Sunday 4 November 2012

Broome Farm Harry Masters Jersey Cider

Moving on. Harry Masters Jersey is another apple that I am familiar with, and one that I get good results with too in my blends. I have always assumed, however, that it is very similar to Dabinett - it tastes roughly the same, looks similar and both are moderate bitter sweets ripe at around the same time in October. This Broome Farm version should help me to confirm this assumption or put it to rest.

Harry Masters Jersey (for anyone who was paying attention to the last paragraph) is a moderate bitter sweet cider apple that generally gets harvesting mid season - between mid October and early November. Its a fairly generous tree, with moderate to small fruit. It originated in Somerset in the early 20th century (see, not all varieties are that old:-) However, by far the most important thing about this cider apple is that I like it a lot in a blend... after all, that is the best way to make good cider, right???!

Its a lovely looking cider right enough. A very clear cider although a fairly heavy sediment suggests some bottle conditioning (on opening, there is a definite fizz which confirms this). Its a low fizz affair.

As with Dabinett, it smells earthy and deeply of cider - not apple juice at all and the fruit part is fairly dull. I like this, and would suggest that Kingston Black, the eponymous single variety apple, is not a clear winner of the award for most balanced and interesting fruit to use in cider.

The taste is full of tannin and there is definite 'farmyard' about this cider. For those who don't know that phrase, its not a bad thing; earthy and orchardy it gives the profile of the fruit roundness and complexity. Hmmm, there really is a lot of tannin here. In fact, its much more tannic than I remember Dabinett being (and the fruit is less tangy).

I reckon this is quite an individually variety to use - although I am not sure it has anything that I would call hugely distinctive. And obviously the one thing that lacks from this cider is acidity. The aftertaste is pretty long and cidery with the tannin lingering.

Overall, I like this drink - and I definitely like this apple too. But I do think its one to add to a blend - and it would add ton's to a blend. This cider scored a bronze award with 70/100.

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