Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cider Review: Dunkerton's Dry Organic Cider

Today, I miss my times in England, so  I’m sharing my thoughts on Dunkertons Dry Organic Cider. Though I've spent parts of summer, winter, and one whole spring there, I've never seen apple season in Somerset, Herefordshire, or anyplace outside of the United States. I think that comes from spending most of my thinking years thus far in school or heavily involved in U. S. cider seasons. I'll dream of it for a future year, and while I do, I'll break out one of my English Ciders.

For my non-UK readers, I found out some background from their importer Winesellers Limited who were kind enough to share this cider with me:
The Dunkerton Cider Mill is set in the ancient parish of Pembridge, an area of farmland, woods and hedgerows, where medieval half timbered villages meet the stone market towns of Wales. Dunkertons history reaches back to 1980 when Ivor and Susie Dunkerton made the decision to escape London and buy a small holding in Herefordshire. The unique blending method uses traditional varieties of organic cider apples and pears grown on estate owned orchards. Only the finest tasting traditional varieties of certified organic apples and pears are sourced. It is this careful selection of fruit that gives our drinks the delicate and aromatic characteristics required to be award winning.
I have reviewed one beverage by Dunkertons previously. I featured their Organic Perry in week two of Very Perry May: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/05/very-perry-may-pt-2-woodchuck.html

Find out more online at the Dunkertons website: https://www.dunkertonscider.co.uk/

The official description for the Dry Organic reads as follows. 
An offering of a drier, crisper blended cider for the connoisseur, or more adventurous enthusiast. Sharp, crisp and to the point. This cider is definitely one for the cider connoisseur, or more adventurous enthusiast. Sharp, crisp and to the point. Pours with a red hued gold with a very slight haze. This cider is full-bodied with a short-lived fizz from a light carbonation leading to a slightly sparkling drier cider with a rustic cider apple feel. 6.9% ABV.
And a bit more from the importer, “Moderately strong aromas of toffee with hints of farmhouse/blue cheese character. Tannins from the bittersweet varieties balance the fruit flavors of freshly picked apples, honey, and wisps of smoke. Full bodied with a carbonation that makes a strong first impression before finishing with a clean dryness.”

I was also able to find a partial list of apples in the Organic Dry: Brown Snout, Sheeps Nose, Foxwhelp, Kingston Black, Yarlington Mill. The fact sheet describes them as “varieties that are centuries old, many going back to Celtic times.”

Appearance: dark tea, hazy, few visible bubbles

This lovely cider appears very true to style. I don’t see many bubbles and the color is nearly that of a slightly clarified un-fermented cider. Its warm and tea like in hue. The opacity is hazy rather than a full cloudy or transparent.

Aromas: Sweet warmed leather, overripe apples, salt water

What delightful smells. I get sweet warmed leather, overripe apples and something between clean ocean water and salt water taffy. Those richly  warmed overripe apple notes promise richness and tannins ahead.

Sweetness/dryness: dry!

This cider is unmistakably dry! There's more going on, but the dryness is a pronounced presence. 

Flavors and drinking experience: Dry, tannic, medium acid, 

Yowsers! This is so dry and tannic that its level of bitterness provoked one of my co-tasters to call it rude! I'd not go that far, but this is a cheeky cider that swells in the mouth! Unlike many dry english ciders, this one has medium acid to go with those Hiiiiiigh tannins. The aromas bring richness, but this one is not for beginners. The drinking experience like getting mildly whacked in the head but somehow in a nice pleasant way.

The level of sparkle is important to the drinking experience. It isn't an overwhelmingly strong bubble, but it lifts and lightens the flavors pleasantly. The flavors just keep unfurling across my palate! What an experience!

I'd pair this cider with a sturdy creamy soup: leek and carrot or perhaps a sweet corn chowder. It was a lovely bit of brazen cider bravado, and I look forward to drinking it again.