Harcourt Cider has been busy drying out their original Harcourt Apple Cider. After 40,000 litres of testing and 2 years honing the recipe, they have dropped the new Harcourt Dry Cider onto the market.

The thing that really grabbed me about the original, was the floral factor. The granite soils, cool growing season and the bright sunshine to ripen the apples, packing them full of flavour. When it came time to press the apples, it was done gently. Extra virgin apple juice. Pressing and fermenting is managed at 13C. This helps keep those volatile aromatics intact, so you know it will smell good. The juice isn’t separated from some of the finer particles. The goal of this is to help thicken up the mouth feel.

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So the interesting thing here is how they get it to the perfect level of dryness. While the label says dry there is some sweetness. In 2 years of testing, Harcourt found that back sweetening with fresh juice worked best. That is after fermenting the juice until all the sugar has been exhausted by the yeast, a dash of fresh juice is added back in. The net result is about 8-12 grams of sugar per litre compared to 20 grams per litre in the lowest sugar cider made by Carlton United Breweries.

From here it is a relatively straight forward process of cross-filtering and injecting the CO2 on the bottling line.

The Nose

Superbly fresh apple skin with bright floral blossom. I think I can smell a little bit of cherry or some other red fruit hiding in freshness. I have tried other ciders that were very similar but with more of a sulphurous nose, gladly, even though preservative 220 – sulphur dioxide is used it is invisible to my nose.

The Taste

Delicate yet sharp. With a nice semi-dryness there is nowhere for the shape acids to hide, so they stand tall. Wave bubbles force the cider around your mouth exciting every taste bud an uplifting freshness. The flavour hangs around like the last bite of a granny smith. As my pint warms and the fizz dies down, a dash of raspberry reveals itself.

Final Thoughts

As I drink the cider I can’t help but think what should I eat with my next bottle of Harcourt Dry Cider. There are 2 polar opposites. You could go for something delicate like sushi-mi or use that dryness and acid to cut through pork spare ribs or a juicy burger.

Yeah, I very much enjoyed this cider. I think this season’s trend of dry, aromatic ciders are a real winner. The 40,000 test litre were not wasted.

Product Apple Cider
Company Harcourt Perry and Cider Makers
Sweetness Off Dry
Alc/Vol  7%
Website HarcourtCider.com.au
Country of Origin Australia
Region Harcourt, Victoria

Sample provided By Harcourt Cider

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