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|