A long time ago (this season) in a galaxy far, far away (Tasmania)…Willie Smiths dropped a new cider the STURMtrooper Mk2. Warning, bad Star Wars puns ahead, from a dude who has never seen Star Wars.

You may notice that this is the mk2 (not RD-D2), meaning that this is actually the second release of the cider. While not specifically designed as a vintage release it’s more of a refinement of an experiment.

“We are on a journey to excite people’s palates and enable them to explore the range of flavours traditional cider apples offer, Vs the relatively homogenous styles offered by mainstream ciders,” says Sam Reid, Co-Founder of Willie Smith’s. “At the same time we want to start bringing some level of consistency to our limited releases, and so those that have really excited drinkers we are endeavouring to repeat annually, as our apple crop allows”

So the STURMtrooper is a wild ferment using Sturmer Pippin, as well as a handful of eating apples and cider apples. Think of the ratio between Sturmers to the other apples as about equal to the ratio of little sentient teddy bear thingys to wookies in that forest scene. I have no idea what I’m talking about…..back to the cider. The Sturmer was one of the first apples imported into Australia because of its ability to survive the long trips.

The wild ferment is a risky move. It relies on the naturally occurring yeast on the apple skins. Which makes its way into the juice to kick start the ferment. The risk is that any particular season could have some bad yeast in the air.

The Nose

Sturmer apples giving it a west country pub vibe. It’s unmistakably a Willie’s Smith’s. There are heaps of that fresh rain on a sheep paddock that I keep coming back to.

The Taste

Again that Willie Smith’s signature is the first thing that hits you up. It’s the red dust in the nostrils It’s a little sourer than their typical blend. The Sturmer apples give it a warm and gripping personality.

Nice and smooth, actually comfortable. This is the cider equivalent of your old couch. Comfy but there is always more to find deep down in the back of it. The sweetness is barely noticeable. The finish has a nice little bit of bittersweet and a little bit of gummy tannin. It’s a slow sipper for the cold nights where you really let it soak in.

Final Thoughts on the STURMtrooper

If you are a fan of the regular editions of Willie Smith’s you’re going to find this familiar yet an exciting new cider.  If you have been chasing thicker, more tannic ciders your still going to like this one. If your a Star Wars fan, sorry I can’t help you. Just get out of the basement and get down to your local craft beverage pub before it disappears faster than the Star Wars Christmas Special. You know what I’m talking about.

Product Willie Smiths SturmTROOPER MK2
Company Willie Smith’s
Sweetness Medium Dry
ALC/VOL 5.4%
Website williesmiths.com.au
Country of Origin Australia
Region Houn Valley, Tasmania

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