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Willie Smith’s releases British-style cider

April 21, 2017
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British & delicious: Willie Smith’s British style cider

Another seasonal release from the Huon Valley cider maker’s aims to educate and excite

The team at Willie Smith’s are passionate advocates for cider education and their most recent release is yet another example of their work which showcases traditional cider making techniques and the use of cider apples.

Willie Smith’s British Blend is an apple cider made solely from British cider apple varieties that have been grown locally in Tasmania. Traditional minimal interventionist cider making techniques were used in the making of the cider, resulting in a naturally derived deep golden straw colour. It is full bodied and expresses deep apple and stone fruit aromatics.

There is a total of twelve British cider apple varieties which go into the British Blend which include: Yarlington Mill, Improved Foxwhelp, Bulmers Norman, Michelin,
Kingston Black, Sweet Copin, Sweet Alford, Stoke Red, Somerset Red Streak, Dabinett, Breakwells Seedling, Browns Apple

Dr. Tim Jones, Head Cider Maker at Willie Smith’s describes the cider as ‘”fruit forward and textural, a cider that is delicious and true to traditional British cider styles in our opinion!”

The majority of the cider base in the blend was wild fermented in the true traditional English style, which delivers savory complexity to the palate. On first taste, the cider displays balanced fruit sweetness that gives way to mildly elevated acidity and drying, granular tannins. These tannins, that are characteristic of traditional British ciders, become more prominent as the cider is drunk.

Co-founder of Willie Smith’s, Sam Reid said, “We are on a journey to educate the Australian Cider palate and broaden peoples understanding of what cider can be. Good cider stacks up against any other alcohol category in terms of quality and intrigue and this cider helps demonstrate that. We’re excited to release this British Blend to complement our award-winning French Blend from last year and to show the differences in styles and how broad the category can be.”

Unlike the French Blend cider which was exclusively available in bottles, the British Blend is available only on tap reflecting the notion presenting the cider in the correct format in the same way that beer and wine used different glassware to deliver a different experience.

The British Blend is best classed as medium to medium dry in sweetness. The cider is designed as a draught cider and is best served in beer glasses at standard chilled serving temperature.

It is available at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed located in Grove, Tasmania, other Tasmanian venues and at select venues in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Tasting notes

Willie Smith’s British Blend is an apple cider made solely from British cider apple varieties (see below).  Traditional minimal interventionist cider making techniques where used in the making of the cider, resulting in a naturally derived deep golden straw colour.  It is full bodied and expresses deep apple and stone fruit aromatics.  The majority of the cider base in the blend was wild fermented in the true traditional English style, which delivers savour complexity to the palate.  On first taste, the cider displays balanced fruit sweetness that gives way to mildly elevated acidity and drying, granular tannins.  These tannins, that are characteristic of traditional British ciders, become more prominent as the cider is drunk.  For that reason, it best classed as medium to medium dry in sweetness.  The cider is designed as a draught cider and is best served in beer glasses at standard chilled serving temperature.  It is a fruit forward and textural cider that is highly sessionable.

ABV 6.1%.

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