Loic Raison Brut Cidre Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Loic Raison
Cider Name: Brut
Region: Brittany, France
ABV: 4.5%
Taste: Dry
Served: Lightly chilled 750ml bottle
Smell: Sweet Apples/Toffee
Colour: Golden/Amber
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

From: Le Bon Vin
Date: 30/10/14

I had a day off from the cider reviewing game yesterday and now I’m back, refreshed and ready to kick on with my French cidre reviews. The 3rd instalment of this French quadrilogy of cidres from Loic Raison is going to be something along the drier end of the spectrum in the shape of their Brut.

Brut is a name of a quality, classic aftershave, but also is the French word for dry. Thankfully I will be reviewing the cidre and not the aftershave on this occasion. That after all is what I’m about or I’d be called The Aftershave Blog.

Anyway, this is presented in a champagne-style bottle (also available in the small 330ml bottles) and looks to be one of the premier cidres of their range. Well, the more refined one at least by the look of it, which is probably aimed at something you would have with your dinner. The marketing description of this one goes as follows:

” The favourite cider amongst Brittany natives, this dry cider is renowned for its character and freshness. The apples undergo a slow maturation process, giving the cider an excellent balance between refreshment and flavour. Its full and dry taste becomes silky smooth in the mouth, and aromas of yellow fruits compliment the clear and golden complexion. Equally enjoyable by itself, or as an accompaniment to meat and fish dishes and the classic French pairing of crepes.”

An intriguing sounding description there, if I do say so myself. What really puzzles me is the bit about “aromas of yellow fruits”. I’m guessing it’s something lost in translation somewhere, but what yellow fruits do they mean? Yellow apples? Bananas? Something else? Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent there and will return back to the cidre now. What I’m really hoping for with this cidre is something with a bit more guts to it and more suited to my palate. The Doux was good, but too sweet to have more than one of. Can this be the one I’m looking for? Well, it’s time to find out right now…

Even though this comes in a fancy champagne-style bottle, I am not the kind of person who enjoys their cider in a wine glass. It’s probably completely sacrilege, but this will be poured inside a pint glass and enjoyed in the traditional English way.

It poured lightly sparkling, crystal clear and giving off aromas of sweet toffee apples. For what it says as a dry, it sure doesn’t smell like it.

My first taste starts off how it smells, with sweet ripe apples, but this is one that just gets drier as the taste lingers on. It does finish off dry, but not completely bone dry. It’s not quite one of those ciders that you end the sip and get into the cycle of needing another one to try and make your mouth less dry! Acidity is mild to moderate, light tartness, tannins are a decent level and good bitter kick at the end. It’s also got a lovely little woody note in the aftertaste. It feels silky smooth, well balanced and an interesting cider. If you’re used to a traditional Somerset cider, then it is something that does take a little getting used to, but it’s decent. For me I’d like a little more acidity going on, but it’s a good all round cider.

This got me thinking of what it’s similar to and then I remembered I had tried the French cidre Bolee D’Armorique before. Lo and behold, they were made by the same people! It’s on a similar taste to that and the English comparison would be the Burrow Hill in a bottle. It’s not going to be a session cider for me, but it does have its place at a dinner table.

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

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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