Spreyton Cider has a long history in the Tasmanian apple industry. First Spreyton Township grew the apples, then a juicing company, Spreyton Fresh, was formed. More progress came when Spreyton Cider was born. Now they are pushing the envelope, breaking new ground by adding hops to the Spreyton Dark Cider.
I’ve said before a good real cider has one ingredient, apples. Two if you count the yeast that helps it all along. From these two ingredients a world of flavours and styles can be derived. Hops’ claim to fame is being the bittering agent in beer. However its antibacterial properties can help prevent infections in the brew and it makes a great natural preservative.
Hopped ciders first showed up in the US a few years ago. Over in the US in the craft beer scene has seen an explosion in experiments with hops. Wet hops, dry hops, different varieties, you name it somebody is trying it. Apples and hops grow in the same regions so it was only matter of time before someone dropped some hops into the fermentation tank. In this case it’s apple grown in Spreyton’s orchards: Fuji’s and Red Delicious, while the hops is also locally grown.
This is one of the most aromatic ciders I have ever tried. It’s all about hops, which are fresh and citrus. This completely dominates everything. I can’t get a trace of the apples no matter how deep I stick my nose into the pint of cloudy cider.
The texture is very creamy with light carbonation. Bitterness is the key here, hops being a key bittering agent. There is a light sweetness but that is upstaged by the hops. The finish is very long with the hops being last to leave. Not being a beer drinker it’s hard to get a point of comparison but the bitterness does hang around like a beer (going from distant memories). As the cider warms more of the sweet fruity apples come to the fore. Even then it’s still all about the hops.
Final Thoughts on Spreyton Dark Cider
think I prefer the smell to the taste. The first time I tried Spreyton Dark Cider I had to take a second to recalibrate what I had just tasted. That blonde cloudy liquid coupled with the distinctive scent could trick an onlooker to think you have a schooner of wheat beer made with the attention to the aromatics that would be at home in the Portland craft beer scene. Deep down this is based on a decent cider. Spreyton should be commended on trying something different. Not only might this drink introduce craft beer fans to ciders but hopefully, as the use of hops in cider becomes more practised, it may reduce or eliminate the need to use sulphites as preservatives. Spreyton Dark is worth a try especially if you’re like me and are just plain curious about what apples and hops taste like together.
|Product||Spreyton Dark Cider|
|Company||Spreyton Cider Co|
|Country of Origin||Australia|