Cider pages: Perfect Strangers

Just enjoying a bottle of this rarer than the Hainan black crested gibbon cider, made by Tim Phillips of Charlie Herring wines. It's an astonishing thing, the very last word in subtlety in a drink for which that is not usually a notable quality, but without any suggestion of attenuation. It is not made in the champagne manner , as most ambitious ciders seem now to be; on the contrary it is entirely still and bone, bone dry, which for me is the sine qua non of cider, and there is nothing remotely showy or ostentatious about it, the maturation on riesling skins and the addition of hops showing themselves mostly in the extraordinary midpalate depth and long, long finish. I haven't tried yet but I suspect this will go with almost anything with which wines struggle, and since I suspect that production can't be hugely increased it would seem like a good idea for people to start copying it. I could drink a bottle of this every day forever and die happy but it's certainly a drink for those who adore cider rather than those who can take it or leave it.
 
Thanks Thom. It may not be a "cider" per se but, as Matt say, it sounds intrigueing, like something I would enjoy drinking.

On my late summer trip to Prague this year we were introduced to a Czech cider that was the second stop in a 60 km bicycle ride (the other two were naturally enough local breweries). On offer were three styles of cider, a demi-sec, a brut, and an extra brut, all 750 ml bottles in ice buckets. They were all vintage ciders and bottled unfiltered and therefore slightly hazy. The demi-sec was the most cider like, in that it had the apple sweetness that we usually associate with most ciders, however the brut and extra brut were at an altogether different level. They were dry, refined, long on the palate, and almost Champagne-like with their yeast notes, the exta brut being austere in its refinement.

To my surprise, given the Champagne terms, the ciders are not carbonated, nor are they dosaged. The fizz comes from a slow fermentation that continues in the bottle. Also, if I got it right from the presenter who has worked there for several years, they are not filtered either, but rather gently racked several times over the course of months or a year depending on the style. I wondered how they could make the different dry/drier styles if there was no dosage and was told that it was based on the type of apples. Apparently they use about a hundred different varieties of apples and it is the type of apples and their ripening that determines the demi-sec, brut, and extra brut style.

On our last day in Prague, before our evening bus ride to Amsterdam, we ate out take away kebab sandwich in the hotel lobby and drank our bottle of 2014 Kliment Cidre Extra Brut from hotel glasses. It was a fine end to our Prague adventure. And yes, there is a cork stopper under the bottle cap.

Kliment Cidre 2014 Extra Brut.JPG

Mahmoud.
 
We produced c.110 litres of juice at allotment Apple Day today. I brought home my share to drink as juice but I reckon 75-80% went straight to demijohns for the cider enthusiasts. OG around 1.005.
 
95 pints of apple juice produced yesterday and now ready to start fermenting. OG is unusually high this year. Not sure if others have found the same? 6.8% potential alcohol, which is 1.5 - 2.0% higher than normal.

Hearing from a commercial maker in Kent yesterday that his OGs are 1.07 on average this year. Quite the challenge as most of his ontrade custom is for a sessionable dry Eastern counties style cider <5%.
 
Hearing from a commercial maker in Kent yesterday that his OGs are 1.07 on average this year. Quite the challenge as most of his ontrade custom is for a sessionable dry Eastern counties style cider <5%.
Crikey. That’s gonna be about 9% ! Maybe just over if the yeast keeps going and he ferments completely dry.
 
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