Willie Smiths have always been influenced by the French cider makers. It’s been evident over the years in their quest for French style funk. The French Blend is the pinnacle of this quest.

15 French apple varieties go into Willie Smith’s French Blend. As with last week’s cider the Orchard Reserve, the trend is to use many different apple varieties in order to give it lots of depth of flavour.

Willie Smiths French Blend Bottle
Many of the apples have slightly overlapping flavour profiles So blending can help even out season variations. This cider was awarded a Silver medal in Octobers Australian Cider awards in the Traditional Medium Sweet Cider category with a score of 88 out of 100. Willie Smiths French Blend Cider Review

The Nose

The French Blend starts off with caramalised apples but quickly fades into the freshly baked Anzac Biscuits with plenty of golden syrup. Yeah there is something quite oaty about this cider

The Taste

The first impression is this is Orange Fanta for grown-ups.  This cider is full of juicy fruit flavours, namely navel oranges and well I’m trying to liken it to an eating apple but I’m struggling a bit. There is a bit of a royal gala flavour mid-way through the sip but it’s faint and fleeting. It’s a full-bodied cider with a lot of depth. It’s got a little more sweetness that you’d probably expect from a Willie Smiths Cider but it’s no lolly water.  That sweetness falls off faster than a drunk on a unicycle, as the dry and chalky finish takes over.

Final Thoughts on Willie Smith French Blend

I have got to admit I need to do a lot more studying (drinking) of French ciders. For me, and the little bit I know about them, they tend to be sweeter and funky like a horse’s blanket with complexity to spare. Willie Smith’s French Blend doesn’t have much funk but it is a little bit sweeter than normal. Not to mention it go more complexity than the reasons for the Gilets jaunes protests.

A few years ago complex ciders and drinkable ciders were polar opposites but these days that’s all changed. It’s easy to get lost in a good cider like the French blend in the same way you would get lost in a good book. The French Blend fits that category.

Product Willie Smith’s French Blend 2018
Company Willie Smith’s
Sweetness Medium Sweet
ALC/VOL 6.3%
Website williesmiths.com.au
Country of Origin Australia
Region Houn Valley, Tasmania