Tabun Cydr z Otomina Wytrawny 2020

After I published the very favourable review of the Tabun Krik 2020, Michał of the Polish Tabun Cydr z Otomina, reached out to me with regards to the Wytrawny 2020 saying: “Don’t drink it! Let it go down the drain”. How could I possibly do that with a craft cider? Admittedly, I have already done that with several industrial alco-pops but never to a proper cider made from real fruit and without unnecessary additives.

This the third vintage that I’m sampling of Michał‘s Wytrawny after the 2018 and 2019 vintage. However, this time Michał made some changes to the blend adding Granny Smith and introducing new experimental apple varieties. Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: a blend of old apple varieties with dessert apple varieties and experimental apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
ABV: 7,1%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass:
 white wine glass

Appearance: pours a hazy pale straw yellow colour with a greenish hue and a small head that reduces to a ring around the glass. Low carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is rather weak, but pleasantly fruity with notes of raw pineapple, green notes, wood, distant lemon juice and a touch of funk. 

Taste: it begins bone dry with low to medium acidity of lemon juice. On the mid-palate, slightly salty at first, watery with a lingering note of diluted lemon juice, green unripe banana, lime juice, a touch of astringency and vinegar. Finishes with a notes of lime, pear, green unripe banana and lees.  

Overall:  I had the Wytrawny 2020 on a very cloudy, gloomy and rather cold Sunday afternoon, while I think it is a cider to be drunk on a warm sunny day due to its pleasantly citrusy and thus refreshing character. The Wytrawny 2020 is a complex cider with plenty of various notes both on the nose and on the palate. With each sip I could discover a new flavor that I didn’t get before. So drinking the Wytrawny 2020 was a true cider exploring journey. And, a pleasant one on top of that. Similarly to previous vintages, it kept the citrusy character but the 2020 vintage is much more complex than just a lemon spritzer. With all these lemon, lime and green banana notes Michal managed to create a really pleasant and light drink although completely different than the Krik 2020. So why is this cider getting only 4/5? Because the nose could have been stronger and the taste a bit less watery.  I know, I always have to look for sth to complain about. Overall, the Wytrawny 2020 is a light and nicely drinkable pour that will go well on its own but will also pair nicely with e.g. Spanish tapas. 4/6 

Availability: only in Poland for now at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin and from Alfroalko in Gdynia. In Warsaw from Zrodlo Niebanalnych Piw i Alkoholi and from Winnacja in Krakow.

Price: a bottle of this cider was provided by Michał (Restauracja Otomin)

Tabun Cydr z Otomina Wytrawny 2019

The 2019 vintage of Wytrawny crafted by Michał of Tabun Cydr z Otomnina, Poland is a blend of old apple varieties such as Antonovka and Rennet apples along with a few varieties of dessert apples. Last year, I sampled their 2018 vintage. I’m curious to see how the 2019 vintage may taste like. Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: a blend of old apple varieties incl. Antonovka and Rennete along with dessert  apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
ABV: 5,9%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass:
 white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy golden yellow colour with a small head that reduces to a ring around the glass. Moderate carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is strong, literally pours out of the glass. Notes that come through are of ripe yellow apples, funk, green notes, wood and lemon. The aroma is strong at first but quickly weakens.

Taste: it starts dry with low acidity of lemon juice and lemon peel. On the mid-palate, watery with green notes, grapefruit juice, gentle off-notes from yeast and low astringency. Finishes with a refreshing touch of grapefruit.

Overall: If not a hint of wild notes and gentle off-notes coming from lees, one could think it is a lemon soft-drink with a surprisingly lingering taste. This is because the Wytrawny 2019 tastes more like a nice and refreshing citrusy spritzer, less than a cider. And this is because it, unfortunately, lacks body. I guess the proportion of dessert apples used for this blend might be just too high in my opinion. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy having the Wytrawny 2019 but I much more enjoyed Michał‘s Wytrawny Dziki 2019. I shared a bottle of the Wytrawny 2019 with a friend and she didn’t find it special either. Drinkable, pairing well with many foods but that’s it. I’m sorry, Michał. You know I like you but I have to be honest here. 3/6 

Availability: only in Poland for now at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin and from Alfroalko in Gdynia. In Warsaw from Zrodlo Niebanalnych Piw i Alkoholi and from Winnacja in Krakow.

Price: a bottle of this cider was provided by Michał (Restauracja Otomin)

Tabun Cydr z Otomina Wytrawny Dziki 2019

It’s time for Polish cider! Today, I’m about to evaluate a cider from Tabun Cydr z Otomina made by Michał from Otomin. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts about Michał‘s cider made, he, like any other cider maker, likes to experiment. Especially that he is still trying to create the best possible cider. His Dziki (wild in Polish) is one of his recently released experiments. It’s made with 8 different apple varieties (a blend of old apple varieties and cookers) fermented with wild yeast. After fermentation, it has been aged for 6 months and then bottle conditioned.
As per Michał, his Dziki sells like hotcakes despite Covid-19.

Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: a blend of 8 apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
ABV: 6,7%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass:
 white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy bright straw yellow colour with no head. Low and natural carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma has very good intensity, literally pours out of the glass and is pleasantly refreshing with notes of lemon, grapefruit but also funk. In the background, very distant sulphur and something spicy.

Taste: my first taste is dry with low acidity of lemon and grapefruit. On the mid-palate, watery, smokiness, notes of funk, grapefruit peel and a hint of sulphur. Finishes with a pleasant and refreshing note of grapefruit peel followed by a touch of bitterness.

Overall: So far, my favourite cider made by Michał. It is lovely refreshing with notes of lemon and grapefruit but it’s not sour at the same time. Dziki has a good intensity on the nose, a good length along with complexity. It lacks a bit of body, which Michał sees as an advantage. But if you ask me, due to lack of body and a watery taste, one could say Dziki is something between a refreshing lemonade and white wine. An enjoyable one but still. This is the only comment I can make here. Again, since Dziki was fermented with wild yeast, and has some funkiness, not everyone will like e.g. my friend refused to drink it (good for me!). Overall, I’m not surprised that this cider is so popular within Tabun’s customers. I’m going to order some myself. Will pair well with fish, seafood or pizza. 4.5/6 

Availability: only in Poland for now at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin and from Alfroalko in Gdynia. Soon available in Warsaw from Zrodlo Niebanalnych Piw i Alkoholi and from Winnacja in Krakow.

Price: a bottle of this cider was provided by Michał (Restauracja Otomin)

Tabun Cydr z Otomina Wytrawny 2018

Michał is a Polish cider maker, who established his cider business only in September 2018 and is lucky to have a very supportive wife Agata running a restaurant and a stud farm Tabun in Otomin, located approx. 7 km from Gdansk, Poland. For five years, he has been making cider and dreaming of setting up a cidery until his wife Agata finally convinced him to quit his job in the construction industry and do something he really loved, making cider. Isn’t Michał a lucky guy?
Apples that are used for his cider come from a single orchard. Michał works with both old apple varieties such as Landsberger Reinette, Kaiser Wilhelm or Transparente de Croncels but also with dessert apple varieties such as Champion, Spartan, Lobo or McIntosh.
At the moment, Michał has only one cider in his product range Cydr z Otomina Wytrawny (Cydr from Otomin Dry), which is bottle conditioned. However, Michał has lots of new ciders that are still ageing and will be released very soon.

Company: Restauracja Tabun
Place of Origin: Otomin, Pomerania, Poland
Apples: a blend of 14 apple varieties including 8 dessert or cookers such as Golden Delicious, and 6 old apple varieties such as Kaiser Wilhelm or Transparente de Croncels
Sweetness as per label: wytrawny (dry)
ABV: 6%
Package type: 
750 ml green glass with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: 
flute or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy golden yellow with a tiny white head. Medium to high natural carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma is strong with notes of funk, lemon, herbs including peppermint. A hint of sulphur and vinegar. Lightly spicy.

Taste: it starts bone dry with low acidity of lemon. Further down it gets watery with low astringency and citrusy notes of lemon. Finishes with citrusy and herbal notes.

Overall: the cider made by Michał is a drinkable, citrusy refreshing farmhouse cider. So due to some funkiness, it might not be suitable for every palate. As for me, I enjoyed having it and wouldn’t mind having it again. But still, I have a few critical notes to make. It lacks body and tastes too watery. I think that a tiny bit higher level of sweetness and acidity could round up the taste and make this cider full-bodied. Also, it finishes too quickly, the taste simply doesn’t last long so there is still room for improvement. As I said earlier, I liked it nevertheless and can imagine it will pair great with a variety of dishes.  3.5/6

Availability: at Restauracja Tabun in Otomin and from Alfroalko in Gdynia.

Price: a bottle of this cider was provided by Michał (Restauracja Otomin)

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.

Pełnia Wytrawny & Wit Cider

Cider on draught is still a rare species in Poland as most bars/pubs stock bottled cider. However, it must be noted that cider produced by the vast majority of Polish cider makers is available exclusively in bottles. So when I saw that Przemek Iwanek from Piwo i Cydr, a cider expert, who brings his expertise and passion for cider to every organized cider tasting, released his own cider available exclusively on draught I knew I had to sample it!

Przemek released his first cider on Friday 30th June 2017 in two versions, Wytrawny (Dry) and Wit Cider under the brand name Pełnia (Fullmoon). The official launch of Pełnia was posted as a Facebook event in all participating bars across Poland, which is also a good of promoting cider culture in Poland. In addition, a limited number of kegs available only in cider-friendly bars made the cider sampling even more exciting.

This time I’m reviewing two ciders, the Wytrawny and the Wit Cider.WYTRAWNY (ABV: 6.5%), sampled in Jabeerwocky, Warsaw at 16PLN (3.80 EUR)

This is Przemek’s basic cider, which is made from apples grown in the Grójec region, Masovia, one of the largest farming region in Poland. Appearance: clear, golden yellow. Lightly carbonated. The body is also low. Aroma: yellow apples, light white wine flavour and something smelling buttery-like. I don’t necessarily find the aroma pleasant. Taste: not entirely dry with low residual sweetness, low citrus-like acidity, notes of both green and yellow apples, apple juice and unripe green apples with something chemical and butter-like tasting. Low astringency and refreshing green apple flavour in the aftertaste. Wytrawny is much better on the palate than on the nose. However, due to the chemical and buttery notes, I didn’t find it appealing. 2.5/6WIT CIDER (ABV: 6.5%) sampled in 4Hops, Wroclaw at 13PLN (3.10 EUR)

Wit Cider is a botanical cider made with the Wytrawny as a base with coriander, orange peel, curaçao and liquorice. It was inspired by American cider makers, who in contrast to European cider makers, freely experiment with all possible fruits and spices. Personally, I haven’t come across any Wit Cider in Europe until now. Appearance: light cloudy, pale golden yellow. Lightly carbonated with slowly reducing white head. The body is also low. Aroma: coriander, yellow apples, rotten apples and something buttery-like. Again, I don’t find the aroma pleasant. Taste: similarly to the Wytrawny, not entirely dry with low residual sweetness, low citrus-like acidity, notes of coriander, both green and yellow apples with unripe apples, orange peel, delicate bitterness with something butter-like tasting on the mid-palate. Low astringency, refreshing green apple flavour and chalky feeling in the aftertaste. Again, I found the buttery flavour on the nose and on the palate disturbing. Also, the taste is much better than the nose. I enjoyed the taste of coriander and orange peel. I think that Przemek didn’t overdose the ingredients. I didn’t get any curaçao and liquorice, but they might have been well hidden in the background contributing to the overall flavour. 3/6

Overall: I preferred the Wit Cider over the Wytrawny as it was richer in terms of flavours and quite nicely balanced with other ingredients. However, both ciders tasted unfortunately very average. It was Przemek’s first attempt to make cider on a larger scale so I strongly believe that the next batch will be simply better. Fingers crossed!

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.