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Tátův Cider Polosuchý

One day Jan Abt and his family decided to leave Prague to live a simple and peaceful life, away from the busy city. The family bought a farm with apple orchards, and settled in a small village Líšnice, 30 km south-west of Prague. In 2014 they launched Tátův Sad (Czech for Dad’s Orchard), which is a family business, where each family member is assigned to a different task. Dad takes care of the orchards and cider making, Mum covers the sales part, whereas Uncle is in charge of graphic design. Their current line-up features a dry, semi-dry and hopped version. Since they recently have planted new apple trees of English and French varieties, we can expect more ciders from Dad’s Orchard coming soon.
Tátův Sad
Place of Origin: Líšnice, Středočeský Kraj, Czech Republic
Apples: apples from their own and neighbouring orchards
Sweetness as per label: semi-dry
ABV: 4.9%
Package type: draught
Recommended type of glass: pint glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a large froth, which only slowly reduces. Lightly carbonated. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is rather weak and has only crisp yellow apples. That’s all I can get here.

Taste: it starts slightly watery and slightly sweet with moderate lemon-like acidity. Followed by a smoky touch, a flavour of apple juice, delicate astringency and a light bitter taste towards the end.

Overall: I could swear there is King of the Pippins in the mix, as this apple variety gives a quite characteristic bitter flavour. Anyway, Polosuchy is based on an English dry style of cider. It’s an easy drinking pretty complex drop, which will appeal to a larger audience. There could be more aroma on the nose, but it tasted quite ok. I wouldn’t mind having it again. 3.5/6

Availability: in many bars and restaurants in the Czech Republic. From Kralupská pivotéka U Chameleona in Kralupy nad Vltavou. Online available from Dobry Cider, Opily Jabko. Delikatesy online,, Cauvino or in the Netherlands from CiderLab.

Price: had it at InCider Bar at 55 CZK (2.1 EUR) a pint. InCider Bar will sadly close at the end of the year.

Guzman Riestra Sidra Brut Nature

I love reading stories like this. The history of Guzman Riestra stretches back to 1906 when Robustiano Riestra made a cider press from, most likely, a eucalyptus tree. Robustiano’s goal was to make sidra and sell it in a store he owned in Gijón. Over the years, the cidery has seen many transformations. It expanded, the facilities were modernized and new sidras were introduced. When Guzman Riestra took over the management in 1985 ‘Guzman’ was added to the name of the cidery. Sons of Guzman, Raúl and Ruben, have been in charge of the company since 1985 experimenting and setting new trends in the Spanish cider world.

Today’s review is on their Brut Nature, introduced in 2012, made using Methode Champenoise, a rather unusual technique for Spanish sidra. Company: Guzman Riestra
Place of Origin: Barrio de Perea, Sariego, Asturias, Spain
Apples: apples coming from local orchards
ABV: 8%
Package type: 750ml green glass champagne corked bottle
Recommended type of glass: flute, chalice glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a white frothy head that quickly dissipates. High carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is rich and sweetish with notes of oak, vinegar, juicy apple, red apple and candy. In the background notes of funk and leather.

Taste: it starts dry with low residual sweetness and moderately acidic with a flavour of crisp apple, lemon juice and only distant vinegar. The mid-palate has red ripe juicy apples, a medium astringent taste and a smoky note with blood orange and grapefruit peel. In the aftertaste, a delicate grapefruit-like bitterness appears leaving a lingering chalky taste.

Overall: Sidra Brut Nature from Guzman Riestra has an exceptionally sophisticated and balanced palate full of refreshing citrus fruits and ripe apples. Every sip reveals a new taste and is like an in-depth exploration of many layers of flavours. It’s like French Champagne meets Spanish sidra. Dry and citrusy refreshing with some residual sweetness will appeal to larger audiences. Perfect for any kind of celebration. I would buy more. 4.5/6

Availability: through Sidra.Shop, Sidra y Sidras, Disbealsan. In the Netherlands from Cider Cider.

Price: purchased online from Ciderwinkel. It was one of the sidras in the Spanish discovery box.

Ex-Press Cider Gun Dog Millionaire

It happens extremely rare, but all I could find about Ex-Press Cider is that the company was launched in 2016 and comes from Porlock, Exmoor, Somerset, UK. As for the Gun Dog Millionaire, it is a Silver medal winner from 2017 SWECA Annual Cider Competition in the category medium cider. Company: ExPress Cider
Place of Origin:
Exmoor, Somerset, UK
Somerset cider apples
Sweetness as per label:
ABV: 6.9%
Package type: 500ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale amber with orange hues and no head. Low carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: it smells fruity and sweet at the same time of freshly pressed apple juice, red apples, sweet caramel. Notes of oak and barnyard in the background.

Taste: it starts slightly watery with caramel-like sweetness and low, barely detectable acidity. Subsequently, you get a powerful astringent kick with a light smokiness, accompanied by notes of red apple, fresh apple juice and oak. Towards the end apple seeds with a hint of caramel bitterness and watermelon.

Overall: this is one of the rare cases when a slightly higher level of sweetness would improve the palate and most probably make the watery taste disappear. Gun Dog Millionaire is advertised as medium, but I would classify the level of sweetness as more on the drier side of medium, medium dry. It’s light, interesting with a nice breadth of flavours and can’t be likeable. Well, I liked it. But the faint watery taste was quite disappointing. I could have it again, but I could live without. 4/6

Availability: mostly in the North Exmoor area. Also available through Bottles & Books in Bristol.

Price: arrived with my cider subscription delivered monthly by Orchard Box.

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Gutshof Kraatz Wilde Kerle 2016

Wilde Kerle, meaning Wild Buddies or Wild Things (if referring to Maurice Sendak’s book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’) in German, is an Apfelwein from Gutshof Kraatz made entirely from German wild apple varieties, rich in tannins adding astringency and/or bitterness and complexity to Apfelwein or cider. It is not an easy task for Florian from Gutshof Kraatz to find wild apples. Once he finds an apple tree growing somewhere in the wild he marks the tree location and has to return to the spot at an optimal harvest date. Sometimes Florian has to even tear through bushes to collect wild apples for the Wilde Kerle. Apart from that, apple trees growing in the wild account for the relatively small size of the fruits and low fruit yields compared to the regular orchards. Bear that in mind next time you open a bottle of Wild Kerle from Gutshof Kraatz. Company: Gutshof Kraatz
Place of Origin: Nordwestuckermark-Kraatz, Germany
Apples: made from wild apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 8%
Package type: 750ml clear glass wine bottle with screw cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass

Appearance: pours a beautiful, crystal deep clear golden with no head. No carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the nose exhibits notes of white wine, red overripe apples, yellow apples, fresh sweet juicy apples, baked apples with pear. The aroma is rounded up by underlying notes of caramel and vanilla.

Taste: it starts dry with a minor residual sweetness and medium lemon-like acidity with a light tartness. The mid-palate has a low astringent taste, which smoothly moves to a smoky note, overripe apples, baked apples with vanilla and a vinous note. Wilde Kerle leaves a lovely extremely long lingering aftertaste of caramel, light apple seed-like bitterness and lightly burnt caramel-like bitterness.

Overall: Florian’s great efforts to obtain wild apples definitely paid off. Wilde Kerle tastes simply glorious! Already the first sip gave the wow effect. Not to mention oohing and aahing after every other sip. Wilde Kerle is not-entirely dry with low residual sweetness, full-bodied with perfectly balanced multiple types of apple flavours, which move smoothly from one to another. Also, its lovely lingering aftertaste seems to never end. Hence, this Apfelwein is just perfect for slowly sipping. Would pair well with any type of cheese. Taken together, Wilde Kerle is an excellent Apfelwein that will please every (even picky) palate. I will surely get more of this one. 5.5/6

Availability: from their online shop, CiderWorld Shop (a new name for Apfelwein International). In Frankfurt from Apfelweinkontor and Apfelweinhandlung. In Berlin from Schaufenster Uckermark located in Markthalle Neun. In Poland through Vinoteka in Szczecin.

Price: Florian contacted me and asked if I’d like to try their Apfelwein.

Zeffer Cider Company Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble is a classic UK dessert made with apples and other fruits and a crispy crumb topping. Agreed, the name sounds delicious for a pie, but for a cider? Apple Crumble is a limited edition cider from the New Zealand-based Zeffer Cider Company. Company: Zeffer Cider Co.
Place of Origin: Auckland, New Zealand
Ingredients: unknown apple varieties, cinnamon, vanilla, blackberry leaves
Sweetness as per label: unknown
ABV: 5.4%
Package type: 330ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: chalice glass, pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear copper with a short-lived white foam, which reduces to a long lasting ring. Low carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the scent is dominated by the aroma of cinnamon. Further notes belong to blackcurrant and distant vanilla. But no apple.

Taste: the first taste has a light sweetness in there with notes of cinnamon and both lemon and vinegary medium acidity. The mid-palate has a flavour of baked apples, red apples and a distant hint of vanilla. The aftertaste has a touch of bitterness and a hint of blackcurrant.

Overall: I am pleasantly surprised with this one. The Apple Crumble is drinkable and complex with the right level of sweetness. If it tasted less sweet it would be just boring, I think. The note of cinnamon is perhaps too dominating both on the nose and the palate covering apple notes, but the palate is rich and flavours move smoothly from one to another. I think that Zeffer’s Apple Crumble is a refreshing alternative to traditional ciders. Even the cider purist in me had to admit it. 4/6

Availability: to my knowledge currently only in Lager Lager in Berlin-Neukölln.

Price: 24 RM (4.80 EUR) at Ales & Lagers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Eric Bordelet Sidre Brut Tendre 2014

When you look up the term ‘sydre’ or ‘sidre’, which is an old French name for cidre, you will get many hits, but all associated with one name, Eric Bordelet. Eric Bordelet turned to cider in 1992 when he decided to quit his job as a sommelier at Paris’s three Michelin star Arpège to take over an apple orchard in the south of Normandy that belonged for generations to his family. His goal was to produce a sydre/sidre in exactly the same manner as wine is produced.

In the manufacturing process of Sydre Brut Tendre apples are pressed right after milling and subsequently fermented. Bordelet’s Sydre is racked off many times to slow down the fermentation process and to clear-up. Then Sydre is bottled without the addition of sugar and matured. Let’s try this beauty!
Company: Eric Bordelet
Place of Origin:
Charchigné, Normandy, France
organic cidre apples (20 apple varieties are grown on the farm)
Sweetness as per label:
ABV: 4%
Package type: 750ml amber glass champagne corked bottle
Recommended type of glass: flute or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear deep golden with light amber hues and a small frothy head. High carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is sweetish and rich with notes of red apples, baked apples, fermented apples, dried fruits, raisins, oak, apricot and cinnamon.

Taste: it starts moderately sweet with low lemon-like acidity. The mid-palate has notes of red apples, oak, smoked cheese, cinnamon with a hint of lightly burnt caramel-like bitterness with baked apples and apple seeds. In the aftertaste lightly burnt plum jam, powidl, gentle tannins with a bit of cinnamon and slightly acidic touch. All of a sudden, a note of freshly pressed apple juice appears.

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Overall: Eric Bordelet’s Sidre Tendre Brut tastes simply amazing and can be a crowd pleaser. It’s not too sweet but still, it tastes almost like ice cider or dessert wine. It has a nice level of acidity to it balancing out the sweetness. Also, the aftertaste is amazing and extremely long. When you think it is gone, it strikes again and goes on and on. It is really different to French cidres I have tried so far but still goes down easily. Would I have it again? Perhaps not every day, but I can see myself celebrating my birthday or New Year’s Eve with this one. Remarkable! Would pair excellently with goat cheese. 5/6

Availability: very broad. In Berlin through Lager Lager or at Nobelhart & Schmutzig. Online in Germany from Weinzeche, Vino Central, ABC-Wines or Weinhandlung Kreis. In Belgium from Bieres Gourmet. In Switzerland from Globus or Galaxus. In Norway through Vinmonopolet. In the UK from Uvinum. In Spain from Vinos Cutanda. In France from La Grande Epicerie. And many more.

Price: purchased from Weinzeche at 9.90 EUR.

Celtic Marches Down Down

Down Down cider is the next cider I am sampling from Celtic Marches. This cider is basically a joint venture with an English rock band, you have surely heard of, the famous Status Quo. The rockers, Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi of Status Quo visited the facilities in Herefordshire and even assisted with harvesting, crushing apples and pressing apple juice for cider.

If you want to watch a video on youtube with a snapshot of how the Down Down cider is produced with a special appearance by Status Quo just follow this link. Company: Celtic Marches Beverages
Place of Origin: Bishops Frome, Herefordshire, UK
Apples: apples made on a family farm. Varieties grown on the farm include Dabinett, Michelin, Harry Masters, Three Counties and Yarlington Mill.
Sweetness as per label: medium
ABV: 4.6%
Package type: 500ml amber glass bottle with crown cap
Ingredients: cider apple juice, sugar and water

Recommended type of glass: pint glass or flute

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a white head, which quickly disappears. Slightly sparkling.

Aroma/Nose: not so many flavours on the nose. I can smell green apple flesh, fermented apples and pears. The scent is slightly sweet.

Taste: it begins with a watery flavour with a very low acidity and low level of sweetness. The mid-palate has notes of fermented apples with green apples. The finish is dry with a minor bitter taste, light astringency (soft tannins) and a sweetener-like aftertaste on the tongue.

Overall: To my palate, the Down Down from the Celtic Marches company is a very average cider. ABV of 4.6% along with water on the ingredients list on the label indicate that the Down Down was diluted and you can actually taste it in this cider. The Down Down is drinkable, but I was rather disappointed with the taste and I doubt, whether I would purchase this particular cider again. There are better ciders around. 3/6

Price: purchased locally from Hopfen & Malz in Berlin at 3.5 EUR. Pay them a visit if you are in Berlin and seeking proper cider!

Kwaśne Jabłko Tropikalny 2015

Marcin Wiechowski, who is in charge of cider making at Kwaśne Jabłko, is actually a psychologist by profession. Marcin, together with his wife Ewa, escaped Warsaw rat race to live in the peaceful countryside of Masuria, also known as the “land of a thousand lakes”. I am sampling their Tropikalny, which means ‘tropical’ in Polish. Previously I have sampled their Beczka 4. Company: Kwaśne Jabłko
Place of Origin:
Świątki, Masuria, Poland
a blend of Gravensteiner, Jonathan and Spartan
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 7
Package type:
750ml wine bottle with natural cork
Recommended type of glass:
white wine glass

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy amber/orange with no head and no carbonation.

Aroma/Nose: The nose has aromas of both overripe and baked apples with tea and herbal notes.

Taste: it starts dry, but not bone dry, with low to medium acidity and a pleasant crisp apple flavour. Then moderate tannins kick in with notes of orange and gentle banana. The finish is dry with a touch of baked apples and light bitterness. Lingering herbal notes in the aftertaste.

Overall: from the name, I assumed that the Tropikalny has tropical notes. Therefore, I had the Tropikalny on two different occasions as I was intensively searching for tropical notes in this cider. And, except for gentle orange flesh and a light ripe banana note I was not able to get other tropical notes. Hence, I don’t have an idea, where did the name come from. Anyway, I think that the Tropikalny is a decent and refreshing cider, but I can’t say I’m blown away with it. The Tropikalny will appeal to those who like cider on the drier side. 4/6

Availability: directly from Kwaśne Jabłko in Masuria or through Polish wine or beer shops such as, Zrodlo niebanalnych piw i alkoholi, Pod Wiaduktem in Cracow or Produkty Niewinne i Winne. In terms of bars, restaurant Jabeerwocky in Warsaw, Lokal in Lodz, Multi Qlti Tap Bar, Pub Lawendowa in Gdansk.

Price: purchased from Zrodlo niebanalnych piw i alkoholi in Warsaw at 35PLN (8.35 EUR)

Brauhaus Gusswerk Big Arlet

Do you think that a brewery can make a good cider? Me neither. But I have decided to give the Big Arlet from Brauhaus Gusswerk from Salzburg, Austria a try. Company: Brauhaus Gusswerk
Place of Origin: Salzburg, Austria
Apples: organic apples
Sweetness as per label: unknown
ABV: 4.6%
Package type: draught
Recommended type of glass: pint glass

Appearance: pours a very cloudy pale golden with orange hues and a white foam. Lightly carbonated. Body is medium. Some sediment visible on the bottom.

Aroma/Nose: smells refreshing of lemon, orange, acidic apples and fresh unmatured cider.

Taste: it tastes very sour with notes of lemon and grapefruit. I would describe this cider as dry as only minimal residual sweetness is detectable. The mid-palate has a taste of yeast, unmatured cider and is slightly watery. The aftertaste is dry with a touch of bitterness and astringency.

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Overall: I can’t deny the fact that The Big Arlet is a complex cider as I could get many flavours on the nose and on the palate. But, Big Arlet is completely unbalanced. In the beginning, I found it quite refreshing, but after a while, I got tired of the taste and wanted to finish it ASAP. I think that many will find the citrusy flavours appealing, but I simply didn’t enjoy drinking this one. 2.5/6

Price: 5.90 EUR for a pint at The Brickmaker’s Pub and Kitchen in Vienna, Austria. BTW, I loved their Pastrami sandwich.

Hoflößnitz Original Sächsischer Apfelwein

Weinhaus Hoflößnitz don’t reveal too much information about themselves on their website. However, the region Hoflößnitz in Saxony, Germany has a long history of winemaking tradition, which began in 1401 with the purchase of three neighbouring vineyards by William I, Margrave of Meissen. Since wine production and cider production have a lot in common. it’s not surprising that Weinhaus Hoflößnitz also offers the Original Sächsischer Apfelwein (the Original Saxonian Apple Wine). Company: Weinhaus Hoflößnitz
Place of Origin: Radebeul, Saxony, Germany
Apples: unknown
ABV: 6.8%
Package type: 1l clear glass bottle with screw cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear orange with no head. No carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the aroma has notes of dried fruits, apples, raisins, apricots, peaches and red apples.

Taste: the first sip is sweet with a rather low acidity. The mid-palate has notes of dried fruits, apricots, red and yellow apples with a distant bitter taste. The aftertaste has a taste of dried fruits with a persistent distant bitter taste. No astringency.

Overall: the Original Sächsischer Apfelwein is a refreshing pour that can be sipped on a hot summer day. Personally, I found it a tiny bit too sweet and too dull/tiring. I had enough after only one glass. But, for those who prefer a less tannic drink (and not tart or sour), I think this is a quite pleasant and drinkable alternative. 3.5/6

Availability: from their vineyard in Saxony, and from Not Only Riesling in Berlin.

Guest Blog – List of top strains for 2021 – by Tia M., Editor at AskGrowers

Marijuana has been legalized in 11 states so far, and 33 states currently permit the medical use of the plant. In 2021, this trend is most likely to increase since more and more research provides evidence towards the benefits of weed.

Cultivators have been focusing extensively on improving classic strains, developing new ones, leading to all-time favorite strains and some that have seen popularity only in more recent years. This fall, buds such as Pumpkin Kush, AK-47, and Godfather are likely to retain their supremacy as they combine classic euphoric effects with pain relief and a burst of creativity.

However, the evolution does not stop here. Trends suggest that the top strains of next year are a flavorful and potent combination of classic buds with newly developed, interesting Sativas, Indicas, and hybrids. Here are the top cannabis strains that will become the new stars in 2021!

The Classics

Critical Kush

OG Kush is one of the most loved marijuana varieties all around the globe. It is fresh, tastes amazing, and the high is very intense and euphoria-inducing. Although it is difficult to rank some OG Kush strains higher than others, Critical Kush is always an Indica winner that provides deep relaxation, euphoria, and unlimited calmness. It is one of the strongest buzzes with a spicy, citrusy, and earthy flavor.

Dream Walker

Dream Walker is 10% Indica, 90% Sativa Blue Dream x Skywalker OG. This Sativa has double the blueberry genetics making it sweet with hints of citrus. Uplifting, creative and energetic, one of our favorite sativas!

Gorilla Glue #4

Gorilla Glue is a heavy hitter that puts you in a relaxing and calm couchlock. It is a multiple award winner with a THC content averaging in the low 20s. The delicious aroma combines coffee, chocolate, and some hints of diesel, thanks to its parents. It is often used for its strong mood boost. Also, this bud is a dream come true for growers as it is undemanding, ideal for novices.

Strawberry Banana

Strawberry Banana, sometimes known as Strawnana for short, is an indica marijuana strain developed by DNA Genetics in collaboration with Serious Seeds. A genetic cross of Crockett’s Banana Kush and the “Strawberry” phenotype of Bubble Gum , Strawberry Banana inherited a sweet, fruity flavor, hence the name. Known for its heavy resin production and high-THC content, Strawberry Banana produces happy, peaceful effects that sharpen creativity and sensory awareness.

Girl Scout Cookies

Another classic is GSC which combines a strong high with delicious aromas. All of its children are not to be ignored, either, such as Martian Muffins and Plum Dawg Millionaire. Despite its relatively innocent name, Girl Scout Cookies is a potent strain with a high level of THC, ranging between 18% and 28%. The high starts slowly and embraces the entire body, leaving the consumer relaxed and euphoric. It is consumed for its ability to relieve anxiety, depression, insomnia, and chronic stress, among others.


The best dessert ever, this strain is a descendant of GSC. As a powerful hybrid, Gelato leaves its consumers in a deeply relaxed state. It washes away all the stress and has mood-enhancing properties. The aroma is pungent, sweet and fruity, standing behind its inspired name. It hits quickly, altering perception through a strong head rush and body buzz that leaves the smoker relaxed, without being couchlocked. Sound sensitivity, a floaty feeling, and time dilation are its main numbing effects.

Lamb’s Bread

Believed to be one of Bob Marley’s favorite buds, Lamb’s Bread comes from Jamaica. It is a Sativa strain loved for its positive introspection and massive amounts of energy that will get you going in no time. Stress is washed away instantly, easing anxiety and depression. It relaxes both mind and body, starting with euphoria, a clear focus and mental balance. It can be used at any time of the day, ideal for both recreational and medical purposes .