Apples varieties are a little different from grapes or perry pears in that very few offer the perfect taste profile for a single varietal drink. Hence the quest for the ultimate taste profile takes place across as wide a range of varietals as possible with an aim to combine and balance them to the most ideal mix of bittersweet tannins, gentle acid and residual sweetness. Different styles of cider exist from country to country also, so by using our range of Cider Apples we can create styles that would resemble French, English, New World and indeed unique Irish ciders.
Our 'Rare Apple Bittersweet Cider', uses mostly bittersweet apples, which ferment to give a Medium Dry Cider with a lot of tannic punch, (the Bitter), and a hefty dose of alcohol at 5.8%, (which is what happens to the Sweet!)
After years of waiting for our apples to grow, learning the craft and tasting the results, we have our second batch of 2016, where we have used 47 different types of Apples from our Orchard in Killahora, including rareties like Morgan Sweet, Egremont Russet, Harry Masters Jersey, the voraciously tannic yet stocky Tremlett's Bitter, and this year Yarlington Mills, Major and some of our own unique Wild Hedgerow apples, as well as a good dash of Dabinetts and Michelins from both our own and from James' orchard in Tipp.
We hand press our fruit and slowly ferment the varieties of juice using the natural temperature range of the seasons, and with our a range of yeasts that we have evolved from our own old and unique crab apple trees that live in the hedgerows.
Our cider has again undergone a partial Malolactic fermentation which reduces the acidity a little, and improves mouthfeel. This reduction in acidity means we only need a smaller amount of residual sweetness to balance our cider; ie fewer calories per bottle, (a little over half that in a notable Foxy variety of 'cider'...and we dont mean MacIvors ;-) In this batch we left the acidity a little higher with the addition of some of our wild hedgerow apples to allow it to pair better with food.
From September until December 2016, fermented until July 2017
Why does this date matter? Because this Cider will change with each year due to the change in proportion of the varieties the orchard grows, the growing weather and the fermenting weather, although like wine houses we will strive for a house style that best reflects the fruit of the year, or the character of a batch.
Aroma starts with a deep Red Apple, a hint of hay or meadow, and a light breadiness in the background.
A fresh and soft opening, with hints green apple and unripe pear coming from natural malic and latic acids, backed by subtle balanced sweetness, hints of malolactic creaminess, and clearing to the lingering length of tannins, some fairly vigourous due to its young age, and which run the gauntlet from dry leatheriness, to light phenolics, that fade slowly and becon another sip. Although called Bittersweet, (from the apples used), with around 26 g/litre of residual sugar it is more of a Medium Dry in character, with a drier ‘RealFeel’ due to the vibrant tannins.
The most apt words to describe our Bittersweet 2016 Cider are ‘Fresh and Tannic’, and most definitley ‘Food Friendly’!
Residual Sugar: 26gr/liter
Total Acidity: 4.9 gr/litre
Bottle Volume: 500ml & 750ml
Order Size: 20 x 500ml, 12 x 750ml
Serving at 10 deg C is ideal, although it migh seem unusual, but you will find at this temperature, it is chilled enough to be refreshing but both sweetness and tannins become more prominent and its character becomes slightly more robust. Ice will not help this cider in any way, and in our opinion throws the balance out!
This is going to work great with heavier dishes, will comfortably work with smoked fish, mackerel, roasted meats meats, (tannins like fattier foods), hearty umami rich sauces, pork of all varieties is an obvious choice. Will also work with dishes that have some but not too much acidity, including some lightly spiced Asian dishes, or possibly Mexican, but haven’t tried the latter yet! Try it with some of the fine dishes in Greenes,/Cask, Sage, Ballymaloe or The Spitjack where we its on sale.
Please verify your age