Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Cider Review: Two Metre Tall's Huon Farmhouse Dry Apple Cider

I'm starting from scratch with the Huon Farmhouse Dry Apple Cider as I have no background knowledge of either apples or cider from Tasmania or anywhere in that segment of the globe. When I spotted this cider on the shelf Finger Lakes Beverage Center (http://www.fingerlakesbeverage.com/) I knew I had to try it.

The company that makes this cider is Two Metre Tall; they create a number of different farmed and fermented products. Here's how they describe themselves, “We are farmers brewing farmhouse ales & ciders in unique batches using farm grown ingredients from our own 600ha property in the Derwent Valley of Tasmania as well as ingredients sourced directly from farmers across the state. Barrel aging, spontaneous fermentations, experimentation and everything in between. Fruit in ale, sour cherries and more.” Ashley and Jane Huntington are the primary folks behind this farm, brewery, and cidery. Ashley has a background in wine which will doubtless influence the cider.

Read more and see some glorious pictures of the farm on their website: http://2mt.com.au/farmhouse-cider.html

The cider I'm trying today is their Farmhouse Dry. Here's the official description.

When we discovered the Griggs family at Lucaston Orchards in the Huon Valley were still growing the famous old English cider variety, Sturmer Pippin that was all the motivation we needed to produce a traditional, unfiltered, bottle fermented farmhouse cider made using only apples and yeast. 7.5% alc. vol.

What intrigues me most are the bottle conditioning and the unfamiliar variety of apple: the Sturmer Pippin. Both of these factors would be tremendously exciting, even independent of my first chance to taste a Tasmanian cider.

Appearance: hazy, bubble, warm glowy color

This cider has so many beautiful bubbles. I'm not surprised by the little haze in the cider because it is bottle fermented and therefore unfiltered. The color looks warm and a bit glowy because of the creamy haze.

Aromas: stone fruit, fresh apples, flowers, hint of volatile acidity

When I first poured this cider, the smells included a hint of volatile acidity, but also flowers and fruit. None of the aromas struck me as particularly intense. The scents were angular and pointed, so I predict a very tart cider.
Dryness/Sweetness: Dry

This is unambiguously a dry cider. And if you read on the website about the brand's style, it sounds like they are only ever going to make very dry ciders. I caught a bit of a good humored attitude about this choice, see if you can find what I saw.

Flavors and drinking experience: lemon, twiggy, vegetal, acidic

So my expectations based on aroma were decidedly met when tasting this cider. The Farmhouse Dry sure tastes dry. I like that this level of dryness is a presence rather than just an absence of sweetness. It tastes gently bitter and tart like lemon juice. Other flavors intersect with this dryness; the cider tastes cold, twiggy, and just a bit vegetal. This cider is very interesting and different.

The body and mouthfeel come from the cider's very pleasant active sparkle. The Farmhouse Dry also shares some pointed acid but not too much in the way of tannins.

I served this cider with a fun dish. My husband incorporated a bit of the cider into a cheese sauce over pasta with cannelloni beans and roasted cauliflower. The cider really made the depth and zing of the sauce perfect, and the combination was a warm and roasty delight.