After my years of badgering and terrible cider, Carlton & United Breweries have released a cider that contains apple juice. Yes, that’s right CUBs new cider; Bonamy’s Apple Cider, contains “whole pressed apples” and ” No concentrates and no added sugar”. So does that mean that the Bonamy is a good cider?

Let’s get the controversy out of the way first. Bonamy is made in Tasmania at the Cascade brewery, so naturally, they used a map of Tasmania on their branded tap ornaments and coasters. The only problem is Willie Smith’s have been using this motif since they launched back in 2012.

The other thing that worries me about Bonamy’s Apple cider is that CUB is treating it like a white wine. They use white wine yeast, which, in fairness, is fairly commonly used in cider. But the Just the vibe tells me CUB is just taking winemaking skills and applying it to cider.  they say “The making of Bonamy’s shares many similarities to winemaking”. To me, that’s like calling a triathlete a cyclist, there is just a lack of passion for the subject. You end up with a guy on a bike without socks wearing a sleeveless vest and arm warmers or a boring cider.

The winemaker touts the use of a high yield press to squeeze every drop of juice out of the apples. I guess CUB are thinking if we are going to use real juice then we’re going to use all of it. Interestingly other cidermakers are using softer, lower yielding pressing techniques. This is the extra virgin juice, and it’s being rediscovered as a more desirable ingredient

The Nose

The first thing I got was wood. Oak is often used in cider but not here. It doesn’t seem like oak. It’s more like eucalyptus. Some pear-like notes, swing through. As it warms up, more smells come through. The most interesting are what I’m going to call a “Box of new shoes”, a combination of leather, rubber and cardboard. How did CUB manage that? I’m not calling it a good or a bad thing, it is interesting, though.

The Taste

It is just lacking the punch I’d expect from a cider made without concentrate.  There are surprisingly an amount of pear flavours.  The acids are lacking a little bit which makes it come across slightly milky.  The lack of acid doesn’t help with the long lingering sweet finish. Late in the game, a heavily oxidised apple flavour comes through. There are may aspects that remind me of Hills Apple Cider but with much less acid leading to a lack of balance.

Final Thoughts on Bonamy’s Apple Cider

Bonamy’s Apple Cider is the opposite of the undrinkable terrible Little Green Apple Cider. It’s completely unremarkable and that is a massive improvement. I bought a four pack of the Bonamy and drank them all. Would I buy it again? No, I don’t see any reason to. It’s fine. Boring but inoffensive. At least Carlton & United have chosen to buy Aussie apples and that is a commendable effort. Meh.

Product Bonamy’s Apple Cider
Company Tasmanian Cider Co. (Carlton & United Breweries)
Sweetness Medium sweet
Alc/Vol 4.0%
Country of Origin Australia
Region Tasmania

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