Friday, 1 March 2013

Cider Review #6: Prior's Tipple (Isaac & Jo Nixon)

Style: Medium dry
Appearance: Deep copper/gold.
Nose: Moderately sharp ripe apple aroma.
Taste: The first thing that strikes me is the balance and complexity. Neither acid, tannin nor sweetness stand out, although the latter is the least assertive. I think plenty of bittersharps must have gone into the mix, and perhaps the sour tang of a cooking variety or two. It has a satisfyingly earthy, farmyard funkiness to it too, like a good vintage cider often has, and not unlike the Brettanomyces flavours of a Belgian lambic beer. A good, fiery tannin grip takes hold at the finish, in addition to a grassy, sour fruit twist. 
Mouth-feel: Solid mid-full body.
Carbonation: Few bubbles to look at in the glass but feels persistent on the tongue.
ABV: 6.5%
What's in it?: Cider, dessert and culinary apples from ancient Worcestershire orchards. Varieties and yields vary from year to year. 

This is one of the most flavoursome and pleasant cider's I've yet tasted. Its a commercial cider produced on a small, local scale. Its availability is limited to the Cotswolds area, as well as the odd shop in Bristol and Reading. No sulphites for preservation or lab-grown yeasts to kickstart fermentation are added. A reliance on wild yeast is therefore necessary; I'm not sure the same can be said for many of the bigger producers. Isaac and Jo allow the cider to age and develop for up to two years, ample time for malolactic fermentation to convert a percentage of the total malic acid into softer lactic acid, yielding a smoother, more rounded cider.

1 comment:

  1. Now available further afield, in many parts of Southern England including London. Also midland including Birmingham.


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