Sidra Asturiana Mayador Sparkling Natural Cider

Review of Sidra Asturiana Mayador’s limited release sparkling natural cider.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve tried a few other Spanish sidras (including the still version of this cider).

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Winesellers, Ltd.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.<<

Cider:  Sparkling Natural Cider, limited release
Cidery:  Sidra Asturiana Mayador
Cidery Location:  Asturia Spain
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged bottles
Style:  Spanish Sidra, natural, sparkling

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Availability:  Semi wide release in the U.S. through Winesellers, Ltd.  Their cider portfolio also includes Le Brun, Domaine de la Minotiere, Manoir de Grandouet, & Cidrerie Daufresne from France, and Dunkertons from England.

Description:  Manuel Busto Amandi founded the bodega in 1939 for the production of natural cider.  Subsequently, the Mayador range of ciders was developed and includes this limited release sparkling cider.  It is produced from our traditional Sidra Natural fermented in chestnut barrels, creating a fresh, medium-dry style and light effervescence.

Price:  n/a (retails for $8)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the importer contacted me

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First Impression:  Moderate straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation (less than expected).  Smells of sourness and citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light bodied with a fluffy texture.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low sourness.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No funk.  Notes of lemon, grapefruit, mineral, and a hint of vinegar.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability, flavor intensity, and complexity.

My Opinion:  I’m the first to admit that I’m not a fan of sour ciders such as Spanish Sidra.  However, I was pretty ambivalent on this one; I liked it more than I expected to.  I shared it with some cider friends who are fans of Sidra, and they enjoyed it.

Most Similar to:  Spanish Sidras which are a bit sweeter and less sour, such as Bereziartua Sidra Natural and Viuda de Angelon Sidra Brut.

Side Note:  It is much more common to find still (vs. sparkling) Sidra.  It is usually “thrown” (poured) from a height to naturally aerate it.  Here is a great guide on Spanish Sidra.

Closing Notes:  I would recommend Sidra Asturiana Mayador’s sparkling limited release natural cider especially to folks not familiar with Spanish Sidra, as it has qualities which makes it easier for a beginner to enjoy (higher sweetness and less sourness).  Or, for an even more beginner friendly Sidra (although this one is made using pears), Viuda de Angelon Sidra de Pera.

Have you tried Spanish Sidra?  What did you think?

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Sidra Asturiana Mayador Still Natural Cider

Review of Sidra Asturiana Mayador’s Still Natural Cider.  It is my first time trying this one, although I’ve had a few Spanish sidras.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Winesellers, Ltd.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.<<

Cider:  Still Natural Cider
Cidery:  Sidra Asturiana Mayador
Cidery Location:  Asturia Spain
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  700ml corked bottles
Style:  Spanish Sidra, natural, still

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Availability:  Semi wide release in the U.S. through Winesellers, Ltd.  Their cider portfolio also includes Le Brun, Domaine de la Minotiere, Manoir de Grandouet, & Cidrerie Daufresne from France, and Dunkertons from England.

Description:  Manuel Busto Amandi founded the bodega in 1939 for the production of natural cider.  Subsequently, the Mayador range of ciders was developed and includes this Sidra Natural produced from Asturian apples in the traditional “en rama” style which is fermented in chestnut barrels and unfiltered, resulting as a still cider with harmonious dry and sour flavors.

Price:  n/a (retails for $8)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the importer contacted me

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First Impression:  Moderate straw yellow hue with lots of yeast floaters (lees).  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of sourness and citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Dry (fully).  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low to moderate sourness.  Low bitterness and funk.  A hint of tannins.  Sharp notes of lemon, grapefruit, mineral, and vinegar.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability and complexity.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I wasn’t personally a fan.  However, I haven’t really enjoyed any Spanish Sidras, as their sourness just doesn’t agree with my palette.  I preferred Sidra Asturiana Mayador’s limited release sparkling version of this cider (which was sweeter and less sour), and so did my cider friends who I tasted both sidras with.  A “Spanish pour” (from a height, to aerate the cider) likely would have helped a bit, but that isn’t too practical.

Most Similar to:  Traditional dry, sour, and still Spanish Sidras

Closing Notes:  I’d recommend this to folks who truly enjoy dry and sour ciders, and/or those who are looking to try a very traditional Sidra.

Have you tried Spanish Sidra?  What did you think?

Bereziartua Edición Gourmet

Review of Bereziartua’s Edición Gourmet.  This is my first time trying their cider, although I’ve tried a handful of other Spanish Sidra varieties (pronounced see-druh, cider in Spanish).

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Scoperta Importing / The Marchetti Company (the importer).  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.<<

Cider:  Edición Gourmet
Cidery:  Bereziartua
Cidery Location: Astigarraga, Basque Country, Spain
ABV:  6%
How Supplied:  750ml green bottles, wine corked
Style:  Spanish Sidra

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Availability:  CA, DE, ID, IL, KY, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, OR, SC, and WA

Production:  This special cider is produced from select apple varieties grown in a special orchard that Bereziartua has been working with for 25 years.  The freshly picked apples are crushed, pressed, and then fermented in kupelas (large oak barrels) for a minimum of eight months.  This traditional cider is 100% natural: apples are the only ingredient.

Tasting Notes:  Unfiltered and slightly effervescent, with peach, orange blossom, and lemon aromas, this has more body and roundness than most Basque ciders but still finishes bright and dry.

Food Pairing:  Excellent with steak, rich fish dishes, and lightly fried foods.

Serving Suggestion:  Serve chilled.  Traditionally Basque cider is poured from a bottle held head high into a glass held mid-thigh.  A small portion is poured and the cider aerates as it hits the glass.  It should be consumed in one gulp and poured again.

Apple Varieties: Numerous wild Spanish apple varieties, including Txalaka, Urtebia, Judeline, and Judor

Cidery Description:  Sidras Bereziartua Sagardoak is a family-run firm devoted to cider production since 1870.  That was when we made the first Bereziartua ciders at our old installations in Ergobia. A century later, in 1970, our cider house finally committed itself to the production of sagardua or cider at its installations in Astigarraga, where we are located today.  Since then, and following various modernization processes, Bereziartua has become a beacon in the production of natural cider, while at the same time preserving its family character at the service of tradition, and out of respect and gratitude towards our loyal customers.

Price:  n/a (retail is $10.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the importer asked if I would like samples

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First Impression:  Cloudy bright yellow hue.  Smells of sulfur, funk, sourness, and citrus.  Low carbonation.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Medium bodied, smooth.  Moderate to strong sourness that hits more mid-palate than back of the palate.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Mild bitterness.  Moderate funk.  No tannins.  Notes of grapefruit, orange, lemon, mineral, sulfur, and yeast.  Moderate apple flavor.  Low sessionability.  Low flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  Although its growing on me, I’m not a huge fan of Spanish Sidra.  I was able to share the remainder of the bottle with some friends who better enjoy this style.  Of the two, I preferred the Sidra Natural (as I found it more flavorful and less harsh), but my husband preferred Edición Gourmet (which he found to have more apple flavor).

Most Similar to:  Other Spanish Sidras

Closing Notes:   If you enjoy Spanish Sidra, American farmhouse-style cider, sour beers, etc, than this is a well-made budget-friendly selection I’d recommend.

Have you tried Spanish Sidra?  What do you think of them?

Bereziartua Sidra Natural

Review of Bereziartua’s Sidra Natural.  This is my first time trying their cider, although I’ve tried a handful of other Spanish Sidra varieties (pronounced see-druh, cider in Spanish).

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Scoperta Importing / The Marchetti Company (the importer).  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.<<

Cider:  Sidra Natural / Basque Apple Cider
Cidery:  Bereziartua
Cidery Location: Astigarraga, Basque Country, Spain
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  750ml green bottles, wine corked (and kegs)
Style:  Spanish Sidra

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Availability:  CA, DE, ID, IL, KY, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, OR, SC, and WA

Production:  Freshly picked apples are crushed and pressed.  The freshly pressed juice is put into kupelas (large neutral wood barrels) where it ferments for five months.  This traditional cider is 100% natural.  Apples are the only ingredient.

Tasting Notes:  This cider is unfiltered and slightly effervescent.  The aromas are peach and orange blossom, with a bouquet of yeast, and the tart apple flavor finishes in a burst of minerals.  

Food Pairing:  Excellent with poultry and friend foods.  Enjoy as an aperitif.  Serve chilled.

Serving Suggestion:  Traditionally, Basque cider is poured from a bottle held head high into a glass held mid-thigh.  A small portion is poured and the cider aerated as it hits the glass.  It should be consumed in one gulp and poured again.

Apple Varieties: Numerous wild Spanish apple varieties, including Txalaka, Urtebia, Judeline, and Judor

Cidery Description:  Sidras Bereziartua Sagardoak is a family-run firm devoted to cider production since 1870.  That was when we made the first Bereziartua ciders at our old installations in Ergobia. A century later, in 1970, our cider house finally committed itself to the production of sagardua or cider at its installations in Astigarraga, where we are located today.  Since then, and following various modernization processes, Bereziartua has become a beacon in the production of natural cider, while at the same time preserving its family character at the service of tradition, and out of respect and gratitude towards our loyal customers.

Price:  n/a (retail is $8.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the importer asked if I would like samples

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First Impression:  Cloudy bright yellow hue.  Smells fresh, sour, and of citrus.  Low carbonation.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Medium bodied with some frothy texture.  Moderate sourness that hits more mid-palate than back of the palate.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Mild bitterness.  Mild funk.  No tannins.  Notes of grapefruit, orange, lemon, mineral, and yeast.  Low apple flavor.  Low sessionability.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.

Side note – I did not do a traditional Spanish pour.  Truthfully I had enough trouble getting the bottle open!  (plus unless you have a lot of experience, doing a long pour, it is likely to be wasteful)  This Sidra didn’t seem to require the aeration as much as some others though.

My Opinion:  Although its growing on me, I’m not a huge fan of Spanish Sidra.  I was able to share the remainder of the bottle with some friends who better enjoy this style.  I did enjoy this the most of all the Sidras I have tried however (I found it more flavorful and the sourness less harsh).

Most Similar to:  Other Spanish Sidras

Closing Notes:   If you enjoy Spanish Sidra, American farmhouse-style cider, sour beers, etc, than this is a well-made budget-friendly selection I’d recommend.  If you are thinking of trying one for the first try, this is a decent choice (although its not the mildest, it isn’t the harshest, and I think it has a nice flavor).

Have you tried Spanish Sidra?  What do you think of them?