Loic Raison Doux Cidre Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Loic Raison
Cider Name: Doux
Region: Brittany, France
ABV: 2%
Taste: Sweet
Served: Lightly chilled 330ml bottle
Smell: Sweet apples/Woody
Colour: Golden/Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

From: Le Bon Vin
Date: 27/10/14

The theme for this weeks cider reviews will have a little more of an International feel. Well, not too far overseas actually, but just over the English Channel to France. My journey will be through a range of Breton/Brittany ciders from Loic Raison and to see how they compare with ciders from back home. Up first is their Doux cidre.

Loic Raison have been in the cidre business in France for nearly 100 years (since 1923) and look to be one of the bigger players in their market. Apparently French cidre is subject to strict rules and regulations on how it is produced and the ingredients that are used, which makes a welcome change from the flimsy cider laws over here. I wish the laws here were more strict, like they are overseas. That would mean the likes of Magners would have to up their game or sell their products under a different name, with different tax regimes! Ah if only that was true! Traditional Loic Raison cidres are made from 100% Brittany apples and no added water, colourings, sugars, or flavourings.

The meaning of the word Doux is simply the French word for sweet. Unlike most (but not all – some here still use the tradition) sweet ciders over here, the French like to use the method of keeving to get their ciders on the side of sweet. There won’t be none of the backsweetening (adding apple juice post-fermentation) or adding sweetners to make their cider sweet but simply halt the fermentation at an early stage so it retains its natural sweetness. The drawback to that is the ABV is lower than your usual cider, with this one coming in at a low 2%. To get a more in-depth description of keeving, then click here for a link from the brilliant cider.org.uk website.

As you’d expect from a French cidre, the marketing blurb on the back is all in French. I have a really poor grade for GCSE in French, which means I don’t want to try and risk attempting it without the help of Google! Thankfully on this occasion their UK distributor (Le Bon Vin) for them have given me the translation, which goes as follows:

“Indulgently fruity and sweet, the low alcohol content of the Doux allows it to be enjoyed at any time. Displaying a rich orange-yellow colour, the natural liveliness and lightness of the apples are accentuated by a persistent but not overbearing sweetness. With aromas of baked apples, the taste is generous and a real antidote to some of the cloyingly sweet ciders available in the UK. Great as a lunchtime treat, or paired with desserts and cheeses.”

Right, with all that in mind, it’s cidre drinking time people….

This poured pretty much as I expected; Lightly sparkling with a minor head to it, golden/amber in colour and a lovely sweet apple aroma. This is not a sickly sweet smell, but more fruity with a lightly woody smell.

I take in my first taste and there is a big bold fresh apple taste, sweet initially, but then develops into something a little more complex and exciting. Acidity is very low, but still minor feel to it, very fruity, lightly tannic end to it and just such an easy going cider. It’s a silky smooth, rich and sweet cider and definitely not a sickly sweet one. This certainly has a lot more depth than I was expecting. Speaking from a personal point of view, this wouldn’t be something I would drink very often, but it is very drinkable for something this sweet. It’s something light to drink with a dessert or when you have that craving for a sweeter cider.

Would I buy this again?: Yes, but not too often
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Disclaimer: This was a free sample from Le Bon Vin, however this had no bearing on my review of this cider.

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