Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Batlow Premium Cider

Batlow Premium Cider

This cider is another classic case of a product utilising a region’s renowned produce. Batlow lies in the cooler climates of the Snowy Mountains, New South Wales (around 450Kms from Sydney), where conditions are perfect for growing superior apples. There is a real history behind the growing of apples in Batlow, and it’s no surprise that we see a cider coming out of this region. It’s reminiscent of the quality ciders coming out of the Adelaide Hills - South Australia’s premier apple growing region. Why not exploit a regions produce to help showcase its qualities and share them with the world? That’s my theory anyway!

The cider’s presentation really stands out for me, with its longer necked bottle shape and striking green label. It just stands out in a bottle shop and screams “pick me, pick me!!” The reference of ‘3½ crushed Batlow apples in every bottle’ is such a clever idea as it gives you a sense of intimacy with the product. But at the end of the day, you get that feeling of pride and respect not only for the apples used, but Batlow itself in this cider. I really admire that.
On opening, I was surprised by the higher level of carbonation. It was good to see bubbles raging in the glass for once, I must admit. The colour resembled pale straw with the cider being filtered completely clear, both typical of a dessert apple cider. On inspection of the nose, upfront green apples intertwined with citrus, pineapple notes welcome you. Basically the nose is clean, fault free and fresh, just what you want in a cider like this. It does, however, lack the pretty floral characters which are seen in ciders from the Adelaide Hills. But in saying that, the acid profile seemed much more focused compared to its SA counterparts. What I can conclude here is that there is some level of regional variance in apples and the subsequent cider – just like grapes and wine.

The palate straight up is dry, but not tart like the Huon Cider from Tasmania recently reviewed on the blog. The dryness is quite thirst quenching, but more importantly balanced with lean acidity. The acidity offers up fresh, zippy attributes that are enhanced by the foaming bubbles which explode in your mouth. I was a little worried that being dry and at 5.2% alcohol, that it may be unbalanced and alcohol ‘hot’, but everything was balanced. There are some residual hints of sulphur, but it was not overly offensive. Once again there is some bitterness on the back palate which I am seeing continually in Australian ciders.

Overall, the cider is a fresh, clean stock standard cider. To someone like myself who loves complexity and texture, the cider is a little one dimensional and plain. In saying that however, it was quite enjoyable to drink and would be perfect on tap at your local. To finish, I love the overall presentation of this cider and love producers who only use the best produce a region has to offer. Nice cider, great work!

Producer: Batlow Brewing Company
Country: Australia (Batlow, New South Wales)
Alcohol: 5.2%

Rating: 7 out of 10


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