Two Metre Tall is probably the most diverse producer that I have reviewed. Not only do they produce top notch cider but beef and beers as well. The 600ha small farm is in a pretty unique position in the Derwent Valley, low rain fall but access to the Derwent River. The apple are grown in the Huon Valley . But one of the most interesting things about this cider is the example that it provides to other Cider makers and the Australian government in regards to what should be on a label.
Each Farmhouse Dry is bottle conditioned. This means that the final step in the production process, secondary fermentation, happens after the bottle is sealed for shipment to consumers. There is an element of risk here that the conditions may not be quite right for the yeast to behave as it should, which could cause deviation from the desired flavour. Because of this The Two Metre Tall Company has numbered every bottle with a vintage (season or year of production) and bottle number. For my review I had two bottles from the 2013 vintage, numbered 0329 and 0332. Both bottled on the 21st of November 2013. This gives full traceability to the consumer.
The Real Tasmanian Apple Cider label goes on to list the ingredients. Sturmer Pippins, wild and cultured yeast and glucose, a form of sugar with a neutral flavour. The glucose is used to give the yeast one last meal in order to make the now sealed bottle fizzy. A detailed ingredients list is something clearly and most likely deliberately missing from the last cider I reviewed Again, unlike the last review which was a dull monochrome drink, the Two Metre Tall educates the consumer that there will be variation between batches. This could be seasonal which would effect the make up of the apples or it could be environmental. One bottle may have received a small amount less glucose, which could result in a flatter cider. This written on the bottle label, it’s not a warning label instead an invitation to embrace the seasonality of the product. The wine world has been embracing this for years. Where an exceptional wine vintage can demand massive premiums. Can the cider world learn to do the same? Or are the big corporate players to busy reinforcing uniformity? I hope we can learn to love the seasonal nature of our fresh produce.
Two Metre Tall leave everything that was an apple, in the bottle. The Cider is unfiltered, filtered leaving the yeast and the apple particles in the drink. This keeps the flavour in as well as any nutritional value contained within. No sulphur dioxide as was added. Traditionally used to inhibit the grow of micro-organisms (including yeast) to keep the product fresher for longer. By not adding SO2 the Cider is still live. If you were to put it away for a year or two the flavour would develop. I would have a hard time doing this.
The Farmhouse Dry is a lovely golden straw colour with a cloudiness you would expect from a farm house style cider.
A nice balance between fresh apple and farmhouse earthiness. It’s almost smoky but the most impressive thing here is the freshness.
A Smooth uncomplicated dryness. This is just as dry as the Willies Bone Dry Cider but without the dustiness instead the is a fruity freshness, a tart finish the hangs around nicely. There seems to be more tannins than most other cider due to the old English Sturmer Pippin apple. The bottle conditioning give a healthy amount of sparkle and bit of carbon dioxide acidity. The surprising thing here is how appley the Farmhouse Dry is, its just like a freshly picked Granny Smith. It’s approachable yet complex enough to keep you thinking. This is a cider fans cider yet would be great to share with friends who need there eyes opened to the world of exciting Real Ciders.
I tried the Two Metre Tall Apple Cider with a buttery nutty brie. Together the paired give a lovely smooth and creamy mouth feel, with a light acidity from the CO2 bubbles to provide some cut through.
Final Thoughts on Two Metre Tall Real Apple Cider
More importantly than fact that Two Metre Tall are setting the bar for good labeling practices, is the fact that this is a very enjoyable cider. The dryness is with out a trace of sugar yet there is a freshness and fruitiness of an apple picked straight from the tree.
If you like dry cider or anything with a big flavour the Two Metre Tall Real Tasmanian Apple Cider should be right at the top of your shopping list.
|Product||Houn Valley Farmhouse Dry Real Tasmanian Apple Cider|
|Company||Two Metre Tall Brewing|
|Country of Origin||Australia|
|Region||Houn Valley, Tasmania|
July 15, 2014
Huon Valley? Huon River? Really? What’s up with that?
July 15, 2014
The Apples are from the Huon Vally but the cider is produced in the Derwent Region. I updated to post to clear this up.