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#DiscoverCider with the Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer
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Good Evening Dear Customers

If you've never been a cider drinker before, there couldn't be a better time to start. Cider is experiencing a wonderful renaissance, and the available range of top quality bottlings grows every month. To guide you through the array of flavours and styles on offer, we've put together a quick waltz through our entire current range of ciders.



Something that all our ciders have in common is their juice content - 100%. Nonsensical though it might seem, under UK  law something labelled "Cider" can be made using just 35% apple juice, with the remainder made up through sugar and water. Imagine if your glass of wine was only 35% grapes - you might feel somewhat ripped off. Alas, such was the perilous state of the British cider industry in the 1970s that producers were given this license to adulterate.

But even in the darkest days some small scale producers carried on making cider in the old way, by crushing apples, squeezing the juice out, and letting it ferment at its own pace. Now they are being joined by a host of new cider makers keen to learn the craft and make something authentic and natural. These are the cider makers we like to stock - the artisans of the apple.

If you'd like to read more about what's happening in the world of British cider head on over to the #DiscoverCider homepage, or take a look at Full Juice magazine.

You can buy everything mentioned here in our West Nile Street shop and on our website, and you'll also find a good selection of ciders at our outpost in the West End.

Wassail!

The Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer


 

Ross on Wye


Ross on Wye were one of the first cider makers we stocked, and over the years we've had more different ciders from them than from anyone else. That's partly because their ciders are fantastic (they were the well deserved winners of the BBC's Food & Farming Awards Best Drinks Producer in 2019) and partly because their orchards are home to over one hundred different apple varieties, all of which will be made into single varietal ciders as the growing season permits. This means their list is constantly changing, and there's always something new to try.



Hendre Huffcap Single Varietal Perry (£3.50 - 6%ABV - 50cl)
Hendre Huffcap is onsidered by many to be one of the best pears for vintage perry (it's also got the best name by far). This example is light and soft, with a fresh, juicy character.

Suzie Wong Medium Sweet Cider (£3.50 - 5.9%ABV - 50cl)
The sweetest cider that we currently stock, Suzie Wong is an easy-going blend of many of the varieties found in the Ross-on-Wye orchards.

Tremletts Bitter Cider (£3.50 - 6.8%ABV - 50cl)
Currently our most tannic cider. Bittersweet and punchy, with a drying astringent finish. This is wonderful with charcuterie or hard cheeses.
 

Caledonian Cider


Founded in Conon Bridge in 2014, Caledonian has some of the most northerly orchards in Europe. They also collect eaters and cookers from gardens in the Black Isle. The disastrous 2019 harvest led them to source fruit from Somerset for their North and South blend. All of their ciders are fermented by wild yeast in oak barrels without the addition of sulphites. Oh, and Ryan has a very good blog.



Islay Cask (£8.50 - 6%ABV - 75cl)
One of Ryan's limited editions, this is cider that's been fermented and matured in an ex-Islay whisky cask. It's a combination that works really well, and is favoured by many other cider makers.

North and South (£3 - 5%ABV - 33cl)
A bright, fruity sparkling cider with just a little tannin.
 

Steilhead


Max & Penny Nowell are based in Galloway, but their roots are in Herefordshire. Like Caledonian, they combine fruit from their own orchards with Southern bittersharps and bittersweets (that's the varietals high in both tannins AND acid that give a cider body and structure: varietals such as Dabinett, Kingston Black, or Foxwhelp).



Goldfinch (£3.50 - 6%ABV - 50cl)
Bottle conditioned to give it a slight sparkle, and full of the refreshing taste of green apples.

Nuthatch (£3.50 - 6.5%ABV - 50cl)
Dry, earthy, rich, and complex, Nuthatch was CAMRA's Scottish Cider of the Year 2017.

Swift and Swallow (£3.50 - 6%ABV - 50cl)
Medium-dry, and the only cider in the Steilhead range that is pasteurised.

Bullfinch (£3.50 - 6.5%ABV - 50cl)
Made with 100% Kingston Black apples. A year in barrel gives the Bullfinch a rounded, dry, and mellow character.

Siskin (£3.50 - 6%ABV - 50cl)
Siskin is made from Dumfries & Galloway eating and cooking apples. Sharp and refreshing, this is the apéritif of the Stelhead range. Medium-dry.

 

A Mixed Bag


A quartet of ciders from four producers taking us to the furthest corners of the cider flavour spectrum.



Eve's Albee Hill 2017 (£14.40 - 7%ABV - 75cl)
From the Finger Lakes region of New York, this complex, bone dry still cider is the work of Autumn Stoscheck, a leading light of the American craft cider scene.

Pilton Smokey Plum II (£12.60 - 5.5%ABV - 75cl)
Martin Berkeley of Pilton has taken the French technique of "keeving", whereby the cider finishes its ferment before all of the natural sugars are eaten by the yeast, giving a naturally sweet, rich cider. This particular batch combines keeved cider with naturally fermented Worcestershire plums, matured in an ex-Islay whisky barrel. Sour, sweet, smoky, astringent - it's got everything.

Kerisac Cidre Breton (£6.10 - 5.5%ABV - 100cl)
The rustic labelling hides a very fine example of French cider making. Baked apple flavours and medium-dry, it's ridiculously quaffable.

Oliver's Gold Rush #7 (£3.30 - 6.5%ABV - 33cl)
The Wizard of Cider, Tom Oliver, has teamed up with Ryan Burke of Angry Orchard in the USA to blend this superb cider. Dry, but with a rich concentrated fruitiness, and complex flavours of tarte tatin, marzipan, and oak. Wonderful stuff.
 

Château de Sassy


Despite the name, Sassy is a modern cidery, founded by two Normans who, working in the United States, and seeing the flourishing cider scene, decided they wanted to take that modern approach and bring it back to Normandy.



Rosé 'La Sulphureuse' (£3.10 - 3%ABV - 33cl)
La Sulphureuse takes its pretty pink colour from the red fleshed apples which make up part of the blend of eighteen varieties. 

Cidre 'L'Inimitable' (£3.10 - 5.2%ABV - 33cl)
A blend of twenty-two bittersweet and sharp varieties, l'Inimitable is a full-bodied medium-dry Norman cider which pairs well with white meats, cheeses and apple desserts.

Poiré 'Le Vertueux' (£3.10 - 2.5%ABV - 33cl)
A crisp, light perry made with 100% Norman pears.
 

Little Pomona


Little Pomona are leading lights in the new wave of British craft cider makers. Based in deepest Herefordshire, they produce a range of both deeply traditional and modern, experimental ciders.



Art of Darkness 2017 #2 (£10.50 - 7.2%ABV - 75cl)
Art of Darkness is Little Pomona's flagship cider. A blend of Ellis Bitter (75%) and Foxwhelp (25%) that was fermented in tank and then spent 22 months in ex red wine casks. It's a full-bodied cider with grippy tannins and mineral notes, great with rich, creamy dishes.

Cryo-Conditioned 2018 (£12 - 8.2%ABV - 75cl)
Chisel Jersey apples were made into ice cider, which was then used as the dosage to bottle condition a blend of Dabinett, Harry Masters Jersey, and Chisel Jersey. A luxurious, lush glass of fizz.

Table Cider (£8.30 - 7.3%ABV - 75cl)
Table Cider is a rolling blend (already onto batch three) designed to be easy drinking and very food friendly. It's gently sparkling, juicy, and best enjoyed in good company.

Do It Puritan 2 (£16.50 - 7.3%ABV - 75cl)
This frankly crazy liquid will make you laugh out loud. 150kg of Damson plums from Netherwood Estate were fed one by one into a barrel, blanketed with carbon dioxide, and allowed to carbonically macerate. Later, the juice of Somerset Redstreak, Dabinett, and Browns Apple was added. The end result is a hilariously fruity, juicy drink, with heady floral and fruity aromas.
 
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