Royal Dog Cider

All I could find about the company behind the Royal Dog Cider it that is produced by Pivovar Zubr in Přerov, The Czech Republic in cooperation with Ovexim, a company producing apple juices, fruit concentrates, wines and other products made from fruits.Company: Pivovar Zubr
Place of Origin: Přerov, Olomouc Region, The Czech Republic
Apples: specially cultivated Moravian apple varieties
ABV: 4.5%
Package type: draught
Recommended type of glass: pint glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a white head, which slowly dissipates. Lightly sparkling.

Aroma/Nose: smells of apple juice from a carton with a note typical for white wine, also something chemical on the nose.

Taste: starts extremely sweet with no acidity to break the overly sweet taste. The sweetness is followed by a flavour of cheap apple juice from a carton and a chemical note to it. Can’t taste anything else. No tannins, but also no taste of alcohol.

Overall: You shouldn’t judge a book, by its cover, but even before I purchased the Royal Dog Cider I had a feeling it would turn out to a typical alco-pop. Unfortunately, I wasn’t wrong. The Royal Dog Cider tastes like an apple juice that you drink for breakfast in a budget hotel. It tastes overly sweet and chemical. It has nothing to do with real cider. I couldn’t finish it. I don’t believe that anyone could find it drinkable. 0.5/6 

Availability: seems to be available in a number of restaurants and bars across The Czech Republic.

Price: had 0.2L at Slavnost Cideru 2017 at 20 CZK (1 EUR)


Divoké Jablko Cidre Brut

Retirement is the perfect time to take up a new hobby. When Melanie and Jaromir retired, suddenly they had plenty of time for their trips to France. And, they also had an apple orchard full of apples. Hence, it came quite natural to them to start making cider from their own apples, and use cider making methods learned in France. I chatted to Melanie during this year’s Slavnost Cideru. She said that initially nobody really believed they would produce a drinkable cider. But, the business started to grow, the demand was rising. All of a sudden, they had to ask their neighbours for extra apples. Melanie is very positive and has a contagious smile that can’t help but spread to others. It’s not hard to tell that she is extremely enthusiastic inside and outside about her new hobby.Company: Moštárna Újezd – Melanie Čadová
Place of Origin: Chanovice, Klatovy District in the Plzeň Region, The Czech Republic
Apples: apples from their own and neighboring orchards
Sweetness as per label: brut
ABV: 7.5%
Package type: 500ml brown glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass

Appearance: pours a lightly hazy pale amber with a quickly dissipating white head. Medium carbonated. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is very rich with wild notes of barnyard, leather and beeswax. The aroma has also hints of red fermenting apples, sweet and floral honey, but also some dryness to it and a vinegary touch. Hypnotizing!

Taste: It starts slightly watery with a low level of sweetness and moderate citrusy acidity with lovely notes of blood orange and lemon. The mid-palate is funky with barnyard, beeswax, floral honey and fermenting apples. It finishes dry with a light grapefruit bitterness and a lingering moderate astringency.

Overall: This is one of the best ciders of Slavnost Cideru I had. I wouldn’t say it tastes like a French cidre though. On the last day of Slavnost Cideru I kept visiting Melanie’s stand over and over again and purchasing interchangeably the Brut and their Demi-Sec (which is even better! I’ll review this cider another time). Divoké Jablko’s Brut is extremely quaffable and has a huge breadth of flavours, which complement each other. I could drink this one every day as it has high addictive potential. A must try for every cider lover. 5/6 

Availability: on tap (sometimes) and bottled in the InCider Bar in Prague. The bottled version available online and locally from Dobry Cider in Prague.

Price: purchased locally in Prague from Dobry Cider at 58 CZK (2.25 EUR), and subsequently countless times during Slavnost Cideru 2017 at 50 CZK (1.92 EUR) at Divoké Jablko’s stand.

Johannes Cyder Suchý

Johannes Cyder is a mysterious cider maker from The Czech Republic. They have their own website, but they don’t disclose much information about themselves. Luckily, I was able to determine that the cider is made by Ondra. Also, I learned that the cider was named after his son Johannes. It seems that he considers his cider as her baby as well. Currently, Johannes Cyder is available only on draught as Suchý (dry) and Sladký (sweet). I’m giving the Suchý a try.
Company: Johannes Cider
Place of Origin: Tabor or Prague Vršovice, The Czech Republic
Apples: unknown Czech apples
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 6.4%
Package type: draught
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or wine glass

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy straw yellow with no head. Medium carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is wild and refreshing with notes of barnyard, leather, fermenting cider and red apples.

Taste: it starts with high lemon-like acidity, notes of lemon flesh and lemon zest, and after a few seconds gets lightly watery with delicate notes of barnyard, fermenting apples and smoky ham. Finishes with a pleasant light grapefruit-like bitterness.

Overall: Dry from Johannes Cyder is a natural cider with a refreshing strong citrusy palate. But the Dry was a bit too sour to my liking. I must note that had it alone without any food. Yet I can imagine it would pair well with traditional Czech meals such as Roast Duck, Prague Ham or other hearty dishes. Hence, the Dry is for those who prefer dry, tart and natural cider. I would buy it again, but next time with food. 3.5/6 

Availability: only on draught in InCider Bar, La BabicheVršovická zahrada, Bajkazyl, Cafe Sladkovsky, Kavarna Liberal, Cobra , Cafe Fra and occasionally in BeerGeek Bar in Prague. Also in Kavkárna in Česke Budějovice.

Price: received it for free at InCider Bar‘s stand during Slavnost Cideru 2017.


Martin’s Cider Jablkovy

Martin’s Cider is a Slovak Nitra-based cider company, which was established only in 2014. Martin spent a few years in Cornwall and Somerset and fell in love with English cider and generally with cider making. Hence, once he returned to Slovakia he set up the first cidery in his home town Nitra. Their range includes cider, perry and cherry flavoured cider.
Company: Martin’s Cider
Place of Origin: Nitra, Slovakia
Apples: apples grown at the Czech-Slovak border
Sweetness as per label: sweet
ABV: 4.8%
Package type: draught
Recommended type of glass: pint glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a large foam, which quickly falls down. High carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: smells of freshly pressed apple juice from red apples. This is all I’m getting here.

Taste: it starts quite watery with a low level of acidity and moderate sweetness. The mid-palate has a flavour of apple juice with a distant hint of fermented apples. That’s basically it.

Overall: If someone passed me a glass of Martin’s Cider and told me it was an apple juice I would believe him. The Jablkovy has a strong refreshing apple juice flavour but the taste overall has nothing to do with cider. It simply tastes like a freshly pressed apple juice. I’m convinced it will appeal to those preferring sweet apple juice-tasting cider though but not to cider lovers. 2/6 

Availability: through their online shop or in InCider Bar in Prague.

Price: had 0.2L at Slavnost Cideru 2017 at 25 CZK (1 EUR)

Vinařství Mühlberger Cider

Located in Moravia, the wine region of the Czech Republic, close to the Austrian border, Vinařství Mühlberger is a small vineyard producing around 7000 bottles a year. Their focus is mainly on wine, but they have apple and quince orchards as well, so they also produce cider and quince wine. Their cider is the result of the collaboration with Eska restaurant from Prague-Karlin.Company: Vinařství Mühlberger 
Place of Origin: Jaroslavice, Znojmo district in South Moravian Region, the Czech Republic
Apples: unknown varieties
ABV: 4%
Package type: 330ml clear glass with twist-off cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine or pint glass

Appearance: pours a clear yellow straw with a quickly reducing white head. Lightly carbonated. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: all I can get is a scent of fermented apples and honey-like sweetness.

Taste: it starts quite sweet with a honey-like note and no acidity to break the sweetness. However, I can get a distant vinegary note with fermented apples on the mid-palate with a gentle touch of astringency, and low bitterness to the end.

Overall: I quite enjoyed the first few sips of cider from Vinařství Mühlberger, but after a while, I felt I had enough. It was tiring and quite dull due to the quite high level of sweetness/low level of acidity. Simply, too sweet for my tastes. Hence, those having a sweet tooth will be delighted with this drop. It’s really not bad and drinkable but could be more complex both on the nose and the palate. 3.5/6

Availability: you can find their cider in Eska restaurant in Prague – Karlin.

Price: paid 65 CZK (2.5 EUR) for a 330ml bottle at Slavnost Cideru 2017 in Prague

Cider Bohemia Cannabis Cider

It may come as a surprise to you, but the Czech Republic has one of the highest rates of cannabis use in Europe. Moreover, many Czechs grow and use cannabis for their own use. It still does not mean that it is legal to do so. Anyway, it was just a matter of time to see a product combining two Czech passions into one, a cider infused with cannabis by Cider Bohemia. Don’t expect to find THC here, since their cider was infused with flowers and leaves of Cannabis sativa, not C. indica.

Company: Cider Bohemia
Place of Origin: Pilzen, Czech Republic
Ingredients: cannabis with unknown Czech apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: semi-dry
ABV: 4.8%
Package type: draught
Recommended type of glass: pint glass

Appearance: pours a lightly hazy straw yellow with a short-lived head. Medium carbonated. Body is light.

Aroma/Nose: it smells mainly of marjoram, a herb typically used to marinate meat with (not to confuse with oregano)

Taste: it starts with low sweetness and moderate acidity, which is then taken over by green notes with flavours of both green and unripe apples and a gentle astringency.

Overall: Cannabis Cider basically tastes like a light soft drink with pleasant green astringent herbal notes. I must say that it was a quite interesting experience. Perhaps the taste was not spectacular, but not unpleasant either. I think that Cannabis Cider has a chance to appeal to a wider audience. Anyway, I am definitely looking forward to trying other ciders from their lineup. 3/6 

Availability: at many food and farmers markets across The Czech Republic or in the InCider Bar in Prague. Online from their online shop, from Opily Jabko (they ship abroad!).

Price: sampled at Slavnost Cideru 2017 at Cider Bohemia’s stand, 0.2L (30 CZK-1.15 EUR) 

Sigelsberg Suchý

Sigelsberg is a cider maker from Slovakia, who took the 2nd place in the poll at Slavnost Cideru 2017. Wait, Slovakia? Doesn’t Sigelsberg sound German? Sigelsberg is a name used under the Austro-Hungarian rule for the city of Štiavnické Bane, Slovakia where the cider makers come from. The company was established in 2011 after a very good apple harvest in their orchard. After a several rounds of experiments, the recipe was developed and their cider was ready to commercialize.Company: Piarg house s.r.o.
Place of Origin: Štiavnické BaneBanská Štiavnica, Slovakia
Apples: apples from Slovak orchards
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 5.9%
Package type: draught
Recommended type of glass: pint glass

Appearance: pours a clear straw golden with no head. Lightly carbonated. The body is light.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is rather weak as I can get only flavours of fermented and crisp apples.

Taste: the first sip is slightly sweet, with a medium acidity and moderate tannins. The mid-palate has unripe green and tart apples with other green notes and a sharp touch of alcohol. The finish is dry with a touch of bitterness.

Overall: Sigelsberg’s Suchý tastes natural and is drinkable. Even refreshing. But I can’t say that the taste is remarkable. I think the Suchý is a good and interesting alternative to ciders from concentrate and may appeal to many. Hence, the 2nd place in the poll. But it’s just slightly better than average. 3/6 

Availability: in many restaurants and bars across Slovakia. Online in Slovakia from Bottles.  In Prague sometimes available in the InCider Bar.

Price: had 0.2L at Slavnost Cideru 2017 at 25 CZK (1 EUR)