Henry of Harcourt is a bit of a rare breed of cider makers. Every year they make a series of ciders only made from one type of apple in each. This gives cider fans a chance to isolate an individual apple flavour removing variables like terroir and seasonality of these single variety ciders.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in a Sydney beach side suburb, I sat down with a few friends to compare the 5 single variety ciders, The Yarlington Mill, Dabinett, Michelin, De Boutteville, Chatagnier. I’m going to break this down with a video and some individual takes on the different apples.
All of these are made in broadly the same way. Each are, as the name suggests made from just one type of apple. All from the same orchard, picked in the same season. The production is kept simple. Gently fermented and bottle conditioned.
It’s a classic cider apple. It’s deep earthy tones are instantly recognizably. The light carbonation shows off the delicate textures of the tannins. A few minerals in the back ground finish it off.
Pushing more tannins and floral aromas up a little from the Yarlington Mill. The tannins really suck your cheeks in. With 10% alcohol a little heat is noticeable, a quality only exasperated by the extreme dryness. A little bitterness as well.
Smooth, rich, and floral. What more could you want. Coming off the other two the smoothness is a standout feature, think of it like vanilla custard with a berry or two.
While all of these are bottle conditioned cider, The De Boutteville had most typical bottle conditioned bubbles. It’s those big round bubbles that form a moose of those subtle tones. The Floral aroma is really very good.
Yep its a tough apple to pronounce but very easy to drink. The acids are key here. I think a bit of age had helped it mellow out and be shaped like a Granny Smith Cider. The Chatgnier is the only one of these French ciders that is giving me any of the classic barnyard or horse flavours.
All in, these ciders are good to drink as a bunch of nice single variety ciders. But what was interesting to me was the difference in how the tannins affected the texture. Ranging from smooth custard to mouth puckering. For a cider geek like me it did help understand this apples. I can see how these apples combine to a really nice cider. I’m going to have to track down a bottle blended by Henry’s of Harcourt.
|Product||various single variety ciders|
|Company||Henry Of Harcourt|
|Alc/Vol||Between 8% and 10%|
|Country of Origin||Australia|