Gurney Cider Orchard Reserve is one of a new strain of cider hitting the shelves at the moment, showing off the newer trees in the orchard to create deeper flavours.
The irony of these newer trees is that they are trees that have been growing in the UK and France for generations. The Orchard Reserve uses 27 different types of apples, most of which I have never heard off. After a little bit of research, I found that many of these apples aren’t going to be your first choice for a single variety cider. Not to mention that there wouldn’t be enough of any in one season to make a product line. Cider, like old world wines, really shines when the different varieties are blended together.
You might ask “with 27 variety blended together does any one type make a difference?” Well probably not, but again these trees are young and haven’t reached their full cropping potential yet. Once the orchard is up to full yield, the apples will be grouped in bittersweet, bitter sharp, sharp and sweet. This way the cider maker can strive to achieve a consistent product by mixing the sweetness, acids and tannins from these four groups.
These apples were picked in early 2018 and the Gurneys Orchard Reserve is on the shelves now. That is a very quick turnaround for a vintage cider.
Apple pomace, peaches and a bit of black board chalk backed up by a little touch of milk chocolate in the Gurneys Orchard Reserve.
Surprisingly fresh and vibrant. Gurneys Orchard Reserve has 27 apples in the blend, like a well-drilled military squad none of them are out of step, together they move as a cohesive unit. Added to that fresh vibe is a peppermint undertone, I’d love to know which apples contribute to that flavour. The sediment at the bottom of the bottle adds to the cloudy disposition of this blend. I did try and keep most of the sediment in the bottle but could not resist an ill-advised shot of lees. If you are curious about that taste is was toasty tending towards Vegemite. While this is an interesting experiment and not unpleasant, but it’s best to avoid this getting into your glass.
Final Thoughts on Gurneys Orchard Reserve
Some ciders are making a great first impression, they are an instant wow. The orchard reserve is a slow burning, a bit of a hoarder. Cling onto this bottle keep it for yourself because it grows on you like rust on an abandoned share bike in a creek. It gets better the more you sip. Maybe even hold onto it for a few months before drinking it just to let it settle into to its own groove. Or drink it now it’s still very good.
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