After meeting two cider producers at the Hilden Brewery Beer Festival I made sure we would be getting some for the Belfast Beer Festival in November. I needn't have worried because Adrian was already on it from Tempted? and something called Toby's Hand-crafted Cider. Not having heard of these guys before I googled them to ask where I could get hold of their products and they were nice enough to send me through a bottle to review. This I have no problem with doing as a major point to this blog is to help promote the range of NI drinks producers.
|Toby's Dry Cider|
The clear bottle reveals a hazy straw blonde cider with thin layer of sediment. It certainly looks the part but how does it taste? On opening the bottle lets out a heady apple aroma and I'm instantly transported back to the last cider farm i visited. A sweet apple aroma with the spicy undercurrent of apple skin. It teases the tip of the tongue with an at-first sharp taste, which mellows out to a long dry and astringent rich apple finish. This is no shallow single-varietal, it has been blended to perfection.
The label too is well-crafted with a simple but instantly recognisable logo and easy-on-the eye font. Good stuff all round.
Thanks Craig for the bottle, look forward to trying the tub stuff in November! This cider highlights what I've been missing since leaving Somerset and I shall certainly have to have some more cider days now the new season is upon us.
If anyone is wondering, the logo on the glass was used by the Southampton University Real Ale Enthusiasts whilst I was at uni.