One of things I love about reviewing English ciders is the history. Take this Bottle of Wilcox Cheddar Mill Yarlington Mill Medium Cider; you can trace its history all the way back to their first cider press which started work in 1868. History is one thing, but relying on the hard work of your great granddaddy alone does not make a good cider. Have Wilcox made a modern cider with their traditional training?

wilcox-cheddar-Mill--yarlington-millThe apples come from an orchard just south of a place called Martock in Somerset near Cheddar Gorge. Thanks to modern technology of Google Earth I now know that Cheddar Gorge is not the gap between 2 half blocks of cheese but in fact a pretty decent spot to grow your pommes.

Although to make this cider Wilcox only needed to grow one type of apple, as the label suggests, it is the Yarlington Mill. This, and I’m quoting from the NSW DPI here; “Medium, semi-spreading, precocious tree” is an absolute work horse when it comes to English cider. If you’ve had an English cider, chances are you’ve drunk some Yarlington Mill juice. Being a single variety cider you have to look at it as more like a fine wine. Think about the merits of that apple variety and terrier of the region.

Continuing to read the label does mention sweeteners have been added (not pictured) so I got in touch with Darren from Wilcox cider to ask about that.

The sweetener we use is called sucralose. The reason we use it to sweeten is we find that peoples’ taste is a lot different now a days and the trouble is that a lot of ciders say dry on the bottle but are more like a medium when you drink them. – Darren

I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking that there is a little bit of miss labelling going on in the industry. Interesting he has been taste testing it without the sweetener but as he said “does leave your mouth quite dry afterwards”

The Nose

Yarlington Mill Medium Cider has a no-nonsense farmhouse funk comes in first. Not eggy like some can get when that go too “farmhouse” but just enough to remind you of its providence.

The Taste

As the bottle says “Medium Cider” is an apt description. As you take a mouthful, you get a strong and full flavour of apple juice. It’s remarkably well-balanced for a single variety cider. It doesn’t sway too far sweet or sour, dry or bitter. As those juicy Yarlington Mill’s fade into the background a hint of blackcurrant makes a cameo but that gives way to those famous Yarlington Mill tannins.

Final Thoughts on The Yarlington Mill

Regular readers will know I like my ciders dry, as dry as a wooden god sun-baking in the Sahara. So when I found out that Darren has a secret stash lacking in sucralose I got very jealous. One of the perks of the jobs I guess. As is this cider would appeal to a lot of people, like a blockbuster film. The sucralose free version would be like watching the film on DVD with the director’s commentary, something that only hard-core fans (like me) would enjoy. Yes this is a modern cider well executed thanks to traditional knowledge.

Product Yarlington Mill Medium Cider
Company Wilcox Cider
Sweetness Medium
Alc/Vol 5.4%
Country of Origin England
Region Somerset

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