Ashill Dry Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Ashill
Cider Name: Dry
Region: Somerset
ABV: 6% (?!?)
Taste: Dry
Served: Pint at room temperature
Smell: Rustic apples/Ethanol
Colour: Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Ashill Farm
Date: 28/05/13

As I was coming back from the camping on Monday, I noticed a sign on the side of the road for cider. I don’t need more of a calling than that, so I followed the signs and ended up at Ashill Farm. What better than an impromptu cider trip! It said to honk my horn for cider and I obliged. Up pops a lady from the house and I was invited into the cider barn to taste the cider they had on offer. They had just the sweet or dry on, so I opted for the dry cider.

Once I got home I tried to find out a bit more about Ashill Cider and couldn’t really find out a lot at all on Google. The ‘In Search Of Cider’ book suggests it is now run by a mother and son operation (Anne House/Ian House) and are using the last of their end of life orchard and have now also acquired apples from a local farmer. They are based in Ilminster, Somerset and are definitely a proper cider farm, who look to make their cider the right way. The most intriguing thing about them is the label. It’s just very cool! It has a lady in what looks like a cabaret act, with a glass of cider, doing high kicks. The tagline is then “The Cider With A Real Kick”…that’s what I like to hear! I always love a cider that has a bit more about it and hopefully this will deliver on its promise. There is no ABV on the label, though web reports suggest around the 6% mark. It’s that time again folks, it’s time to open this flagon!

This is another farmhouse cider that has poured surprisingly clear, which I am guessing is done via the racking involved. It’s one of those things where it’s more about personal choice whether you are a fan of the sediment in the cider, though it doesn’t make a huge difference to me. It’s amber in colour, with a light tint of orange too in the right light. The aroma though……wow that could take your head off! It’s got that rustic apple smell to it, but there’s also a large amount of ethanol in the air. Some would say it smells like rocket fuel!

Having got over the mind exploding aroma, I take in my first sip and it’s definitely one that won’t please everyone. You get a lovely farmyard apple feel to the beginning and then the acidity and dryness take over massively, with it being citric and having moderate tannins in the mix too. It’s bordering on the bone-dry feel to it, though for me it just hits the spot. This reminds me a bit of the Bennetts cider of old, though the acidity doesn’t quite burn the throat like that use to. On one hand it’s all of the above, though on the other hand it can feel quite smooth too once you get over that taste. The aftertaste is drying and rather gorgeous, with a mild oak feel in there as well! I think this is certainly a cider that will split people’s opinions and I personally love it. Though I can’t really see this being only 6%; it feels a lot more than that! I’ll certainly be back for more in the future.

Would I buy this again?: Yes
Overall Rating: 9/10

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