As per usual, May/June sees the release of the 2013 vintage ciders. And so, here is the line up for this year (with some descriptions). The website will be updated shortly!
Hampshire Heritage Cider – Off Dry (6.5%)
Well, it wouldn’t be 146 Cider without the original cider making an appearance. And, rather helpfully, it has remained at 6.5% for this year.
An off-dry cider made from 50/50 cider and dessert varieties of apple sourced locally from Fruitwise Orchards, Heritage is a very easy drinking cider. There is both tannin and acid in equal measure – perhaps a little more acid (once again) as a tiny bit of Bramley was used to beef it up a bit.
This year, these are sweetened versions of Hampshire Heritage rather than mixtures of blends. Having had plenty of practice now with sweetening, expect these to be on the drier side of things – so that the cider itself actually tastes of something other than sucralose!
Eastern Delight – Dry or Medium Dry (7.1%)
Made from 100% dessert apple varieties sourced locally from Fruitwise and Hill Farm, Eastern is still quite sharp at the moment. This will calm down, but luckily a few hundred litres have been blended with the much more mature 2012 vintage to tone it down a touch.
Wild West Cider
Sadly, due to lack of varieties last year, there is no Wild West (or, as a result, Mild West) this year. This has been replaced however and given me the chance to play around with blends. You won’t be disappointed!!
Thornleigh Estate Cider – Dry (6.3%)
And this is Wild West’s replacement: a 50/50 blend of Kingston Black and Michelin. A cider with quite a lot of character, the moderate flavour of Michelin allows the Kingston Black charisma to shine through.
As there is only 1300 litres of it, Thornleigh will only be available as a dry cider in 2014.
Hampshire Perry – Medium Dry (7.3%)
With only 650 litres produced (it is a trial after all) this is 146 Ciders first perry… and it is really rather good (if I say so myself). A floral perry with a touch of acid, this is made from dessert pears sourced from Hill Farms once disused pear orchard simply called ‘Old Pear’… they don’t know what the varieties are, but I am very glad I tried it!
There will be some bottles and it will be available on draught at selected festivals.
So, there you have it – the 2014 line up. I hope you enjoy them and do give feedback!!