Friday 15 April 2011
Burrow Hill Somerset Pomona
And now for something completely different!
It has to be said that there is more that can be done with the humble apple than make pies or juice or even cider. We seem to take it for granted to some degree, but the UK has the climate and skills to make not only world class ciders, but also compete on the cider brandy stakes too.
What is cider brandy? Well, try thinking Calvados and then stop because the French won't let anyone else call it that. Julian Temperley, of Burrow Hill has been making Cider Brandy for many years now, and alongside this, produces aperatif and (kind of) desert cider. And it is what I see as a desert cider that this review wants to have a snifter at next.
There are three aperatif's that Burrow Hill make, which are a blend of cider brandy and either cider or juice: and Eau d'vie, a Kingston Black, and the Somerset Pomona.
These are not ciders - not pitched as cider and not in anyway a 'craze'. Unlike the cider with fruit (or should that be fruit with cider) this is a properly crafted product. NB - yes, I know I am hard on 'fruit cider'. Maybe one day I will come around to it... may not. Somerset Pomona is sold in a tall slender bottle and, with an alcoholic volume of XX, should be drunk as a short drink.
What to say of it though. It is still (as expected). It is rather sweet (also, as expected). It is fairly syruppy (again, this is very much like a desert wine, so that is fine). Overall though, it is delicious! The cider and apples really come through on the tongue, together with a little fire in the throat when swallowed. The aftertaste lingers for ages and it is balanced sufficiently that no one thing takes over. Yum!
There is tannin in this drink, although it doesn't rule at all - the sweetness probably rules more than anything - although I shouldn't overstate it as there is much more to it than that. There is also not a lot of sharpness, although there is a little (in the same way as the tannin). This has been blended to keep all things in balance.
I am always very impressed with Somerset Pomona (oops, yes... I admit it, I have tried a few bottles of this before now:-) I think it competes with any desert wine after a meal, or just chilling out. Even better, after a cider! Burrow Hill sell a small bottle of this with their very dry champagne style 'Kingston Black' cider - though it does actually work with most sparkling dry ciders. This they call 'Orchard Mischief'.
A very deserving 90/100 and the first Gold Apple for a fantastic alternative to cider:-)