Cheeky Grog Co are one of those great companies that never take themselves too seriously. But now they have a new apple in the orchard to play with. The Kingston Heritage is the latest cider to be released onto the Australian market, made exclusively with the Kingston Black apple.

I’m writing this review as the Aussie Wallabies take on Ireland in the rugby. To my American friends that’s Rugby Union, you know the one that’s like Grid Iron without helmets and an hour of ads. It’s pretty cold here, the fire is lit (AF?) and the rolling clouds have got stage fright and won’t let that much needed rain flow.

My pint is full of an opaque cider, I don’t mind, that Cheeky Grog Co’s Kingston Heritage is warming slowly. That’s letting the fruit fade into something darker and more comfortable. Um… The Wallabies might win this.

Cheeky Grog Co from Bunbatha, Victoria, have fermented their locally grown Kingston Black apples in oak barrels.

The Nose

A lose mix of lemon zest and apricot brighten up a dark barnyard funk. The scent isn’t hiding, still there is no need to hide it by drinking from the bottle, pour it into a pint glass.

The Taste

My first impression is this is ridiculously easy to drink. There is sweetness, but that is balanced by the acid. The acid is tempered by the tannin. The tannin isn’t massive. Ciders can go a little ear waxy with too many tannin heavy apples but not here. A full body carries this dry almost sour cider. Spicy apple and caramel flavours are plentiful without going down the whole apple crumble route. “Come on Ref, get out of the way.” It’s very cloudy, you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s a pumpkin soup. Remember that ad? “So chunky you could carve it ” that sums up the texture. It’s Kingston Black through and through.

It blurs the line between a modern Australian cider and an old English bevy.

Final Thoughts on the Kingston Heritage

There are some hard as nails Ciders out there, they challenge their status as a cider, preferring to masquerade as paint stripper. You’re never going to convert an alcopop drinker to real cider with that approach. Cheeky Grog Co have made a cider that is both instantly recognisable but still typical of what proper cider apples can offer.

While there were plenty of new Kingston Black Ciders recently released and reviewed here, this is a very different take on the genre. Just enough character and the easiest to drink, one may even call it cheeky. If this were made in England they’d have watered it down to bring the alcohol down. Yes I would have liked to have seen this a little lower on the booze, but this is an Australian cider and Australia is suffering a pretty bad drought. It seems I’m still forced to choose between a win for the Wallabies and much needed rain. At least I’ve got something close to the perfect winter cider here.

Product Kingston Heritage
Company Cheeky Grog Co
Sweetness Off Dry
Alc/Vol 8.2%
Website cheekygrogco.com
Country of Origin Australia
Region Victoria