At Hilden Beer festival a few weeks ago I met two of the players in the resurgence of artisinal cider making in Northern Ireland. Both were more than generous in letting me have some bottles of their wares to take home for tasting. Yes I know cider is not beer, but real cider is still worth campaigning for and I drank cider long before I tried beer, being Somerset born and bred!
|Seán and Davy ready to start serving on Saturday afternoon|
|Tempted? Medium Sweet|
I was given a bottle of the medium dry but butterfingers dropped it! Luckily I tried it at the beer festival so can still let you know about it. Quite a juicy cider with some sweetness. Golden delicious apples with medium carbonation. Thirst quenching. Fairly pale for a cider, look almost perry like.
The medium sweet is unmistakably from the same press. Golden delicious apples and apple pulp on the nose. Very appley, a mix of dessert and cookers i think, slight level of tannin leaving a sweet taste at the finish.
Of the two I preferred the medium dry, but the medium sweet served over ice as it was at the beer festival could beat Koppaberg and Magner's at their own game.
Mac's is now at the ripe old age of 16. It has a range of four bottles, the traditional range of sweet, medium and dry plus a lower alcohol option, Lyte.
The dry is immediately different to the Tempted? ciders. Cloudy orange-gold with smells of apple peel, chutney, cinnamon and slight acetic acid. Initial flurry of apple with a rounded body and long drawn out finish with slight funkiness and hay. This a complex cider and worked very nicely with the ploughman's dinner I ate with it.
All in all a great bunch of ciders and I look forward to trying this year's crop when its all pressed up. Thank you Seán and Davy and for giving me the bottles to take home!