Willie Smith’s have set me a challenge. Pint or flute, flute or pint. The Traditional 2017 Cider has been in the planning for several years. Finally, I get to see what the Willie Smiths Traditional 2017 Cider is all about.
In order to make this cider, Willie Smiths had to use old French and English Cider apples. The only way to get enough of them to make a cider at a commercial scale was to grow their own. Which meant waiting and waiting for the trees to grow. Which is a lot like watching grass grow only slower.
You can almost see a layer of organically earthier scents floating about a rich cloudy cider. A few Kingston Black apples stand out with some leathery goodness.
Not as dry as a dirt track, not as tannic as stewed black tea but it is instantly recognizable as a Willie Smiths. All of traditional French and English apples give a wide range of Christmas spices, to horses barnyard, to candied orange peel. Layers of complexity work to merge smoothly. It finishes with a flourish of mineral water (not that there is any added water) before leaving you with a pinch of floral apple and a punch of tannin.
This tastes like what Tim Jones and the guys have been striving for over the last few years.
Final Thoughts on Willie Smith’s Traditional 2017 Cider
The quality of ciders coming out of Willie Smith’s keeps improving, this being a prime example. I keep coming back to my original question. I don’t know how to serve this cider. On one hand, it has as much complexity and a wine glass would help capture the scent and let you sip away at it like a nice bottle of red. On the other I’ve had this on tap, it’s not so high in alcohol that you can’t enjoy a few pints because it’s very easy to drink. Put it on the shopping list.
|Willie Smiths Traditional 2017
|Country of Origin
|Houn Valley, Tasmania