Thursday, 8 August 2013

Captain Blighs - Tasmanian Brut Cider

Ahoy, me hearties it’s time to put on our wooden legs, eye patches and raise the Jolly Roger! Another cider from the apple isle of Tasmania is in full view from the crows net. All hands ahoy buccaneers, as we prepare ourselves to review the mighty Captain Bligh’s cider. This cider aint no landlubber either. Now off with ye and go clean the poop deck!!
Captain Bligh cider, as mentioned in my overly imaginative intro, is produced in the apple isle of Tasmania by Matt, Nick and Mitch Osborne – A father/sons team. The cider is produced yearly in small batches at the old George Adams brewery in the heart of Hobart. The main apple varieties used in the blend consist of Sturmer Pippin, Cox’s Orange Pippin and Jonathon. The Sturmer and Cox’s are fast becoming synonymous with Tasmanian cider, with producers like Small Players, Two Meter Tall and Spreyton all successfully using them in their blends. I know I’ve been a little critical of Sturmer Pippin in the past, but I am starting to see its positive side – just.  The differing varieties are all fermented separately and aged for six months before bottling. This helps increase the depth of flavour in the cider and mellows out the palate. Captain Bligh’s is fundamentally made to the style of a dry, cloudy and bottle conditioned cider, with delicate tannins and natural flavours. So lets now review!  

The colour shone a lovely pale straw, underneath a distinct cloudy complexion. The cider was not disgorged, therefore just a tiny mass of dead yeast were evident in the bottle. The natural carbonation offered up a lovely large mousse on pouring, with vibrant and attractive bubbles.
Lovely and lean fresh red apple skin along with old woody notes leaped out of the glass with impressive vibrancy. Other primary notes of freshly cut grass, sour sobs and confectionary banana were also apparent. Secondary fermentation derived characters of yeastiness, beeriness and aldehyde complimented,and rounded out the primary notes well. These characters all beautifully combined to produce a tight and lean offering of great balance and poise. Very fresh and expressive.  

The palate was super dry, and to be completely honest, I found that to be so refreshing. Refreshing as a beverage, but also as a stylistic trait. In a sea of sugared up lolly water, it was so invigorating to go back to a nice dry cider. Subtle phenolics coated the mouth well, along with a touch of bitterness and focused acidity. I found all these critical parameters to be in perfect balance. Fresh apple flavours offered up attractive length, and a creamy/biscuity sensation added pleasing complexity. The draw back to this style of cider is the palate weight, more often than not, is always a touch thinner and perhaps not as intense. But the linear and focused back bone, definitely made up for this. The palate was impressively clean, crisp and super refreshing. Just watch that alcohol of 6.9 per cent, or you’ll be three sheets to the wind in no time!  
Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum! (or cider). This little cider was a real treat. I really enjoy going back to this style of cider, as they always offer such purity and character. You also know the cider hasn’t gone through any major industrial processes either – winning! The Captain Bligh’s really reminded me of the Napoleone and St Ronan's Methode Traditionelle ciders from the Yarra Valley in Victoria. But if you real want to splice the mainbrace, then give this cider a go! Beautifully Tasmanian…..again!

Producer: Captain Blighs
Country: Australia (Hobart, Tasmania)
Alcohol: 6.9%

Rating: 14.5 out of 20


1 comment:

  1. Good post. I am sharing your review on my food blog as we tour Hobart. You can find the story at Keep up the great writing. Love cider.