The Cider Critic’s Blog – Ross-On-Wye Cider and Perry, Tremletts Bitter Cider
This week it’s another cider from the Limited Edition Ciderologists box, and it’s a single variety from Ross-On-Wye Cider and Perry. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Broome Farm as part of my 36 hour cider adventure back in April 2018 and if you read my blog you’ll know that cider making is a way of life for the Johnson family and that traditional processes and getting the best from each and every variety and batch is at the heart of what they do.
They’ve been making cider and perry from 100% pure juice and natural fermentation at the farm for close to 90 years. They’ve planted cider apple and perry pear trees, watched them grow to maturity and harvested the fruit, creating wonderful ciders and perrys. Let’s talk awards for a second, because there is a deluge of them, including a Queen’s Diamond award for excellence in food and drink which Mike received in 2013; check out their website: rosscider.com to read more.
They have created a really unique set up in the heart of Herefordshire where they have single figure numbers of certain trees and make small batches. Where else can you go and find up to 70 different varieties of cider and perry on offer? Well, the answer is just down the road at their pub, the Yew Tree Inn.
So on to this week’s cider, which is a single variety made from Tremlett's Bitter, a bittersweet cider apple. This is the perfect example of their well-loved orchards, being made from only a few very old trees. This is as exclusive as it gets.
Popping the bottle top I get immediate dryness, as though I can feel it sucking the moisture out of my nostrils. This is followed by scents of dried apple skin and deep oaky smoke. There’s a bit of sediment in the bottom, so I start with careful pouring, which gives me an initial taste of gentle acidity and light fizz from the carbonation. Next comes rich tannic apple dryness followed by intense smokiness that lingers at the back of your throat. This becomes less powerful the more you drink but “punchy” (as described on the bottle) is certainly an understatement. This is a cider that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and makes you sit up to attention. It’s powerfully deep and really showcases everything about this cider apple.
If you missed out on the limited edition Ciderologist box, fear not. The quality and variety of Ross-on-Wye cider and perry means this isn’t the first time they’ve been in a Crafty Nectar box and it won’t be the last. Get signed up so you don’t miss out on the next one.
Oh and look out for my blog later in the year when I’ll be writing about my visit to Broome Farm where I’m going to spend a couple of days helping Mike, Albert and John with the harvest, pressing and cider making.
James Finch | Follow @TheCiderCritic
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