Down in deepest, darkest Somerset, the Sheppy Family started making cider around 200 years ago. In the Great British summer of 2013 that family picked cider apples from the Three Bridges Farm, they then age that young cider in oak barrels. But is it worth the title of Sheppy’s Vintage Reserve 2013?

200 odd years ago Sheppy’s started making ciders and to put that into perspective, back in Australia there was no Cider industry, We would have to wait around another 50 years until we start to see any formal apple growing.

With this much history it was only natural that Sheppy’s started a small museum showcasing the equipment and stories collected over the years.

The Nose

This year’s Vintage Reverse is thick and full traditional British cider smell. It the type of thing that only comes from using proper cider apples and oak barrels.

The Taste

There is a tannin structure strong enough to prop up a bridge. That bridge is made of solid oak. Oh so much oak. To further this already laboured metaphor, I’m not sure why they built a bridge. It’s so dry there’s nothing for it go over.

Up front there is a lot of sweet fruitiness but that only lasts for a moment before the tannin takes over. Sheppy’s have made this cider very lightly sparkling to the eye but once it hits your mouth it wakes many more little prickly bubbles. The Vintage Reserve and it’s combination of proper cider apples and time spent in oak barrels, give real bitterness almost sourness, sucking in your cheeks. It doesn’t lend itself to being paired with many foods. It’s just too bold and deserves its’ own time slot on your tongue. I noticed that sweetness becomes a little more prevalent as the pint warms.

Final Thoughts on Sheppy’s Vintage Reserve 2013

I really enjoyed that first half-second of each mouthful of Sheppy’s Vintage Reserve. In that moment the fruit is king. If Sheppy’s started in 1816 then that means they have had around 198 years of practice at cider making, it does seems to suggest that practice makes perfect. Saying that if you’ve been enjoying they great Aussie sweeter ciders this may be a challenge for you, but I think it’s accessible enough that is worth a try.

Product Sheppy’s Vintage Reserve 2013
Company Sheppy’s
Sweetness Off dry
Alc/Vol 7.4%
Country of Origin England
Region Taunton, Somerset

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