Weidmann & Groh Speierling Halbtrocken (2012) Apfelwein Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Weidmann & Groh
Cider Name: Speierling Halbtrocken (2012)
Region: Frankfurt, Germany
ABV: 8.5%
Taste: Medium/Dry
Served: 1 litre bottle at room temperature
Smell: Apples/Wine like
Colour: Golden
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: ApfelweinKontor, Frankfurt, Germany
Date: 19/06/13

I was going to try and keep my West Country Cider Tour reviews going but unfortunately I’ve run out of new ones already. Therefore I’m going back to the cider shelf for something new and I’ve found a few apfelweins I’ve yet to try yet. Up first is the Speierling Halbtrocken (2012) apfelwein from Weidmann & Groh.

This apfelwein in particular is made by the guys who I had the cider tasting evening with on my first night in Frankfurt. The guy behind it is Norman Groh, who is one of the few cider producers over there who likes to produce something a little different and not stick to the same standard apfelwein taste you find in most of their pubs. This company originally started as a distillery for fruit based products but since Norman got on board it has also been making apfelwein too. The operation setup there was fairly modern and quite huge if my memory serves me correctly. Seeing a traditional farmhouse producer in England and compare it to what they have is worlds apart in ways. It’s not to say one way is better than the other, but it’s interesting to see the difference and similarities.

Anyway, this particular apfelwein is one made with the local apples and also the fruit from the speierling (service tree) fruit, which is known to be fairly bitter and tannic. It’s like the German version of cider apples, though different too at the same time. This one is from the harvest just gone and is displayed very elegantly in this 1 litre bottle. That’s one thing the Germans do have right and that’s the size of the bottles! As this is labelled as Halbtrocken, then that means it should be medium/dry in taste and looks like it should be used at the dinner table with how posh it looks! Right, it’s time to have a drink of this fella now.

This poured lightly sparkling, a bright golden colour and has the aroma of apples mixed with a fine wine. I take my first sip and you get a rich sweet apple feel, before the tanging, fruity sensation takes over your mouth. This is acidic/tangy, sour and has a lovely mild bitter taste grip your mouth and ends with a good level of dryness and lightly tannic. This is fairly wine like in taste (like a sweeter German wine), though it is both bold and has character with that. It’s definitely one of my favourite apfelweins, though like with a lot of apfelwein it can be an acquired taste and overpowering for some. Having recently had a decent West Country cider and now this apfelwein, they are both worlds apart in style, but both have a great quality in the style they are in. If you’re an apfelwein fan, then you’re in for a treat with this one. One thing I’d watch out for is not to drink it too fast, as it’s a whopping 8.5% ABV!

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


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