught here, only poured straight from the bottle to a wine glass. There is, however, beer available on tap for non-cider drinkers as well as other beverages, including cocktails. So everyone will find something for his taste.

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In Cyderia you will find a good selection of ciders from the best Polish craft cider makers such as Cydr Chyliczki (check out my blog post on their ciders here), Kwasne Jablko, Smykan or Cydr Ignacow.

Interestingly, the cider board featured also a cider that is made exclusively for Cyderia, Jablko Adama. Review coming soon!

Mlody Ignac, no. 10 on the cider board was not available, hence they don’t update the board on a regular basis.

But, if you are expecting ‘Polish prices’ here, then I must disappoint you. Cyderia has reached European standards, in terms of prices. But, at the end of the day, you are getting real cider here for the price you pay, not a mass-produced beverage, such as Strongbow.

By the time I left around 10.30pm Cyderia had a good crowd. Hence, people consider it a bar to visit before heading down to a nightclub.

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In case you get hungry, they also serve food at Cyderia, so called Polish tapas. Don’t ask me what it means. Just wasn’t into food this time.

Summarizing, if you are currently in Warsaw and you are looking for a decent place to drink cider/get to know ciders from the Polish craft cider scene, then Cyderia is the place to go. I would definitely come here again.

Cyderia

Address: Poznanska 16, 00-680, Warsaw, Poland

Open hours: 3pm – 2am

UPDATE: July 5, 2017 Cyderia closed its doors for good.