As the clocks change and the nights really draw in, thoughts of cold ciders on a sunny day seem a long way away. Fear not, as that's where our Winter Warmers Vintage case comes into its own, demonstrating a different style and strength of cider.
Showcasing six outstanding Vintage ciders, all aged for many months to create deep, rich and complex tannic flavours - and all packing a punch too at over 6.5% ABV. Think big booming red wines by the fireside, and this is the cider equivalent. Perfect for warming up after a long walk on a cold day, or accompanying rich stews, roasts, cheeses or spicy nibbles.
The six we have carefully chosen include two very new releases, so be amongst the first to try them.
Perry's Vintage, Somerset, Medium, 6.7% - Made using the best apples each autumn at Perry's in South Somerset, then crucially aged in barrels for over a year to mature, intensify and mellow. It's then blended with Dabinett cider to create a deep, satisfying medium of beautiful balance and flavour.
Priors Tipple Vintage, Gloucestershire - Medium-Dry 7% - A rich, aged cider for a drink with real distinction, made from a blend of vintage varieties of bittersweet cider apples. Lightly carbonated, this is a rich cider with deep fruity flavours, prominent tannins and a light fizz on the tongue. This cider is aged in vats during which time the tannins soften to give oaky flavours and subtle spicy notes.
Rich's Vintage, Somerset, Medium, 7.2% - Brand new from Rich's in the last few weeks, their new Medium Vintage is a real classic. With flavour, tannins and strength all up a notch from their ever-popular Farmhouse, this is one of the best Vintage ciders we have tasted in a while. Matured in oak vats for several months, this full-bodied cider really packs a punch and is sure to be popular.
Sandford Orchards 'The General', Devon, Medium, 8.4% - Described by Sandford as a "Mighty Vat Aged Cider" and by The Ciderologist Gabe Cook as "like liquid Christmas pudding", this really is a cacophony of big, complex, rich and deep fruity flavours, with a warming and long finish. Like no other cider we have tasted in a long while!
Sheppy's Cloudy Vintage, Somerset, Medium Dry, 6.7% - Another brand new release, this 2020 Vintage cider has been aged for a year to create a deep and well-balanced flavour, then blended with a small amount of cloudy apple juice, to create a medium-dry taste, and add a cloudy appearance.
Southdown Premium, Somerset, Medium STILL, 7% - Rob makes cracking cider near Bruton in Somerset, and in 2019, won Supreme Champion British Cider at the British Cider Championships, beating 450 others - that's some pedigree. Although not described as Vintage on the label, in terms of flavour and strength it drinks like one.