The Cider Critic’s Blog: Ganley & Naish - Browns

This week the apple blossom is out and I have a new release within the last couple of months from Ganley and Niash based in a Somerset village with a rather sinister history. Everybody loves a good story and the village of Kenn is famous for being the site of the last public hanging at the scene of the crime in the UK. How this links to this week’s bottle is that it is reported that the last words of one of the condemned men were “cider has been my ruin, the ruin of us all”

Well on a more positive note, these two friends began by making a couple of demijohns of cider in their back garden using a few surplus cider apples….pause a minute…imagine living in a place where there’s surplus cider apples?!? Sadly it’s all cookers and eaters round me if I’m lucky, although that hasn’t stopped me trying to make myself a bit of scrumpy. Anyway, I digress, Ganley and Naish have grown their little enterprise into a 7,000 litre a year operation, using cider apples from traditional orchards and staying true to their roots by using 100% juice.

Now the Browns apple actually originated from Devon, back in the late 19thcentury and became one of the cider maker’s favourites, thanks to its low tannins and sharp quality resulting in a very easy drinking cider.


    Opening the bottle I get an acidic and sharp bitter apple scent. It’s not a strong smell and there’s no instant waft thanks to the delicate fizz. Initial taste follows suit and is of crisp acidity. This then becomes bitter sweet on the palate and is then followed by a dry apple skin taste with a hint of smokiness in the finish. Each mouthful is like a little journey and despite the apple being very low in tannins, there is still a nice amount of depth to the taste. I actually really liked the smoky, apple skin finish, which you don’t get any hint of in the scent. I have to admit to being quite disappointed it was only a 330 ml bottle, especially as it’s not very strong at 5.5% abv.

    I can only recall having tried one other Browns cider, which was by Dunkertons based up in Herefordshire. I remember the sharp crispness but can’t recollect if there was any smokiness in it, although I do know it was a 500 ml bottle J

    This is the second cider I’ve tried from Ganley and Naish, having had their Medium Dry before, which was an excellent blend. I am a bit partial to a Dabinett, so will have to try that next. Being relatively recent to the production scene, these two friends have made quite the entrance with some really fantastic ciders. Once again Crafty Nectar have discovered a real cider gem and brought it to their noble followers, if you aren’t already one of them, then get signed up and enjoy the real cider resurgence.


    James Finch @thecidercritic

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