Wednesday 7 May 2014

The story of Thornleigh Estate...

As a blend, Thornleigh Estate cider is a blend of two traditional cider varieties of apple, Kingston Black and Michelin. Kingston Black is renowned as being the best variety of apple to make a single variety from. It is a mild bittersharp apple with plenty of flavour to go with the (reasonably) balanced tannin and acid. Pitched with this is Michelin; a very under-rated mild bittersweet apple with a much less dominant profile. Both of these apples were sourced from Hinknowle Orchards in Dorset.

Why? Because I feel that Kingston Black is more acidic than I would like as a single variety and blending it with another mild apple will not destroy the best bit… the taste. I am very pleased to say that the experiment has worked well.

The name ‘Thornleigh Estate’ is a bit more local – the place where 146 Cider is was build as the Estate Managers house for the Thornhill Park Estate in the 1870’s. Now simply known as 146, it still retains its original name of Thornleigh. I wanted to reserve this name for a special cider… and I think this is it.

Having a proper name for this cider is a move away from naming ciders after styles:
  • Eastern Delight = Follows the Eastern style of making cider using just dessert apples
  • Wild West = Followed the Western Counties style of making cider just from cider varieties of apple
  • Hampshire Heritage = Is a true Hampshire cider, made from heritage varieties of apples sourced from Fruitwise Heritage Orchards
  • Hampshire Perry = Again, a truly Hampshire sourced and made perry, why call it anything else!

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