|Love the fox and apple in the logo!|
It seems that everywhere I look I find a new cider producer*. No bad thing because I like a good cider me, especially in these warmer summer months. I spotted this particular producer's wares in the Brewer's House and got in touch to find out a bit more.
MacIvor's cider is a new focus for Greg MacNeice. His ciders are made with 100% fruit (no concentrates here!), with apples sourced from Macneice Fruits. He is influenced by the traditional farmhouse ciders of the West Country and has spent some time visiting cider makers there. He is also influenced by the French cidres of Bretagne as that's where his wife hails from. These observations he brought back to Northern Ireland with him to make cider out of Armagh's famous Bramley apples (among others). I was offered two of the new season's production from MacIvor's and I'd have been a fool not to accept them. I'll review them now:
Medium Cider (4.5%) Pours pale gold with lively carbonation, apple skin and candy floss on the nose. Fairly sweet red apple character with a touch of sulphite and perhaps some pear in the finish.Its a touch on the sweet side for me, but I can see this being a popular beverage (potentially over ice (shudder), but anything that weans people off of the ubiquitous "cider" brands has to be a good thing right?!). An email from Greg confirmed that this cider is aimed at those people, but of course is a much more traditional production method. I've also just found out that there are 12 different varieties in here, which helps produce that more rounded flavour than a low number of varieties could offer.
Traditional Dry Cider (5.6%) Pours slightly darker gold and noticeably less carbonated than the medium. Notes of custard, hay and toffee apples on the nose. Dryish but not drying or tart, subtle apple flavour and long dry finish. I like the balance and subtleties in this one and would certainly drink it if I found it in the pub.
Here's hoping that we get the cider on draught at Belfast Beer Fest this year.
*Not quite, but there's a similar number to breweries here!