Review of Thistly Cross Traditional cider, from Scotland. I’ve previously tried this and their Whisky Cask variety.
Cider: Traditional (version for import to U.S.)
Cidery: Thistly Cross
Cidery Location: Dunbar Scotland
How Supplied: 500ml bottle
Style: Scottish craft cider
Availability: Semi wide release.
Cider Description: Our 6.2% Farmhouse Cider is smooth, refreshing and Thistly Cross’ first born. It’s a classic, farmhouse cider made with a blend of Scottish apples. The 6 month maturation makes it refreshing, smooth & fruity.
Cidery Description: We take care over each step of the cider-making process; from pressing the apples and fermenting with the finest blend of Champagne yeasts, to maturing the cider for at least 6 months to achieve that rounded, smooth Thistly Cross taste. We have the highest standards at every step of the process and compromise nothing for the taste that makes us so deliciously unique.
The Thistly Cross cider family consists of six hand-picked cider varieties, including refreshing strawberry made with real Scottish strawberries from our farm and the complex whisky cask cider – matured in ex-whisky casks (currently from Glen Moray). Our Elderflower-pressed Cider at 4% proves to be quite a talking point but it’s the Original Farmhouse cider at 6.2% that’s most loved across the board. Occasionally we produce limited editions and collaborative brews but these are our core varieties:
Where Bought: Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank: home
How Found: Browsing, although I’ve previously tried it. I haven’t had Thistly Cross for awhile and thought I’d give it a go.
First Impression: Medium straw yellow. Low carbonation upon pouring. Smells mild, of apple juice and not much else.
Tasting Notes: Semi-sweet. Still (no detectable carbonation). Medium bodied. Low tartness and acidity. No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins. Very apple forward with notes of honey, but otherwise I don’t pick up much else (simple non-complex flavor). Quick finish length. High sessionability.
My Opinion: I liked this less than I remembered…it tasted very much only like apple juice, and even its effects seemed much less than 6.2%. I’ve come to appreciate much more complexity in my cider, as well as a bit more dryness. When I started drinking cider I was really into their Whisky Cask cider though, which of the two I think I still prefer.
Most Similar to: Woodchuck Amber and other apple-forward sweeter ciders
Closing Notes: If you are a fan of sweet apple-forward cider, Thistly Cross may be a good option. I’ve moved on, but there is a reason they make so many different ciders.
Have you tried Thistly Cross? What did you think?