What do Hipsters drink at Christmas time?

It’s not Christmas but it is cold.

Just because it is not a long-y of Woodstock, doesn't mean it's not a RTD

As if there are not enough fake ciders out there Rekorderlig bring out a christmas inspired winter special. It is an impressive blend of alcohol and cordial. This new age hipster worshiped non-conforming RTD can trick you into all sorts of pleasant states of mind when drank either cold or hot. Yes you can gently heat this cider (it might have apples in it???) and change the flavour and characteristics in a huge way.

Christmas Jerk

Firstly lets do cold as I needed to research the appropriate way to gently heat this monstrosity. It smells like desert. All cinnamon and cream. Would make a fat cop moist. Make sure you remember to “gently” shake and roll the bottle. On the initial taste you have a vision of apple pie with ice-cream. But don’t think of the pie from American pie or you will tickle your own gag reflex.

It’s not as sugary as the rest of the Rekorderlig family. That is it’s big saving grace when it is cold. It sits in layers as far as flavour goes. If you don’t remember the rolling and shaking you will be confronted with a hit of spicy cinnamon and eventually hit this creamy relief (Don’t go visual). I would not want to drink more than 1 or 2 bottles in a single sitting. The more you drink the more intense and overwhelming the flavours get. Kinda like Banana Bread beer, the first is a novelty and you regret buying two at the end.

As long as its mixed well its drinkable. The longer you let it sit the more of a creamy vanilla scent you get when you go to drink. I think wine wankers call this a bouquet or something else wanky. But this smell makes you want to lick the inside of your glass the closer you get to the bottom of it.

The apple pie is warm now. Don’t burn your dick. 

Warmed Up. WTF. If I was an old piss head this would be delightful. You get an overwhelming stench of Metho and Sherbert. It made me think about the guy I saw drinking mehto and gatorade one day when I was young. It may take this guy to a special place. It changes this cider/RTD’s characteristics in a big way. It brings out the individual flavours and sharpens everything.

You are reminded of christmas at Nanna’s and she has been busy making her special pudding with a dash of boozer*.

 

Rekorderlig Winter Cider

  • 4.8% Alcohol
  • “Enjoyed” Hot or Cold
  • $6ish (unless you are at some hipster bar & its $15…. Chumps
  • 4.5/10 of fake Christmas cheer
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Purple is a fruit

St Heliers 

Black current

After a long summer of drinking mixed cartons of cider, this was always pushed to the back of the beer fridge.
And rightly so. This was a gift from a friend, who knew of my quest to drink every cider known to man* .

I havn’t drunk ribena in years. I get my Vitamin C in much more manly ways, like orange quarters at half time. This poor excuse for a cider is fermented ribena. Far too sweet and zero bubbles. Sticking ribena in a sodastream would get better results.

St. Hell

  • 2/10
  • Too sweet
  • Shunned by alcoholics
  • Give this to someone you dislike

Available where? Don’t bother, try other St Heiler ciders.

*Man who lives in Melbourne.


Badger Badger Badger

BADGER

Pear Wood Cider

The label says it right from the start “Crisp & fruity”. This is right on the mark. What sets this apart from the other pear ciders is that it is not trying to be something else. No piggy backing of its apple cider brother. The flavour is unique and not overly pear-e and sweet, therefore tastes like what a pear cider should taste like, not like pear cordial. For some reason the pear ciders are either super sweet or taste like the over ripe battered and bruised pear from the bottom of your school lunchbox.

Badger Badger Badger. Peaarrrr

No one loaded up this badger with a bucket of sugar and tried to pass it off as a friendly drink for the ladies. This is serious drinking, just like the honey badger who don’t give a shit.

  • 8/10 (For a pear cider)
  • 5.0% Alcohol
  • Vego friendly (to my knowledge)
  • Imported, UK

Available at Duncan’s on Church st in Richmond. Where they have truly impressive selection of ciders.


A morning shopping.

I have been humbled. I just met Pete the Permie at the slow food markets. Cider creator and purist. In the brief 5min conversation I managed to have with this demi-god I learnt the basics of creating cider and that he travels the world in pursuit of great ciders. He also let me in on a secret, Strongbow is actually Wheatbow. The only apples that go into the Strongbow factory are syrup/concentrate that is probably imported. More about Pete later though. I have picked up a bottle of his Snake Gully cider and will review it at a more appropriate time. 10am is still a little early for something with snake in the title and 7.5% alcohol content.


There is toffee apple all over your face

Brothers

Toffee Apple Cider

Thanks Peter Combe for my childhood.

Thanks Brothers Toffee Apple Cider for my adulthood and mild alcoholism.

Is it creepy that a few sips in I was already watching this?

The magic smell when popping the top was a flashback to:

Mum: “No you can’t have that [toffee apple]”
5 yr old me: “But it’s healthy”
Mum: “No, it’s just an apple covered in sugar, just eat an apple”
5 yr old me: “But I just want a fucking toffee apple, it tastes different”

This is not lolly-water for kids fellow cider drinkers, don’t compare this bad boy to a dirty smirnoff on the train into the city before a big night of mingin‘.

When you take that first swig, you get that fresh cider taste, then a surge of toffee and that is where the acid flashbacks begin.
Its like eating a toffee apple in reverse. Then the after taste is back to the crispness of the apple, like when you have chewed all the toffee away and you are left with a boring old apple.

Toffee apple, nice and licky, one for Judy, one for Nicky

  • 7.5/10 (For a sweet cider)
  • 4.0% Alcohol
  • Vegan
  • Imported, UK
Fuck cake when you can have Toffee Apple cider for dessert.
Available at Duncan’s on Church st in Richmond. Where they have truly impressive selection of ciders.

The Benchmark: BRESS Brut

Harcourt Valley 

Bress Brut

The benchmark. After many different ciders I stumbled upon this and have not found anything else that competes with it. So much so right in one beverage. If I could afford to I would drink this instead of water. When you read a wank review of this you will hear all these words about acid and palate. Its just good. Simple. Drink it.

When you lever of the cap the first reaction is: “It smells so good”. Then you pour it and it has all these perfect little bubbles and a golden colour that you can’t help but admire.

Then you taste it. Clean fresh glass. No ice. Let it breathe a little. Watch the bubbles. (I get carried away with the bubbles, they are all coming up in the centre of the glass.)

One Bress, one Boot

The first thing you will notice is how balanced it is. It is neither sweet nor dry. Just balanced perfectly. Then the bubbles kick in and it just makes you feel warm as it goes down. Like a really expensive scotch. This is the 10% kick. The kick that you don’t notice at the start of the bottle.

If you are greedy and choose not to share this bottle with someone else then that kick will get you at the end of the first bottle. There is no shame in being greedy with this one either. It is that good that it may turn a cider lover in Smeagle.

  • 9.5/10 (Nothing is perfect)
  • Balanced flavour
  • Expensive but completely worth it (even just for the 10% alcohol content)
  • Try its sister Bon Bon, sweet and a little promiscuous
  • Vego friendly (to my knowledge)
  • Victorian local
This is what I judge all other ciders against. If Bress Brut is a 9.5, Apple cider vinegar is a 0 and Strongbow is a -1.
I put the challenge out to other cider drinkers to find me a better drop.
Available at Smith St Cellars

Cider without the wank

Gather around children and I will tell you a story.

Many, many moons ago, in Darwin after a three day drinking session, I thought I would change it up and get a carton of Strongbow. That cider experience stopped me from loving cider for another six years.

Older, wiser and a move to Melbourne saw another drinking session, this time I thought that cider would be the closest to water at the pub to accompany breakfast with a killer hangover, I discovered Cold Stream cider.

This was my turning point.

Over the last 8 or so months I have been my very own lab-rat. Testing & rating ciders from local and speciality brewers. No more strongbow, no 5 seeds and no hipster wankers who can’t handle a real beer.
Short and to the point reviews of ciders to tell you, fellow cider lover, if it is really worth shelling out $20 for that bottle the size of a long-y.

Bress of luck to you.