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12Bore

Because Lorraine is so modest...

... she hasn't told you all how good her cider is.
So, please. allow me.
This is a copy of a review that I have written for her website and Facebook page.

"For those not familiar with farmhouse craft ciders, they are made by small scale producers usually using apples from traditional varieties and with minimal processing. Basically they collect apples, crush them, squeeze the juice out of them, collect the juice, store it in large barrels where the natural yeasts cause fermentation (which gives us the alcohol) then filter it into pasteurised bottles ready for sale.
And that's it, no flavourings, no additives, no messing about with the natural product, which is why it is almost impossible for two producers to end up with identical ciders. It's the way cider has always been made, and it's why we cider aficionados love Craft Ciders.  

First impressions mean a lot, and a clear golden cider in a clear glass bottle is an excellent start, generally speaking, the clearer a drink looks, the less adulterated it will be, and the better it will taste. The label is a simple affair, no flashy designs, no boastful claims just a simple statement of what is inside the bottle, Spotty Dog Farmhouse Cider, who made it, Lorraine Turnbull of Killibury, and it's ABV of 6% - oh, and a picture of the eponymous Spotty Dog, in this case a Springer Spaniel. The label also tell us that the cider is produced from locally sourced, sustainably grown, apples and is a still cider.

Cool the bottle in the fridge before drinking, but – and it's a big but – don't over chill it! The current fad for serving ciders ice cold or over ice, is just a means used by the big cider companies to kill the flavours of the drink in an attempt to hide their shortcomings, and it works. There is absolutely no need to do this to real cider.

Open the bottle of Spotty Dog Cider and straightaway another plus, no hiss, this is a still cider, straight out of the barrel without being carbonated, pressurised or having sugar primers added to it in the bottle.

Into the glass with it, only fill half way, and, before it settles, stick your nose in and have a really good, deep, sniff. Now, if this were a mega-corp “cider”, this might not be a good idea, you don't want a nasal enema of manufactured bubbles, acids or chemicals, but with Spotty Dog Cider it's a pleasure, because all you get is a nose full of apples.

So, having filled the glass, it's time to taste Spotty Dog Cider for the first time... what a pleasure, a clean, fresh tasting cider, it tastes of nothing but apples! This might sound like a strange thing to say when tasting cider, but so often, when sampling ciders from the mega-– corps, there are other, less pleasant flavours in that first mouthful, hints of preservatives, added flavourings and flavour enhancers, all of which are joyfully absent from Spotty Dog Cider. If you take your time you can discern different levels of “applyness” within the cider, there are complex levels within the apple flavour, I found a clear taste of Cox apples and an underlying layer of Granny Smiths. There were other apples there I'd take an educated guess at Kingston Black and Dabinetts (specialist cider varieties), but the dessert apples certainly came to the fore.

The bottle says that this is a Medium cider, this is my only quibble (and it's a very minor one), for my money this is a Medium – Dry cider, what is very nice to note is that it carries the dryness without acidity. Inevitably where apples are concerned, there is a degree of acidity involved and this can make a cider into a paint stripper all too easily, Spotty Dog Cider avoids this with aplomb, combining the dryness, apple and alcohol to produce an excellent light bodied easy to drink cider.

As you work your way down the glass, each mouthful of Spotty Dog Cider is a pleasure, the delicate acidity gently tightens the tongue muscles and the flavours linger on the roof of your mouth, the apple flavours do not fade, as they do in some ciders, and the drink tastes fresh right down to the last drop.

In conclusion, Spotty Dog Cider is a seriously good cider, clean, fresh, well balanced and very enjoyable. Wherever and whenever you drink it, whether it be outside on a hot summers' day, or in front of the fire on a winter's evening, it will bring you the taste of craft cider as it should be, a glass full of lovingly grown English apples."

One important correction, Lily is a Cocker, not a Springer!
Yorkshire Geordie

Nice report 12Bore.  
Certainly made me look for Spotty Dog - but it say's they don't post their goods - only collect.
Looks like I've got to go and visit Lorraine and Lily soon.
Pitty because after reading your blurb I want to whet my whistle NOW.  
Martyn
Rena

Yorkshire Geordie wrote:
Nice report 12Bore.  
Certainly made me look for Spotty Dog - but it say's they don't post their goods - only collect.
Looks like I've got to go and visit Lorraine and Lily soon.
Pitty because after reading your blurb I want to whet my whistle NOW.  
Martyn


Did the same to me! (.... And I live even farther away ...)
sod

Us too but guess we will just have to sit and dream/drool
Lorrainelovesplants

Happy to post out if you contact me (and are in the mainland UK).

Thanks for the post!
Lorrainelovesplants

Ive been shortlisted for another award.
I'll obviously be bragging if I get anywhere with it.

Now doing still dry, still medium, bottle conditioned Special (med) and bottle conditioned Naughty Dog (med).

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