Saturday 6 August 2011

Gwynt y Ddraig Yarlington Mill Cider

Yarlington Mill. One of my very most favourite cider apples. Along with Tremletts Bitter, Dabinett, Harry Masters Jersey (well most of the Jersey breed), Redstreak... OK, the list is fairly long. But its a great apple to work from!

As a single variety though. Hmmmm. Not the maddest of fans of SV cider (as anyone who has read any of the reviews about SV ciders will already know). It could work. It is more likely not to, unless it has been balanced. Sorry Gwynt, just my take on it. I have yet to be persuaded. Then again, I haven't tried this cider again. Its a shame though. I understand that they also do a Tremletts Bitter Single Variety too. Now that is worth a try - as anyone who has taken a bite out of a Tremletts knows - it should really really not work, but may be so odd as to be nice!

I know I have only just reviewed a Gwynt y Ddraig cider, but they were both in the shop... I didn't want to go trudging back again so soon... and as the last one was so good, I couldn't resist. I quite like being challenged, so lets see what I think.

Its a lovely golden colour with a hint of redness to it - typical of ciders made from Yarlington Mill. I have previously had a cider made from Yarlies that was positively glowing red! One thing I do notice straight away is that this cider has a pommeau smell to it. Could be as its so strong - at 7.2 its no weakling although I haven't come across other ciders with such a rich and deep smell as this.

Tasting it, there is rather more sharpness to it than I expected - although its taste of Yarlington Mill is very evident. Soft to medium tannins with an aromatic apple taste to it. Nice measure of tannins but with this mysterious acidity that I cannot figure out.

It does have rather a good character to it though (although very alcoholic too mind.  It actually warms in your throat and tummy... Goodness!) This drink is almost like caramelised cider - deep and velvety. I like it, although do think its been balanced out a bit on the acid side

I have always thought that Yarlies are a great addition to a cider blend - giving more to the cider than other, less classic apples. On its own, it is a strong flavour with medium but fairly significant tannins. Gwynt y Ddraig's cider has most of that going on. Aftertaste wise, I think the alcohol and warmth are the most distinctive things, although the tannin stays with you.

If you are exploring ciders, then this is worth trying. As a single variety... well, I kind of put money on it being more balanced than on its own - however, its a pretty darn good blend if it is... and if it truly is an SV, then I am surprised others are not making theirs to taste the same!

A score of 79/100. Very not bad indeed!

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