We headed out to Fyshwick Markets yesterday for a cider tasting session as part of ‘apple and pear’ week. there were quite a few producers and suppliers there. This particular event was hosted by Plonk, a retailer which has an interesting and wide range of both ciders and wines.
There was plenty on offer from both the international producers, Stassen and Magners, as well as some new local offerings. I did try the Stassens Elderflower & Lime Cider, definitely one for those who prefer sweet style, and way too easy too drink. Much as I can drink a sweet cider I’m afraid that these days my taste has been informed, or is that de-formed, by drinking our own ciders which are definitely on the dry side of the spectrum.
I’d tried the Bilpin’s the previous week – a nice style with a very distinct apple flavour; and Small Acres Cyder I have bought and enjoyed previously, particularly their ‘Sparkling’ which is a very dry style indeed. I also thought that the Small Acres ‘Norfolk’ still cider had a nice apple aroma, without being overly sweet.
What most interested me were a group of small producers from up and down the east coast who are making some very fine products indeed. I started by tasting the Hillbilly ‘Crushed Apple’ and ‘Crushed Pear’, they are another producer from Bilpin in the NSW Blue Mountains. Both were very fine tasting products. The apple cider is made from the Julian apple, but to my taste the Crushed Pear edged it out.
Darkes Cider had their ‘Howler’ on offer, which was the most distinctive cider I tasted on the day. The Darkes product comes from their own orchards which are located at Darkes Forest, near Wollongong. This is definitely a drink for those who are looking for something other than ‘run of the mill’ ciders.
Last but definitely not least was Willie Smiths Organic Cider from the Huon Valley in Tasmania. Again this is the product of a family farm. The cider is partially matured in oak barrels. The flavour definitely has ‘depth’.
This was a great introduction to a range of suppliers and when we run out of our own product, or are looking for something a bit different, I’ll know where to go!