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.
This is Willie Smith’s Whisky Aged Cider. I often talk about a sense of place with a cider. Apples reflect the soil they’re rooted in. Vintages reflect the season. Wild yeasts native to a cider house sneak in with a signature flourish. A simple glass of cider can be a lesson in everything from meteorology to geography and even history.
Cider made from traditional cider apples is pretty rare. An Aussie perry from perry pears is a about as rare as a full set of teeth at a ice hockey match. Herny’s of Harcourt have pulled out a perry made from real perry pears and called it the “Gylden Paere”.
Little Fat Lamb Alcoholic Hard Apple… no it’s not a cider. It doesn’t use the word anywhere on the bottle. They were careful about that. The marketing department blur the lines and the retailers straight up chuck it in the cider fridge.
Henry of Harcourt is a bit of a rare breed of cider makers. Every year they make a series of ciders only made from one type of apple in each. This gives cider fans a chance to isolate an individual apple flavour removing variables like terroir and seasonality of these single variety ciders.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in a Sydney beach side suburb, I sat down with a few friends to compare the 5 single variety ciders, The Yarlington Mill, Dabinett, Michelin, De Boutteville, Chatagnier. I’m going to break this down with a video and some individual takes on the different apples.