Monkey Shines Brew Co are a new operation making a range of ciders. I’m going to start off looking at their Scrumpy Apple Cider. The cider is presented in a funky little 375ml can.
The Monkey Shines Brew Co’s Scrumpy Apple Cider is made from a blend of several varieties that are currently sourced from Victoria. It uses Australian apple juice with no concentrate used
Let’s jump right into the tasting
As soon as I crack open this can of Monkey Shines Brew Co’s Scrumpy Apple Cider I get a big old whack of florals. It was like opening the door to a florist. By the time my glass is full I’m double checking the can. Is this really Monkey Shines’ Scrumpy? The cider is very blonde with the finest of hazes. When I think of scrumpy I think British Scrumpy’s ciders, traditionally a rural working mans drink, thick with sediment and the dark orange of autumn leaves, fermented in barns and smelling like a barn yard animal. That barnyard smell is trying its hardest to come through, but it is masked by some sulphites. This gives a little bit of resemblance to a Herefordshire scrumpy.
Lots of sweet pink lady juice washes over. It is a little thin but there are hints of tropical fruit like passion-fruit and pineapple. Again, I’m reaching for the can to re-read it. It definitely says scrumpy, but this tastes nothing like a scrumpy. The Monkey Shines Scrumpy is light and bright with a fine carbonation bead. The taste of the 6.5% alcohol is well hidden.
Final Thoughts on Monkey Shines Brew Co Scrumpy Apple Cider
It’s not the best but it far from the worst on the cider market today. Using real apples really helps in that department.
During my tasting it became clear that this is much closer to a medium sweet new world cloudy cider than a scrumpy. I got in touch with the cider maker who said “We were really looking for a drier style of cider with a greater volume of tannin and mouthfeel than those currently on the market. However, it is still a commercial cider and as such is a cleaner, more fruit driven style than traditional scrumpy.”
Fruit driven; I can certainly agree with that, but there is no real tannin structure here. Being a commercial focused product rather than a niche craft product, it’s going be seen by lots of people. I believe it is the responsibility of commercial companies to educate the market if they are interested in a long-term viable product. Firstly, the product description for the Monkey Shines Brew co Scrumpy Apple Cider keeps mentioning how it was brewed. Yes, I bang on about this all the time. You brew a cup of tea or a batch of beer. Wine and real cider are made or fermented. Brewing means boiling. Yes, you could boil down the apple juice to make a concentrate, but a concentrate-based cider is going to be inferior and who wants to be associated with an inferior product.
Secondly maybe don’t call it a scrumpy. If I bought this and I was looking at an Aussies take on an English scrumpy I would be disappointed. It’s fizzy, relatively low tannin higher sweetness, the opposite of what most people look for in a good scrumpy. If it was labelled as the Monkey Shines Brew co – New World Cloudy, that, that would be a very compelling mass market product.
|Product||Scrumpy Apple Cider|
|Company||Monkey Shines Brew Co|
|Country of Origin||Australia|