Carlton United’s “craft by acquisition” brand Matilda Bay has a new Cider that fits into their branding a little bit better than their Dirty Granny Cider. This is the Lumber Yak.

The Lumber Yak has a big responsibility. This Cider will be the Cider sold in the craft section of your average suburban Aussie pub. It’ll be sold as part of a deal when the management buy a few of Carlton United’s beers and get this cider pretty cheap. That means this will be many people’s first Cider or it may be the Cider that many people compare all future ciders against or their only choice. That means even if this is a cheaper mass produced one, it has a duty to educate the consumer.Lumber Yak Cider Review

Matilda Bays Lumber Yak absolutely fails at this even before I’ve knocked the top off this bottle. The label around the neck says “Cold Brewed Cider”. I’ve said it before, to brew means to boil. How do you cold boil Cider? Beer is boiled during it’s production. If you boil apple juice it will ruin the delicate flavours and lose all of the freshness. Basically your going to have a bad day. I think Matilda Bay meant to say cold fermented Cider.

But hey it says it’s made from 100% Australian apples. I bet there is some added water as well.

The Nose

Over ripe green apples boarding on a caramel. There are undertones on cream and maybe a strawberry or two.

The Taste

Very mellow, no acids no tannins just a little bit weak. The bottle says crisp refreshing Cider. Couldn’t they find another word other than crisp? Do people expect a Cider to be crisp just because an eating apple is crisp? I expected a “crisp” Cider to be high in acid and the finish should be short and sharp not hanging around in my mouth. While the Lumber Yak isn’t a lingerer, it isn’t crisp it just doesn’t have the acid profile to punch out the finish. That over-ripe apple flavour is in the forefront. Textually the Lumber Yak is quite round and creamy.

To me this is very much like a muted Magners. So if you have every thought, “actually this Magners has too much flavour for me”, then the Lumber Yak is probably worth a try.

Final Thoughts Matilda Bay’s Lumber Yak

I had relatively high hopes for this Cider. Matilda Bay has a pretty good standing in the beer world. Not at the top of the class but people are happy to drink it and Matilda Bay has introduced people to different styles of beers. I was hoping for the same educational experience here, but it just gets too many things wrong. Probably more importantly the flavour just isn’t strong enough to make it truly appealing.

Product Lumber Yak
Company Matilda Bay
Sweetness Medium Sweet
Alc/Vol 4>5%
Website yak-ales.com.au/
Country of Origin Australia
Region Victoria