Friday, 26 October 2012
Broome Farm Tremletts Bitter Cider
Staying with Broome Farm for this next cider. Once again, it;s an apple variety that I am familiar with. Tremletts - not nice to eat but a fantastic addition to a blend of weak dessert apple juice. And before I even start this review I have to say I have learnt something new over the last couple of reviews. Why not - this isn't just about reviewing ciders, is it? Sure, I would like people to be much more familiar with traditionally produced ciders, although even the mass produced ciders have some merit,
This is another of the 'Broome Farm' range of ciders to be tasted and blended - I doubt if it is Ross on Wye's intention for this bottle to hit mass market... I certainly hope it hasn;t been adjusted as for this one its the true taste that I want.
The cider itself pours out deep and golden - old gold I think it could be called. Again it's a flat cider but pretty clear, so some filtering may have been done to it. And the smell - deep and tannic. Mildly fruity but not quite as much as the Stoke Red. Tremletts isn't exactly a fruity apple - all its power is in the harsh tannins that go with it.
I guess that tannin is both its strength and its weakness all at the same time. That and the fact that it is an early cider variety, harvesting in September or (like last year) early October. This makes it an obvious blending partner for weak dessert fruit - stuff that needs a kick in order to bring it from thin and poor to reasonable and with a decent body. Later in the year, there are varieties with more charisma - Yarlington Mill, Dabinett and (if it works for you) Kingston Black. I think that is why Tremletts is generally an 'also ran' amongst cider varieties.
Tremletts Bitter is a small, brightly red/burgandy apple that, as mentioned is an early harvested fruit (often). It originates from the Exe Valley (Devon) around the early 19th century. This period was a boom for new apple varieties. Because of its 'bang for your buck' factor, my understanding is that this variety is commonly used in large commercial ciders (well, you can dilute it more than other varieties I guess).
So, lets drink this thing then. Firstly, I think this cider has been sweetened a little. Never mind, I can easily get beyond a little sweetening (which is all this is). There is absolutely no acid in here at all, its all tannin. The filtering has limited it a bit, although it really is a rather large tannin - and more fruity than I first gave it credit for. Its a deep cider though. My guess is that in its absolute natural state this would be pretty harsh - but as a part of a blend its just going to give a huge tannin boost.
The aftertaste is very long. The tannic fruit lingering for what seems like ages. I like it. Maybe I like it more because I can think of what I can do with it, and I can lots of it... we shall see. As a cider its far from balanced - but that isn't the point. A score of 74/100, and another bronze apple for the SV's.