Daylesford Cider had been channelling their British roots again when it came time for Farmhouse Dry. This 2015 vintage cider is made from organic heritage apples and is completely devoid of bubbles.
A few weeks back I had a look at the ‘Alf ‘n’ ‘Alf and whilst it features more apostrophes and sweetness than the Farmhouse Dry, there are a lot of similarities between the two. Both are still ciders, no bubbles, think wine, not champagne. Both use the organically grown apples from the Daylesford orchards. They made the choice early on, to plant apples famous for their cider making pedigree, including all the classics; Somerset Red Streak, Yarlington Mill, Kingston Black, Dabinett among others.
When you hear the words vintage cider, what they really mean is that all the apples in that bottle are from one season. With non-vintage ciders, the cider maker blends some of the previous season maturing cider to the mix in order to get a consistent product. But a vintage cider will have natural and encouraged variation. Remember that season’s weather will affect the apples taste.
A thick rich scent oozes out of the bottle almost chocolaty in its lusciousness. Heavily overripe apple dominate. Some lighter ciders rely on the fizz to whip up the scent. The Farmhouse Dry has enough of the pleasant perfume that the lack of effervescence isn’t hindering its efforts.
The Farmhouse Dry is completely still so it rolls effortlessly around your mouth. It’s a battle between the tannins and the bitters. Bucket loads of smooth oxidised apple juice hit you in the first wave. Then the bitterness of those old English apples come next. There is just enough sweetness to smooth out the cider. The finish leaves you with a dry mouth thanks to the tannins coupled with a long lasting rich cooked apple goodness. It’s best if it’s not too cold, cellar temperature as they say. That’ll let the massive flavour profile be fully pronounced.
Final Thoughts on the Farmhouse Dry
The Farmhouse Dry is one of those ciders that is probably more similar to a bottle of wine than your average cider. Although is comes in a 330ml bottle there is nothing stopping you from pouring it into 2 wine glasses. The flavour is pretty bold. It’s worth drinking it slowly and should be paired with food.
While a traditional Farmhouse Dry is meant to be drunk by the pint with a ploughman’s lunch, I think Daylesford’s take on the Farmhouse Dry is a little more refined tending towards a wine. It should still be drunk with lunch but perhaps with the Sunday roast.
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