I’ve been looking forward to reviewing Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider. To understand this real cider you need to understand its heritage. Back in 1888 Willie Smith planted an apple orchard. Today these apples are hand-picked to make a cloudy French farmhouse style cider.
Willie Smiths orchard is nestled down in Tasmania’s Huon Valley. Where the air is said to be some of the purest air in the world and some of the freshest rain comes direct from the south pole. All this makes for great conditions growing apples. Willie Smiths are doing their best to maintain this environment by becoming fully organic certified. They claim this can improve the nutritional value of the cider. This is the truer to form, to Willie Smiths it is the traditional way. They don’t need anything artificial, in the soil or the cider. They care about their farm, their drinkers, and Tasmania. I love the fact that they’re not letting a multi-nation agribusiness prescribe their newest “Ultra Root Booster” or “Caterpillar Killer 1000” for a short-term gain. Knowing that long-term they will harm the ecosystem of the orchard long-term. Willie Smiths knows that the Huon Valley is a fundamental part of their cider. It is an asset worth preserving .
The cider is aged for up to 8 months. 6 months in French oak barrels. Then the batches are blended for consistency, before being aged another 2 months for the flavours to mellow into each other.
Earthy organic musk with a light citrus, lime noise in the background.
The father son team are taking the traditions of French cider making and are applying it to create a cloudy cider. While it doesn’t look like the traditional dark orange colour of a French farm-house cider. The taste how ever is very much there. Barnyard funk is interesting like a well aged Brie cheese. The funk is balanced with fresh red apples and a dash of mint. It’s every bit as complex as its French counterparts. The oak barrels used for aged has imparted a subtle woody flavour.
This Organic cider is rich and buttery with a delicate bead. On the heavier end on the spectrum but still finishes crisp.
At 5.4% it forces you to drink it slowly to contemplate the complex structures typical of French farmhouse and cloudy ciders.
Some ciders are for hot summers afternoon. Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider is a slower drink. The butteryness lends itself to being in a warm pub on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Perhaps presiding over a debate that can only happen in the pub.
Final Thoughts on Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider
Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider is complex yet approachable. If you have been drinking a mainstream, mass-produced, over ice cider you will see the taste is one-dimensional, thin and some what appley. Willie’s on the other hand has layer after layer of flavour. All of the flavour is natural from apples grown organically. It is a slowly made cider for a quiet weekend.
|Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider
|Country of Origin
|Houn Valley, Tasmania