A short drive north of Cardiff, Wales is a village called, Pontypridd. I can tell my spell check is going to be working over time tonight. Anyway, Pontypridd, is where you will find the Gwynt y Ddraig Cider and Perry company. What started off as a hobby in the back shed has turned into an award winning cider house. I found a couple of bottles of their Gwynt Y Ddraig Black Dragon Traditional Farmhouse Cider
The Black Dragon is a Welsh farmhouse style cider. This style is very similar to other farmhouse ciders from the right hand cider of the border in Herefordshire. The only real difference is the labels on Welsh ciders often look like a bag of dropped Scrabble tiles. For the record Gwynt Y Ddraig roughly translated from Welsh means wind dragon.
The Black Dragon has won a swag of awards in the UK most notably the Overall Champion at the Hereford Championships in 2010. Today Gwynt Y Ddraig do sell in Australia but only in speciality bottle shops.
It’s got that dark apple goodness, with biting scent that British ciders have in spades. You wouldn’t want any more of it or it would be venturing into the egg salad zone. Where it sits it’s just right.
There is no denying the fruitiness of the Black Dragon, there is a whole lot of traditional cider apples being shown off. I’d put money guessing that more than a handful of Kingston Blacks went into this one. I’m enjoying the healthy tannin structure, it sucks just enough out of your cheeks to want to go back for more to have it all put back in by the fresh cider apple kick. The whole thing is rounded out with a few bitter notes.
The Black Dragon is nearly a still cider, you could probably count the bubbles in your pint. The difference between light, bubble modern ciders and this old world style of cider in this is clear. The Black Dragon suits its heritage. It’s thick and chewy, like a proper farmhouse cider. I like ciders with a sense of place and that place is the main flavour of the Black Dragon.
Final Thoughts on Gwynt Y Ddraig Black Dragon
Firstly, why am I drinking this from a bottle? Gwynt Y Ddraig sells the Black Dragon on draught. That’s how I want to be drinking this by the pint in a quiet Welsh pub.
It’s been a few years since I was last in Wales. The air was fresh, a couple of snow flakes where settling out side the pub. Inside was warm and cozy. I can imagine being back there sipping a pint of Black Dragon loosing a game of Scrabble to the local with an extra pair of L’s and a sly Y hidden up his sleeve.
|Company||Gwynt Y Ddraig|
|Alc/Vol||6.5%Bottled. 7.2% Draught|
|Country of Origin||British|
September 27, 2015
This looks awesome–thanks for sharing! I love a rich full flavored cider. The color on that one is lovely too. I haven’t seen any Welsh cider in my area, but we do get some pretty good other European imports. The one that impressed me the most lately was Sheppy’s Oak Matured.
September 28, 2015
Is this the Sheppy’s one you like? I enjoyed that one too.
September 28, 2015
Hugh: Yes! Its pretty awesome. One of the few barrel aged ciders I’ve tried that I would describe as having a heavy barrel influence. Here’s my review: https://cidersays.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/sheppys-oak-matured-somerset-vintage/
March 8, 2016
The Ponty Boyo’s will be confused by the description of their town as a village. They will be happy with the review though, and I have to agree.
My local (in central England) has just put their ‘Dog Dancer’ on. Hoping to get down there for a sample in the next day or so. Lucky me….
March 9, 2016
Tried the Dog Dancer last night. I’ll just say that it’s another that you might enjoy when you finally make that trip to the mythical pub in the wet & windy west of the UK! (Also had a pint of Orchard Pig’s Hog Father – bleddy lovely).
November 5, 2021
Just been reading your comments about Gwynt y Ddraig and felt I have to correct you on something you noted. Being first language Welsh I must tell you that the meaning of the name is not wind dragon at all, but the dragon’s wind (or better still Dragon’s breath would be more apt which is probably what the producers were aiming for seeing that they used a dragon!)
I hope you don’t mind that I have commented on this, and look forward immensely to tasting Gwynt y Ddraig Cider soon!
November 13, 2021
That makes more sense, Thanks Pat. As they say, every day is a school day.
November 13, 2021
Glad to have been of help. Tried the cider last weekend abd loved it. (The Gold one)
Not sure if £’d kike the other one, maybe too dry for me!