Review of Aspall English Demi Sec Draft Cider. I’m a huge fan of English cider, and of Aspall, and have tried a few of their other ciders (reviews & tasting notes here).
Cider: Demi Sec
Cidery Location: Suffolk England
How Supplied: 500ml bottle
Style: English craft cider made from heirloom & cider apple varieties
Availability: Fairly wide release at specialty bottle shops in the U.S. (and Europe of course)
Cider Description: Golden color, with ripe apple and honey-ish aromas. Lightly sweet with a pleasant balancing acidity giving way to a nice off-dry finish.
Apple Varieties: 65% Sweet (Cox Orange Pippin, Egremont Russett, & Royal Gala), 25% Sharp (Bramley Seedling & Howgate Wonder), and 15% Bittersweet (Tremlett’s Bitter, Yarlington Mill, & Dabinett).
Cidery Description: The Chevalliers have been making cyder at Aspall for eight generations, since 1728 when Clement Chevallier fermented his first batch of Normandy style Suffolk cyder. They still produce cyder using only the fresh juice of whole Suffolk apples and the philosophy championed by their founding ancestor, Clement. Still owned and managed by the Chevallier family, Aspall is the oldest direct lineage cyder maker in the United Kingdom. There are no hidden partners or parent companies enabling Aspall to focus on making the best possible product without compromise. Truly family owned.
Where Bought: Schilling Cider House
Where Drank: home
How Found: Browsing. I’ve been wanting to try more Aspall varieties, and hadn’t tried this one.
First Impression: Dark straw yellow with some orange. Low carbonation and moderate foam upon pouring. Smells of mild apple, floral, and citrus.
Tasting Notes: Semi-sweet to semi-dry. Low to moderate acidity. Medium bodied. Low tartness. Hints of bitterness and tannins. No sourness or bitterness. Notes of honey, citrus (including grapefruit), floral, and green apple. Moderate length finish. Moderately flavored. Moderate apple influence. Moderate sessionability.
My Opinion: Tasty! Its light and refreshing, although with more sweetness and less richness than I expected. It doesn’t have many of the characteristics of traditional English cider.
Most Similar to: I found this more similar to “American” ciders than English ciders. The following have similar honey and floral notes: Moonlight Meadery How Do You Like Them Little Apples (except it is sweeter and barrel aged), Finnriver Honey Meadow (except it has chamomile and lemon balm), and EZ Orchards Hawk Haus (except it is much drier).
Closing Notes: This was definitely enjoyable, but not what I was expecting. My favorite from Aspall remains their Imperial (black label…not sure if it differs from the blue labeled bottles).
Have you tried Aspall Demi Sec? What did you think?