Handmade Cider Company Crazy Diamond (2011) Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Handmade Cider Company
Cider Name: Crazy Diamond (2011) Cider
Region: Wiltshire
ABV: 6.8%
Taste: Medium/Dry
Served: Lightly chilled 500ml bottle
Smell: Apples/Oak/Rum
Colour: Dull Yellow/Golden
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Bristol Cider Shop
Date: 03/05/13

The end of the week is here finally, the weather still is going strong and guess what….it’s another BBQ day! Oh how I love just being able to chill out in the garden with good food, company and drink. That drink has to be a good few ciders of course! Up today is another new one from Bristol Cider Shop, which happens to be the Crazy Diamond (2011) from Handmade Cider Company.

This is my 2nd cider from Handmade Cider Company (who were previously called Bath Cyder) and fingers crossed this one is exactly to my taste. I didn’t have the greatest experiences previously with the Rough Diamond, but then again the Bristol Cider Festival that year did seem to have a few ciders not tasting their best. I’ll take that previous experience with a pinch of salt and see how this one compares today.

Handmade Cider Company are a Wiltshire based cider producer run by Denis France. Although Wiltshire based, they source their apples from old orchards in Somerset and make cider the traditional way. From having a look at their website they make a good few different varieties of cider and also other products such as Cyser (cider apples fortified with honey) and Hedgerow Port. This particular cider is labelled as a full flavour, Somerset style cider blended from 2 different vintages. It sounds quite intriguing and hopefully is on my wavelength.

Following on with the labelling, it is simple and straight to the point. I’d be interested to know the apples used, but that’s more just to further my cider education! The only other information of note is that they add sulphites to the cider. That’s fairly standard in bottled ciders so they can try to keep it lasting longer and not spoil. Right, it’s that time again now to open this up and see how it is…

I poured this out of the bottle and it is a dull yellow/golden colour, has a nice appley aroma and possibly a hint of rum and oak. It sure smells gorgeous and lightly farmyardy. Once I got over how lovely it smells, I take my first sip and wow what a corker! There’s a gorgeous apple burst, followed by plenty of tannins, moderate acidity, sourness and a drying finish. The aftertaste is long-lingering, lightly bitter and has a tasty oak finish, with a hint of rum I believe too. It’s also rich, exciting, full-bodied, lively and keeps you on your toes. I will certainly be going back for more of this cider in the future. Top job Denis!

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

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Denis France said,

    Cheers for the great review! Just to point out, all the flavours in this cider come from the apples, it has been nowhere near an oak cask.


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