I’ve left London on a west bound train. I’ve got my bike loaded up with 10 kilos worth of cloths and cameras. I’ve got 70 odd kilometers ride a head of me today. This is my first time into Somerset, I’m trying to get a good sense of what makes Somerset cider unique. This is my UK Cider Tour Day 1.
Hallets Real Cider is the first Welsh cider I’ve reviewed. Hallets is a tiny company making this a bit of a rare breed. Being a small company they embrace seasonality. The flavours change with the seasons and that is just the beginning of what makes Hallets Real Cider exciting.
Red Sails Medium Dry Gold Cider is the first bottle conditioned, keeved cider I’ve reviewed. When a medical researcher retired he set about cider making. Pairing together some of England’s best cider making apple varieties, with a cider making technique so intricate it could have only have come from France. So what is keeving and how does it taste?
Fournier Doux is an bit of an elusive cider. The company’s website does little more than show images of the ciders they make including the Doux, a brut and a rosé. The bottle does tell us that the apples used in the cider are grown in their own orchards. That to me, is a massive part of “real cider”. I’m not saying superb real ciders can’t be made from brought in apples but they loose something in the terrior. It’s this soil to bottle mentality coupled with the traditional Normandy taste has seen them awarded a PGI by the European union.
PGI or Protected geographical indication Means that a product is typical of a region. The techniques used are traditional and unique to the culture of that region. The term Doux is a French term to describe the fact it is a sweet cider below 3% alcohol.