Jorg Stier Schlehen Apfelwein Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Jorg Stier
Cider Name: Schlehen Apfelwein
Region: Frankfurt, Germany
ABV: 5.7%
Taste: Dry
Served: 1 litre bottle at room temperature
Smell: Apples/Dry/Fruity
Colour: Dull yellow
Clarity: Hazy
Carbonation: Lightly sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Jorg Stier, Frankfurt, Germany
Date: 11/06/13

We’re into day 2 of the German apfelwein tastings and this comes straight from one of the producers I visited on the Sunday. The majority of my 10 I brought back are actually from his place, though there is fair competition from elsewhere. Up next is the Schlehen Apfelwein from Jorg Stier.

Schlehen Apfelwein literally means a cider with the sloes fruit added to it. With the UK tax laws as they are, cider makers here are not as free to experiment like they are across other parts of the world without being heavily penalised for it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as cider should be just from apples, though making a cider have subtle other flavours is not necessarily a bad thing either in my eyes. It’s the kind of “fruit cider” you get from the likes of Kopparberg that take things too far. A cider should predominantly taste of apples!

There’s a huge description on the bottle about the apfelwein and I can’t say my German is all that great. My general understanding is that it says it is made according to the traditional Maintaler (region from Frankfurt the cider is from) art of cider making and is refined with sloes. It’s also a fruity summer drink that should be drunk as soon as possible. On the back it seems to go on about that the orchards being an important place for both the people and the local habitat and they all go hand in hand together. That’s the general message I think it is saying, but someone else will no doubt correct me! It’s time to stop blabbing and more time for drinking, so I will open up this bottle now and try it.

This poured lightly sparkling, hazy yellow in colour and smelt very fruity. There was a good mix of fresh apples, light fruity smell and a good hint of dryness going on in this mix. My initial taste was of the fresh apples, which soon followed with lots of acidity and sour tastes. This really grips you and does start to dry your mouth out, though falls short of completely doing that. I’m feeling some citrus tones in there too and it has got a fairly decent sharp bite, with some bitterness in there as well. This is the kind of cider that is fairly complex and just has an ever changing feeling going through your mouth throughout the drink. The general picture of the cider is it’s sour, acidic, sharp and lightly bitter. It does engage with your tastebuds a lot, though tannins are not too high with this one. I can’t say I am feeling much of the sloes taste either, which personally is a good thing as I like my cider to taste of apples. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed it and will certainly look out for it in the future. Like with other apfelweins, it can be a bit of an acquired taste, though it works well for me.

Would I buy this again?: Yes
Overall Rating: 8/10

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