Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Tilse's Apple Truck Cider - Winter Release

Tilse’s Apple Truck Cider – Winter Release
So this little beauty is made by a fellow named Luke Tilse, and hails from the foot of the Barrington Hills in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales. The Hunter is most famous and well recognised for its winemaking credentials – especially in the aged Semillon stakes. So when I saw that a cider had been produced from this region, I had to get it. The fruit is sourced from the Tilse family orchards (Omidale Brooke Estate) which have been in the family since 1916! No wonder Luke was keen to make cider!! 

The thing I am really warming to is the fact Luke makes his ciders in their own unique batches. So the cider featuring in this review is the ‘winter release’ as apposed to his ‘original’. Luke is not scared of hiding this and happily embraces the fact that there is going to potentially be less consistency in his product as a whole. Red Delicious and Granny Smith’s are the apples predominately used, and in Luke’s words “we let the apples determine the flavour”. More beautiful words have never been spoken in my eyes, as this is as raw as cider making can get. It really makes you sit and wonder why the heck concentrate is used when pristine apples like this are readily available in Australia.

I haven’t been as excited to try an Aussie cider as I was with the Tilse’s Apple Truck. Firstly the presentation is fantastic, being well thought out and having bold shelf presence. The beautiful lime green and black label just draws you in like a kid in a candy store. I was thinking, if this cider tastes as good as the presentation looks, then I am in for a real treat. When poured into the glass, it almost resembled water being on the brink of colourless. But instead of seeing this as a negative, I couldn’t help but think it gave a sense of purity. There was a very low level of carbonation too, which faded fast. The nose showed real intense Granny Smith varietals with intense citrus, lemon/lime notes. There was a beautiful hint of musk too which gave the nose a feminine angle. It’s evident that this cider is uber clean, fresh and pure. There are some residual sulphur notes lurking around but that is to be expected, especially if the cider has just been bottled.

The palate was overall a pleasing experience too which offered up a perfect, cleansing dryness. Lovely hints of red apple were lifted by the musk characters which complimented each other seamlessly. The Granny Smith apples delivered mouth watering acidity leaving the palate crisp, sharp and focused. I was pleasantly surprised to see some phenolic presence on the palate, along with some back palate bitterness and heat from the alcohol. This added some textural feel which helped with the thinner mouth feel. All wrapped up into neat package, the palate is simple, straightforward but knows its place.

If you haven’t heard of Tilse’s Apple Truck Cider now, I’m sure you will in the near future. This cider is simple, but made very well whilst respecting the pure Hunter Valley fruit. The nose alone will blow you away with its amazing purity and sense of place. There’s always a feeling of quality too when you need a bottle opener to pop the top off the bottle – well to me it means quality. The cider is meant to be consumed young, and on a hot Australian summer day it would be perfect. A warning about this cider is that it will entice you from the word go, but with a hefty 5.8% alcohol, she will creep up on you. Overall, this is a great cider from a young guy trying to pay justice to quality regional produce. Great Work Luke!

Producer: Tilse’s Apples
Country: Australia (Hunter Valley, New South Wales)
Alcohol: 5.8%
Website: www.appletruckcider.com.au

Rating: 7.5 out of 10


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