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
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.
- 7.5/10 (For a sweet cider)
- 4.0% Alcohol
- Imported, UK
The Benchmark: 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.)
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
I put the challenge out to other cider drinkers to find me a better drop.
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.