Redbrook Chilli Cider

Until now I have tried only one chilli-infused cider and it wasn’t a cider from a European country but from Canada. It was Sulkers Pineapple-Penos made with pineapple and charred jalapeño so it’s not entirely the same as cider I’m giving a try tonight. Redbrook from the Czech Republic has provided me with a sample of the spicy version of their Original Polosuchý (semi-dry) infused with chilli. I don’t think that any cider maker in Europe has manufactured anything similar to this. Company: Redbrook Cider
Place of Origin: Dřínov, Central Bohemian Region, Czech Republic
Apples: a blend of Czech apples from Jiří Hubáček’s orchards with chilli
Sweetness as per label: semi-dry
ABV: 6%
Package type: 330ml amber glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear amber with an orange hue and a quickly dissipating white head. Low carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: not too many notes here. Just a flavour of commercial tetra-pack apple juice from a supermarket and some malty notes.

Taste: my first taste is medium sweet with low acidity. The mid-palate has a slight astringent taste, a flavour of a commercial tetra-pack apple juice and some light burning from powdered chilli that lingers on. Finishes dry leaving a flavour of tetra pack apple juice note.

Overall: the spiciness of chilli is not too high but nicely complements this cider and warms you from inside like a nice spicy meal. But just like other ciders from Redbrook, it tastes like an apple juice, not cider. Although I found it drinkable it tastes only average. Also, every time I would take a sip something (must be the chilli) irritated my throat and made me cough. I don’t remember coughing when I had Sulkers Pineapple-Penos. Taken together, I think it’s an interesting offering mostly due to the addition of chilli but I wouldn’t buy it again as it resembles a commercial tetra pack apple juice with chilli. Sorry, guys. 2/6

Availability: I couldn’t track a shop offering this cider in the Czech Republic so perhaps it was just an experiment?

Price: Chilli Cider was a sample provided by Redbrook Cider.

Redbrook Cider Premium Suchý

Redbrook Cider is one of two Czech cidermakers that entered the CiderWorld Awards competition in Frankfurt this year. More than that, their Premium Suchý has received 87 points out of 120 and so qualified for an Honour Award. I do hope to see more cider makers from the Czech Republic in the next year’s edition of CiderWorld. Now let’s check out the Premium Suchý from Redbrook Cider. Company: Redbrook Cider
Place of Origin: Dřínov, Central Bohemian Region, Czech Republic
Apples: a blend of Czech apples from Jiří Hubáček’s orchards
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 6%
Package type: 330ml amber glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear deep golden with a quickly dissipating head. Medium artificial carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: smells a bit malty with a whisky note. Also, red apples, honey and apple juice on the nose.

Taste: it begins quite dry with some residual sweetness and low to medium acidity. On the mid-palate slightly watery, with a light astringency and a malty whisky note and a hint of red apples. The finish is dry with a lingering astringent taste and a bit harsh aftertaste.

Overall: previously sampled ciders from Redbrook tasted more like juices than fermented apple beverages. But the Premium Suchy doesn’t taste like an apple juice at all. This one is definitely the best of ciders from Redbrook I’ve tried so far. Strangely enough, I have the impression that I’m drinking a cider blended with whisky. The malty note is quite strong both on the nose and the palate. Speaking for myself, I think that the Premium Suchy is drinkable and tastes quite ok. It has a nice structure, pleasant malty notes combined with red apples and a quite long aftertaste. But if you’re not a fan of whisky you may not gonna like it. Worth trying. 3.5/6

Availability: only in the Czech Republic through Sklizeno. Also, available in many bars and restaurants around the Czech Republic.

Price: Premium Suchý was a sample provided by Redbrook Cider.

Redbrook Red Fruit Polosuchý

After sampling the Perry Polosuchý and the Original Polosuchý, both from the Czech cider maker Redbrook I’m giving their Red Fruit a try. Red fruit is a mix of fermented apple juice and red fruit juice. Company: Redbrook Cider
Place of Origin: Dřínov, Central Bohemian Region, Czech Republic
Ingredients: fermented apple juice and red fruit juice 
Sweetness as per label: semi-dry
ABV: 4%
Package type: 330ml amber glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a deep ruby red with a violet hue and a quickly dissipating foam. Medium artificial carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: smells fruity and slightly acidic of blackcurrant, chokeberry and blackcurrant juice.

Taste: it starts only slightly sweet with a low to medium acidity. Blackcurrant, chokeberry, light to medium astringent taste on the mid-palate. It finishes dry with a nice lingering acidity and a flavour of red fruits.

Overall: briefly, Redbrook’s Red Fruit tastes like a blackcurrant juice mixed with some chokeberry juice. Interestingly, it’s extremely drinkable. A really delicious and good tasting red fruit juice. Actually, I would have bought it again if it was available as a regular juice as it’s not so sweet as usually juices are. But it’s hard to consider this creation a cider or wine. Sorry, guys. 3/6

Availability: only in the Czech Republic through Opily Jabko and Sklizeno. Also, available in many bars and restaurants around the Czech Republic.

Price: Red Fruit Polosuchý was a sample provided by Redbrook Cider.

Redbrook Perry Polosuchý

Pears used to make Redbrook’s Perry Polosuchý come from orchards established in 1994. However, the fruit growing tradition in Dřínov, Czech Republic stretches back to the second half of the twentieth century.  Today I give you Redbrook’s Perry Polosuchý.Company: Redbrook Cider
Place of Origin: Dřínov, Central Bohemian Region, Czech Republic
Pears: a blend of Czech pears from Jiří Hubáček’s orchards
Sweetness as per label: semi-dry
ABV: 5%
Package type: 330ml amber glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden with light faint amber hues and a white foam reducing to a ring. Medium artificial carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is sweetish and lightly vinous with notes of pear juice and ripe juicy pears, red apples and a light woody touch of stems.

Taste: my first taste is a bit sweeter than semi-sweet with no acidity. Then it gets creamy, almost like vanilla ice cream with notes of ripe juicy pear, woody notes of stems, light banana, gentle vinous note and very distant astringent taste. Towards the finish, I get a distant bitter and earthy note with a lingering note of stems.

Overall: Redbrook’s Perry tastes more interesting than the previously sampled Original Polosuchy as it has more depth and a richer set of flavours. I think it’s drinkable and I liked its almost ice-cream-like creaminess and complementing woody notes of stems. But still, it lacks qualities of a great perry. In my opinion, it can be likeable, especially by those who like sweet stuff. Also, I think that the Redbrook’s Perry could go well with desserts such as ice-cream or sweet pancakes. 3.5/6

Availability: only in the Czech Republic through Pochutnejsi and Sklizeno. Also, available in many bars and restaurants around the Czech Republic.

Price: Perry Polosuchý was a sample provided by Redbrook Cider.

Redbrook Original Polosuchý

Redbrook Cider comes from the Czech Republic and is produced in Dřínov u Slaného in the Central Bohemian Region. Apples used for Redbrook’s Cider are grown in the orchards owned by Jiří Hubáček. It’s my first time trying anything from this cider maker.Company: Redbrook Cider
Place of Origin: Dřínov, Central Bohemian Region, Czech Republic
Apples: a blend of Czech apples from Jiří Hubáček’s orchards
Sweetness as per label: semi-dry
ABV: 5%
Package type: 330ml amber glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with light orange hues with a fast reducing white foam. Medium artificial carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: it smells like a regular apple juice from a supermarket. Further notes I pick up are of distant caramel and toffee with a light buttery flavour.

Taste: the first sip is slightly sweet of caramel with low acidity. It tastes a bit watery with notes of red apples, regular apple juice (but not that strong as on the nose), light astringent taste, distant bitterness and red berries. It finishes dry with a note of dried stone fruits, including apricot, distant buttery flavour, and slightly biting due to the feeling of bubbles bursting in the mouth.

Overall: the flavour of Redbrook’s Original more closely resembles that of apple juice than that of cider or an alcoholic beverage made from apples. The Original is drinkable,  made from quality apples, but not exciting. An apple juice with added cider. Also, it has a light buttery note, which I am not a fan of. I guess it will find an audience among those who never had cider before, hence don’t know how cider is supposed to taste like. But a more demanding cider drinker will be disappointed. 3/6

Availability: only in the Czech Republic through Pochutnejsi. Also, available in many bars and restaurants around the Czech Republic.

Price: Original Polosuchý was a sample provided by Redbrook Cider.