Thursday, 27 December 2012

Cider of the Month - December

This month’s edition of Cider of the Month goes to:

Gwynt y Ddraig – Black Dragon
It’s not everyday that thy almighty cider gods bestow the pleasure of a truly heavenly beverage to us simple mere mortals. But today I caught a glimpse of what cider heaven must taste like, leaving me truly blessed. This cider I speak of that comes to us in biblical proportions is made by Bill George and Andrew Gronow, of Gywnt y Ddraig in Wales. This highly awarded cider is the special reserve blend which utilises fruit from Welsh orchards and oak ageing. The colour is beautifully dark and tawny, and is filtered brilliant. The carbonation is quite low, leaving no real evidence of fizz in the glass. The nose is an intense experience being rich, highly complex and traditional. Fresh apple characters hit you at first which then are proceeded by cherry cola, vanilla, caramel, leathery earth and musty nuances. There is a tiny bit of acetic acid (vinegar), along with a smidgen of brettanomyces (bandaid) to add a little more complexity. This is a nose which tells an amazing story of tradition from the ageing orchards all the way to the old oak vats. Pure bliss in a glass.

The palate offered up an addictive medium sweetness of what seemed to be comprised of bittersweet apples. This made the mouth feel lush, rich and very full. A small amount of natural acid cut its way through the sweetness which left a tart finish. Tannin was low possibly due to oxidative practises whilst making the cider, but a nice level of bitterness was met on the back palate. The palate was very fresh and had a lovely length of stewed apples with the 6.5 per cent alcohol being perfectly balanced.
This cider is a beautiful Welsh farmhouse example, and comes with an amazing amount of interest, complexity and flavour. It really makes you think that this is what real farmhouse cider could have tasted like 100 years ago in the UK. A truly memorable experience and the beauty is that this cider is available in Australia.

Producer: Gwynt y Ddraig Ltd
Region: Llest Farm, Pontypridd (Wales)
Alcohol: 6.5%

Click here to check out Gwynt y Ddraig - Dabinett review:

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