Alabang, Manila, Philippines. Not the first place I’d travel to in search of quality cider. In fact most people I have spoken to here have never heard of it. But where there is a will there is a way. With some local knowledge I got my hands on a bottle of Casino Cidre Bouché Brut

Casino Cidre Bouche Brut RearDoing some school boy translation with help from Google translate,it tells me that Casino is a pretty large company making many products but at least they use organic apple juice at some stage during production. Beyond that there isn’t a lot I can tell you about the production methods or the company behind the label.

The Nose

Under the agraffe lurks a basic but full structure of a fresh cider. There is a slight sourness to it. And something that resembles apples that are way past their best. The smell here could be intimidating if you’re not ready for what a French cider can smell like. I’ve heard French ciders been described; as smelling likes a sweaty horse, sweaty horse being a desirable trait. I’m not getting that here but it is big and bold.

The Taste

After pouring Casino’s Bio Brut Cider into a little hotel glass I find a dark golden cider. There is a slight head but that vanishes as quickly as it formed.

The flavor is more complex than I was expecting. The “bio” cider is off dry, has a slight muskiness underneath a super ripe, basically over ripe apple flavor. There is the odd flash of sourness and a touch of acidity. The Second glass is better than the first.

Final Thoughts on The Bouché Brut

At first I didn’t like it, I’m not saying I loved it by the end of the bottle, but it makes sense as an approximation of a French cider. It feels like a cider that was created when somebody described a French cider over a bad Skype connection, you get the basic idea, but you miss the detail.

In a supermarket that had the best shelves stacked with Heineken, Bud Light, Corona and even Australia’s best selling beer VB, why was this the cider for sale? I’m surprised I didn’t see a giant label like Bulmers or Strongbow. At least this gave me the chance to try something different.

I have to wonder is this the best cider in Manila? If it is, with Australia and New Zealand a short flight away, is South East Asia the next market opportunity for our Cider?

Product Cidre Bouché Brut
Company Casino
Sweetness Medium Dry
Alc/Vol 4.5%
Country of Origin France
Region Unknown

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