Monday 29 October 2012
Broome Farm Major Cider
And another one from Mike Johnson's blending range of ciders.
From the perspective of a small scale cider maker, having the ability to try this kind of 'naked single variety' is invaluable. Varieties of apples that I have never tried before giving up their pro's and con's without having to go through the rigmarole of pressing, fermenting and bottling. OK, that's a little lazy, but it does open ones eyes up to other types of fruit.
From the perspective of the drinker, I doubt this range is either easy to get hold of (as already mentioned) and in the greater scheme of things if you are searching for the best cider in the world, these almost certainly aren't going to be it.
However, if you are truly interested in the finer art of blending and basically making your own cider, then Ross on Wye's single variety range are put together to be the cider equivalent of 'salt and shake' (note - anyone not old enough to remember 'salt n'shake', it was an interesting take of crisps where you have plain crisps and a sachet of salt that you poured over said crisps).
From my perspective, well, it gives a new dimension to this blog (if only my descrpitive language was up to the task!)
Major is another 'vintage' classified apple variety which is a full bittersweet. This means that it has plenty of sugar and tannin, but little acid. Its a mid season variety, which fits with many other really good cider fruit (Yarlington Mill, for example) and is a Somerset Jersey. Jersey apples cover a whole raft of varieties - Chisel Jersey, Harry Masters Jersey, Dabinett... etc. etc. These neither all come from Jersey (or Somerset for that matter), however, I am unsure as to what makes a Jersey a Jersey... perhaps someone could enlighten me!
Whilst I have marked this cider as being bright, there is an amount of sediment at the bottom, so I am not sure if it's been filtered or not. Not that it matters, it could have been filtered prior to it finishing
fermentation. It is a beautiful golden colour too - a very attractive cider.
When it is opened, there is a positive 'psft', followed by a medium carbonation. This leaves more questions - with the others being flat ciders, this is positively bottle conditioned... The overwhelming aroma to this cider is 'floral'. Some ciders do have a flowery character to them; aromatic dessert apples especially (mind you, its not exclusive to these!). In fact, it is quite a pungent floral smell.
What do I have to say about single varietel 'Major' cider then? Well, it is fairly one dimensional in its character. Although the tannin is definitely there, it is soft and light. There really is no acid at all in this cider, which I think it needs - mind you, as a single variety it definitely doesn't seem to have been fiddled with, and that is much to Ross on Wye Cider's credit.
This is definitely an apple to blend as it is interesting, and yet it needs something to give it a bit of backbone. Well, I would blend it anyway! The aftertaste is short - medium in length and retains the floral character. A score of 74/100 demonstrates that this is a quality apple and a quality cider - and I appreciate an SV that hasn't been played with. It is also an apple variety I haven't used before, so my knowledge has been expanded.