Sunday, 8 February 2015

Three Farms Apple Cider

Over the past few months, I have been composing cider reviews for the soon to be released 2nd edition of Tasmania’s Table. I have luckily tasted and reviewed around fifteen or so ciders from all corners of the Apple Isle. I received an email from the editor asking if I could sneak in one final review for this newly released cider. The cider turned out to be Three Farms Cider, to which I had no knowledge of. Long story short, it was a collaboration between three farming families. The fruit for the cider was sourced from the Huon Valley, and made at Winemaking Tasmania. The cider was recently an added option at the Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed in Dunalley.  
On opening, the cider was super (and I mean SUPER) light in colour almost representing water…..not good in my eyes. However, the carbonation was light…….good in my eyes. Through my experience, the nose had that rich, ripe red floral fruit character which I find typical of many commercial Huon Valley ciders. It also displayed a green sour sob angle with a binding citrus twang. Overall, the nose was extremely representative of a basic/simple commercial dessert apple cider. Possibly too simple and one dimensional for my liking. But what would you expect from a cider made with cultured yeasts, reductive handling and sterile filtration? Plenty of this style out in the market at the moment. 
For me the real let down was the light palate structure. Somewhat confused, chalky and lacking in any sort of flavour. I remember as a kid we had a creek by our house, and in winter thousands of sour sobs would grow by the banks. I would pick a sour sob and chew on the stalk, and it would leave you with a green tart taste in my mouth. The Three Farms Cider reminded me of this. Acidity, green and lacking in flavour. Sadly, the flavour fell quite short, with no obvious back palate length. Yes, there was a touch of sweetness, but that diminished into the green malic acid. The carbonation was perfect though, and the 4.2 per cent alcohol made for easy drinking.   

To successfully compete in the ultra-competitive Aussie modern medium market, your cider better be chock-a-block full of flavour and class! Sadly, this cider was down the lower end of the scale, and I find is swamped in quality by its simple Winemaking Tasmania made cousins. Most importantly, the cider was clean and fault free and was drinkable. I don’t often comment on labels, as I know firsthand what it is like to design a brand, and proudly see in on a product you have invested so much time and money in. But with all due respect, the label is a big confusing, unfinished, Incredible Hulk mush up. Sorry guys, not a fan at all. However, you don’t judge a book by its cover! Personally I think this cider has a little ‘me too’ about it, and I firmly believe there are far better examples of Tassie cider. But I applaud them for using real Tasmania fruit, and giving it a go.

Producer: Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed (Three Farms Cider)
Country: Australia (Huon Valley, Tasmania)
Alcohol: 4.2%

Rating: 10 out of 20


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