Our friends at Ross on Wye Cider have put together something very special for you in this month’s case. They’ve taken five single-varietal ciders and then blended them into a special exclusive cider just for us! This celebrates the unique characteristics of each of the different apple varieties and showcases the real skill of the cidermaker which is in blending them together to form the perfect symphony. Try each of the unusual single-varietals individually and then try the blend. Can you pick out the individual flavours? Do you think that the blend makes the most of the individual ingredients? Why not try it yourself and see if you can come up with your own special blend!
Reinette d'Oby (6.8%)
If we could taste colours, this would be the definition of yellow. A lovely, late season sharp that is all about the fruit. Light acidity and gentle texture evokes images of pineapple or melon. A very old variety originally hailing from France, the trees grow tall but brittle, and are susceptible to disease. But every year they dutifully crop and provide us with joy.
For more than one hundred years, British orchardists have been growing this French variety of apple, which we knew as 'Michelin.' But now the truth is out! DNA fingerprinting reveals that this apple is in fact the variety 'Bisquet'! And 'Michelin' is a different, distinct variety. How curious! This apple is a classic, delightful bittersweet. Fresh hay and lemon notes with rich, smooth tannins. One of our favourites.
Bulmers Norman (7.4%)
A very common variety due to its use as a stembuilder (with its vigorous growth), but the apple itself is often overlooked for being challenging and too tannic. However, when fully ripe, Bulmers Norman can be beautifully expressive, with its intense flavour providing a unique point of difference. In this bottle we have a glorious bittersweet balance - low acidity, fruitiness, and then gorgeous tannins. Bulmers Norman: press when yellow, drink when mature. Then you shall have a cider to smile about!
Tremletts Bitter (6.5%)
A revered old variety from Devon. It produces a gorgeous ruby red apple that holds a fierce, bitter flavour, with huge character. Few bittersweet apples smell as luscious as Tremletts, which has a recognisable fruity aroma, followed by a fruity mid palate that can be dominated by the strong tannins to finish. However, given time to mature, those tannins soften and the result is a very tasty single variety cider.
Ashton Brown Jersey (7.2%)
It has been three years since our single row of 15 Ashton Brown Jersey trees fruited successfully. Frustrated by biennalism and by the rampaging 'Ermine Moth', we have been eagerly awaiting the day where we would once again bottle this delightful bittersweet apple. An underrated and uncommon variety, developed at the Long Ashton Research Station in Somerset, ABJ is a very low acid, high tannin fruit with leathery and spicy notes. Delicious.
Bristol Cider Shop Exclusive Blend (6.8%)
This unique cider has been blended specially for Bristol Cider Shop. We went into our cider barn and identified five delicious single variety ciders: individually they provide the colours for the cidermakers palate, that when combined, form a painting. We have two parts Reinette d'Oby with one part each of the four bittersweets. Thus we have the classic British cider blend: one third sharps, two thirds bittersweets. A cider with body, with upfront juiciness that softens the complex tannins on the finish. Cheers!
Allergens: Contains sulphites