Lobo Adelaide Hills Apple Cider
$?? (330 ml.); 5.7% alcohol; crown seal; drunk 16 NOV 09; 93 points
Like many Hills Angels, Michael Stafford is a fifth generation apple grower. In the true old Hills tradition, he’s worked out how to make alcohol from them. Beautiful, wholesome, fruity alcohol. Critical to his plan is Warwick Billings, a winemaker who grew up on a Somerset farm with a cider press fizzing in his head. Sorry, in the shed. Their disarming cloudy brew is made after the gentle Normandy style: a mix of apple varieties, with the focus on Pink Lady, not too much science - apart from a slow cold ferment, to best entrap the freshness of the apples – some age, and into us. This is the first Hills cider of any distinction I can recall hitting the shelves since the old Cobbleys cloudy disappeared from Somerton in the late ’seventies. It’s creamy and thick, and shouldn’t be served too cold, although even with a severe chill on, it remains an alarmingly refreshing and vibrant drink. It leaves one with a silly grin and a dangerous sense of well-being. Go to www.loboapple.com for outlets.
Aspall Draught Suffolk Cyder
$5.45 (375ml); 5.5% alcohol; crown seal; 93 points)
Peroni, Grüber Filtsblein Hornischness, Fartlestopfer Gross Wies, Phlegmheimer Pils – all those expensive übersuds – might offer the famished palate a ripping quench, but no grain-based froth will get within a rippled soul of a crash hot ice cold cider like this. Dunno why, but the English, the world’s most warlike people, have had it nailed since Boedicca. It’s made from apples, and I’ve never tasted more, better, fresh, lively, crunchy apples than this little grenade of pleasure offers. Try with gingham and giggly freckles in the farm cart, but rarely on the horse.