Review of Vohu Vein AS’s Scandinavian Cider Apple Semi-Dry, from Estonia (in Northern Europe, on the Baltic Sea). I’ve never tried any of their ciders.
Cider: Scandinavian Cider, Apple Semi-Dry
Cidery: Vohu Vein AS
Cidery Location: Vohu village, Estonia, in the south Baltic Sea shore
How Supplied: four pack of 12.7oz corked champagne bottles (thick glass)
Style: Norman-style cider made with Baltic apple varieties in Estonia
Availability: Semi wide release
Cider Description: What makes Scandinavian cider a unique one? Special North Europe apples blend. Three basic elements create a structure for cider – acid, tannin, and sweetness. We use our specific mix of Baltic varieties of apples, including (but not limited to) – Tellisaare “,” Alwa “,” Suislepp “,” Liivi Kuldrenett “,” Krugeri tuvioun “,” Talvenauding “, and this gives a unique combination of acid, tannin, and sweetness. The cider professionals came to conclusion that the apples for the production of the specific type of cider must grow precisely in the climate and on the soil where cider will be produced.
Cidery Description: Vohu winery, the producer of Scandinavian Cider, was built in 1967 in Laane-Virumaa county, Vohu village, Estonia, located in the south Baltic Sea shore. Variety of apples grown on the Baltic Sea shores, added to the Nordic traditions of cider producing, make Nordic ciders unique. Almost 50 years of experience gained by Vohu winery makes sure that the Scandinavian cider is consistent with both traditional recipes and modern requirements of the European Union.
In the years of Soviet power in the USSR in the small village Vohu Vein plant for the production of fruit wines he became plant-millionaire. The plant is surrounded by apple orchards with special cider varieties. Its territory is flowing river, full of trout plant endlessly supplying spring water two wells are located here. Guests visiting the factory, admire everything. And especially – competently planned and extremely streamlined production process that combines humane technology of the 18th century with modern technology. The proportion of manual labor takes exactly as long as necessary to “Sunny wine” was alive. “Chip” of the plant – is automatic line, which is the product of blending gravity separation in the filter room and more – up to the bottling line. In the cellars of the plant throughout the year to maintain the same temperature.
In the production of apple cider recipe uses a traditional Norman cider from special varieties of pears, too, is made according to old recipes of the north. Bottles of sparkling cider Scandinavian with the smell of yellow apples, green grapes and golden honey in sodas, decorated modestly in northern reserved. Juicy pear cider spicy taste reminiscent of nutmeg, but softened by a sweet creamy mousse through which emerges a weak note of lemon peel. We hope that the rich taste of apple and pear cider will satisfy the Americans.
Where Bought: Whole Foods in the Seattle area
Where Drank: home
How Found: Browsing. I had never seen or heard of it, and was intrigued enough to pick it up, despite it being a four pack (I usually go for single bottles, and many bottle shops in my area even split multi packs).
First Impression: Pale straw yellow hue. Medium carbonation upon pouring with tiny bubbles. Smells mild, of apple juice.
Tasting Notes: Semi-dry. Medium bodied. Moderate tartness. Mild acidity. A hint of bitterness. A hint of tannins. No sourness or funk. Apple forward, with notes of pomace, yeast, citrus, and mineral. Quick finish length. High apple influence. Moderate to high sessionability.
My Opinion: I started off thinking this was fairly average (and I had been hoping for more richness), but it grew on me, and I ended up really enjoying it. The flavor is fairly simple, but more intense than typical for semi-dry ciders. The ingredient list is a bit disappointing though, as it seems like they use apple juice concentrate (although that is the norm in Europe), sugar, malic acid, and citric acid. I drink what I like though.
Most Similar to: Other apple-forward semi-dry ciders with higher carbonation. I can’t think of any off the top of my head though, as most U.S. ciders are low carbonation due to the tax bracket. Its a bit like French cider, but the flavor isn’t as rich.
Closing Notes: This is a unique cider. From their website it appears they make it solely for import into the U.S., which seems unusual. It seemed well priced, especially considering they had to import those heavy bottles. I’m surprised they didn’t do single bottles. They also make a pear version, but I only saw the apple at Whole Foods.
Have you tried Scandinavian Cider? What did you think?