The Wassail is a traditional January orchard ritual to ward off evil spirits and bless the trees for a good crop of apples. The word 'Wassail' is derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'Was-Hael' which means 'good health'. So if you've over-indulged at Christmas, or are starting the New Year with good intentions, this case is slightly lighter at 4-5%. Good health to all for 2022!
Colcombe House ‘Mischief on the River’ – Medium, Herefordshire, 4.8%
Produced using apples from the old Colcombe House Estate in rural Herefordshire, where the River Wye meanders slowly through the grounds. This cider was named after the shenanigans that undoubtedly went on after a few of these while out fishing in days gone by! A lovely light, zesty medium - the perfect easy-drinking cider to sign off the week.
Dorset Nectar ‘Jurassic Skyline’ – Medium Sweet, Dorset 4%
The Strong family settled from Washington, USA on an old orchard near Bridport which had formerly supplied Gaymer’s Cider. In 2008, they started making their own and now seven members of the family are involved, with a lovely visitor centre and tasting garden added to the site. ‘Jurassic Skyline’ is a light and refreshing premium blend, medium-sweet cider with a soft sparkle. Perfect for blue skies and sunny afternoons, which at least are getting closer again now the nights are drawing out.
Harry’s ‘Applemore’ – Medium, Somerset 5%
Harry Fry, his son Toby and the family have rapidly developed cider making as part of their traditional farm near Langport, in the golden triangle of Somerset cider production. ‘Applemore’ is a blended medium cider, light with a mellow finish to balance the sweetness with the true taste and character of a tannic Somerset cider.
Iford Wild Juice -Medium, Somerset 4.7%
Fed up with not being able to find great cider, Joe set about making his own. He re-discovered pockets of apple trees from the long-forgotten traditional orchards of the nearby Iford Estate. Together with Will, Joe has created an excellent range of ciders, challenging the mass market production culture. Wild Juice uses wild yeasts for traditional fermentation, producing a fruity, medium cider for full refreshment at a lower ABV.
Isaac Cider ‘Refraction’ – Medium Sweet, Dorset 4%
For several generations, the orchards at Giles’ farm in the rolling Dorset hills had supplied apples to contract cidermakers. But they decided to make their own cider, and, upon discovering they were distant relatives of Isaac Newton, and considering his apple-related discoveries, Isaac Cider was born. ‘Refraction’ is a rich, full-bodied cider made from Dabinett bittersweet cider apples. It delivers a complex flavour, full of tannins and with a hint of acidity.
Once Upon a Tree Medium – Herefordshire 5%
Made using apples from the renowned Dragon Orchard's 90-year-old trees, these quality ciders are made the traditional way, but with a wine-makers influence. Established in 2007, Once Upon a Tree has won numerous awards including being named "Drinks Producer of the Year" at the BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Awards. Gently sparkling with toffee apple notes, this has a well-balanced sweetness and a rounded finish.