We review a bunch of ciders available at Newtown Hotel’s Cider Fair

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

A few weeks ago we published an article entitled ‘We review a bunch of gross craft beers‘ and felt the wrath of passionate craft beer fans from all over the country. We’ll be getting the review panel back together for our second round of craft beer reviewing in a week or two, but in the meantime, why not turn our attention to cider?

There’s a cider fair at The Newtown Hotel this Saturday where you’ll be able to sample 26 different ciders and meet the cider-makers, or as I like to call them, ‘apple murderers’. We were sent a small selection of the ciders on offer this weekend so Claire and I put our reviewing berets on and had a lil’ drinking sesh.

CIDER #1: Young Henry’s Cloudy Cider
What the label says: “Young Henry’s Cloudy Cider”.

Levins: Young Henry’s do everything well. Their lager is awesome, they make an ale you can drink more than two of and their cider might be the tastiest thing they make (although I haven’t eaten their soap yet). I could drink this for breakfast – it’s got just the right balance of sweetness and tartness and a slightly thick consistency. It’s nice out of this bottle but it’s so much better on tap. It gets bonus points for not having any waffly bullshit mission statement on their bottle, just the important stuff: the alcohol content and the amount you’ll get back if you take this bottle to a South Australian recycling depot (10c).

Claire: I don’t usually like cider, which I said before I sipped this but then I said ‘so yum!’ in a surprised tone. It’s cinnamon-y and not too sweet. Like a non-commercial apple pie with fizz. ‘Cloudy’ usually means thick and sediment heavy, but this was light and tangy (like my favourite chips).

CIDER #2: Willie Smith’s Organic Apple Cider
What the label says: “Four generations of the Smith Family experience goes into producing the very best tasting apples, hand-picked for this cider. Crafted & matured in oak to deliver a truly distinctive French farmhouse style, full of real cider character & flavour in the traditional method.”

Levins: This is refreshing, if a little perfume-y. It’s definitely sweeter than the Young Henry’s but not on the sickeningly sweet side.

Claire: Mmm, it’s sort of good. A bit musky and has kind of hand cream undertones. Sort of a bit too floral for my liking. I’m reviewing this like a perfume because it took my tastebuds to the David Jones cosmetic counters.

CIDER #3: Sidra Del Verano Apple, Blackcurrant & Cranberry Cider
What the label says: “Verano Apple, Blackcurrant & Cranberry Cider is deliciously fruity and best enjoyed over ice on long hot afternoons and summer evenings with good friends and family”.

Levins: While not as intensely sweet as the straight up cordial flavours of Rekoderlig, this tastes less like a cider and more like an alcoholic fruit fizz. When I was a kid my Mum used to buy these low sugar fizzy drinks with exotic flavours like ‘Apple & Ginger’ – this kind of reminds me of those but in a good way! I’d like to taste the their plain apple version.

Claire: Smells like Redskins! This tastes like when Schweppes released their range of exotically named gourmet sodas in the early 2000s. They were called ‘Agrum’ ‘Vista’ and ‘Plateau’ or something and had ingredients from far away lands like ‘blood orange’ and ‘lime’. So, basically this cider is a fancy soft drink. The cranberry flavour is prominent and it’s meshed with toffee apple tannins – is that a thing? Very sweet and very pink.

Newtown Hotel’s Cider Fair kicks off at midday this Saturday with 26 different ciders on offer plus coal roasted pig by the Animal restaurant and live performances by Brother Jimmy and Matt Boylan-Smith.

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