Haye Farm Premium Classic Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Haye Farm
Cider Name: Premium Classic Cider (2012 Vintage)
Region: Cornwall
ABV: 5%
Taste: Medium/Dry
Served: Lightly chilled 500ml bottle
Smell: Oaky/Whisky/Apple
Colour: Golden
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Still

Review/Tasting Notes:

From: Haye Farm, Cornwall
Date: 21/02/2015

Welcome to 2015 everyone and I hope it has been a great one so far for you guys. It’s certainly been a good one personally, though a little on the busy side. Hence the couple month gap since my last review! My New Year resolution has been to review more cider again and I shall try to continue that from now on. Up first today to reivew is the Premium Classic Cider from Haye Farm.

Haye Farm up until recently has been this cider producer that everyone I know on Twitter has been raving about and I knew very little of. It’s like I had been kept in the dark about a secret for so long. Finally, a couple of weeks ago I got to try their ciders down The Orchard Inn, in Bristol. I could see why everyone was raving about it. It tasted awesome and just had such an interesting/complex taste to it, especially their Whisky cask cider. Since then, I’ve managed to get hold of some of their bottled cider, which I can relax back with and really put some thought into reviewing.

For anyone who’s never heard of Haye Farm, then they’re a producer based in Lostwithiel, Cornwall. They use apples (over 50 varieties) from their own orchards, crush them in Cornish granite rollers, before pressing them through straw and then left to ferment/mature in either port or whisky barrels, with no additional yeast needed. To read a more in-depth guide of what they do then visit their site here. What I really like is that they straw press their cider. Some of the best cider I’ve had has been straw pressed (e.g. Ventons) and it seems like it is a dying art nowadays. It’s just nice to see other producers still using this art.

This cider itself is packaged very professionally and looks sleek and elegant. By looking at the design, it seems to be aiming for the bar/restaurant market or pubs with a good range of bottled ciders. It comes in at only 5%, but this is all natural and not weakened to this ABV. Apparently they were hoping it would be 7% (and even printed the labels for it!), but it only fermented to 5%. This was matured for 2 years in a whisky cask and comes from the 2012 vintage harvest. I’m not actually use to seeing cider from a vintage that’s more than a year or 2 ago. It’s usually wine you see from older vintages. The marketing description from the bottle is as follows:

“Haye Farm Cider has been handcrafted using the same traditional methods that have little changed since the 13th Century. The farm nestles in the beautiful Cornish countryside by the River Fowey and Penpol Creek.

We have over 50 varieties of apple that are grown locally and hand-picked. The apples are pressed traditionally and allowed to ferment naturally in whisky and port barrels, creating a distinctive and classic cider”.

Other than the above, there’s not much more to give away about this cider. But if it tastes as good as it looks, then I should be in for a treat.

This poured golden, completely still and has a very oaky/whisky aroma. Wow I love smell of this cider. I take in my first sip and there is a fairly rich, sweet apple taste, which then twists and turns through a taste explosion. There’s lots of oakiness to it, sharp/acidic, complex and a fair amount of tannins. Although it’s sweet to start with (a light honey flavour in there too), it does end drier, though not one to suck the moisture out of your mouth. I could see this being too intense for some, but it hits the spot for me. One of my friends thought this was good but edgy. Other friends of mine thought it was a bit too acidic for their palate. It all depends on personal preference really. Whilst it will be great for some, it might not be to everyone’s taste. It’s a thumbs up from me though.

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

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

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    David Crabtree said,

    I bought some from the local shop on Tuesday it was like gone off vinegar they exchanged it and it still tasted terrible. Avoid


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