The Canberra outfit has just released the 3 Sons Kingston Black Cider, a single variety cider made possible by the maturing of Australia’s cider scene.
Single variety ciders are not a traditional way of making cider. Normally it is very difficult to use one apple to get a well-balanced cider. Not many apples hit the bitterness, the tannin and the sugar levels in the correct ratios. The Kingston Black is about as close to that magic ratio as you can find. However, in this case, 3 Sons have added in a small percentage of other cider apples, namely the Sweet Alford, Sturmer Pippin, Dabinett, Cimetire de Blangy to, as Doug the cider maker says, “to round out finished mouth feel”.

This is building on last year’s Cranky Pom Cider, which was a blend of many English cider apples but with growing trees and greater yields, it’s possible for 3 Sons to make a nearly 100% Kingston Black Cider.

An ingredients list done right.

The Nose

A warm and inviting mix of marmalade, meadow flowers and citrus peel. That’s the cool thing about Kingston Black Ciders, it doesn’t need to be a stereotypical apple scent but it’s still 100% apples. It goes to prove you don’t need to be running around adding mango and jalapeno or whatever the craze is at the moment to get a complex flavour.

The Taste

3 Sons Kingston Black hits with a big bitter bite which fades into a tropical fruit punch. There is some banana and caramelized apples even some sour cherry without any sweetness. While advertised as a still cider, there are one or 2 visible bubbles forming slow columns in the dark orange hazy cider. It’s dry, it’s got a full mouth feel, it’s for a rolling bitter finish, this is dangerously good at 7%. In fact, I drunk the first bottle before I could take any notes.

Final Thoughts on the 3 Sons Kingston Black

I love Kingston Black ciders, so I hold them to a very high standard. Doug from 3 Sons Cider has a track record of spending many hours blending and tasting to home in on that flavour he has in his head. That method is on display again with a careful blend of other tiny amounts of other cider apples in, to take it to the next level.  This cider needs to be served in a pint glass on a rainy night with a good game of rugby on the telly. I might have to take this over to New Zealand or Scotland because I can’t remember the last time it rained here and the less said about the Wallabies the better. At least I have a pint glass.
We are only halfway through the year and just entering new release season, but this could be the best new release of the year.

Product Kingston Black Cider
Company 3 Sons Cider
Sweetness Dry
Alc/Vol 7%
Country of Origin Australia
Region Canberra, ACT

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