Sometimes cidermakers make a cider that will have a wide appeal, to sell well and get their name out there. Sometimes they cut loose, experiment a bit and make something they want to drink. When you get your hands on one like that it’s probably something you want to pay attention to. That’s the back story for Lost Pippin’s Special Release 2014.
I love Aussie cider makers. For years they have been making excellent ciders with eating apples a little too ugly for the supermarket. Always knowing that if they wanted a deeper, more complex cider they would need different apples, completely unsuitable for your lunch box. Waiting patiently, for these different, heritage, cider apple trees to grow.Then in the last couple of seasons, these trees have begun fruiting. Now the cider makers have the skills, they have the fruit so now is the perfect time to try something different.
I spoke with Mark from Lost Pippen, he said the blend is pretty similar to the Heritage I tried a few weeks back, with the mix of Yarlington Mill, Michelin, Somerset Red Streak, Frequin Rouge.The only difference being the lack of eating apples in the Special Release. This blend spends 8 months fermenting in oak barrels. Plenty of time in contact with the lees and the oak softens everything.
Oh wow, this is what a good cider should smell like. Musky, tart, astringent. This could be a French sweaty horse but it’s restrained. It could be medicinal but it is balanced, It could be approaching a cider vinegar but Lost Pippin knows exactly what they are doing with this handmade Special Release 2014.
Fresh, Balanced, Complexed. Straight off the bat, I’ve got to mention that this is a 2014 vintage cider but it is still incredibly fresh. When I picked up the bottle, I thought that a 3-year-old cider should be all caramelly and like a baked apple, but this is as fresh as a cider fermented out this season.
Bottle fermentation has left plenty of sediment in the bottle. Which got mostly mixed into the cider as I took the photos of the bottle. There were still plenty of #chunkybits still at the bottom of the bottle but it was stirred up enough to make it properly cloudy. Which gives it a bit of a yeast bread taste. The yeast and oak make it so smooth.
There are plenty of bitter sharp apples in the cider with the bitter sweets balancing it out. It doesn’t have any harsh corners it’s pretty smooth for such a dry cider.
The smallest illusion of lemon soda water to finish it off. Just a lovely little fresh finish.
Final Thought on the Special Release
This has very quickly become one of my favourite ciders. Dry and smooth with a little yeasty funk and the slightest amount of bitterness. Yes, there is a layer of sediment at the bottle of the bottle, but seriously, if that is putting you off you need to take a long hard look at yourself. Alternatively, if you let sit in the fridge until tomorrow night it’ll settle down. Then you can pour it carefully for a less cloudy drink. There is a suggestion that the next vintage could be disgorged to help with the clarity. I normally compare a cider to a wine or a beer, sometimes a food pairing. Lost Pippin’s Special Release 2014 is a cider for cider’s sake. Mark put it best: “It is individual, traditional and the kinda cider a cider maker wants to drink.”
I can’t put my finger on it but I just like it.
|Special Release 2014
|Country of Origin
|Coal River Valley, Tasmania