Cider: The comeback drink

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

Cider is making a comeback. Once considered the alcohol equivalent of training wheels for curious teenagers, cider has been shaking off its too-sweet image and has been embraced by the crafters who served beer so well over the past decade.

These artisan cider makers often look to Normandy for inspiration, where ciders are drier and more complex, made only from the juice of freshly crushed, carefully sourced whole apples and one of the most interesting new ciders to hit the market is from Tasmanian maker William Smith & Sons.

The Huon Valley-based business has been growing apples for four generations and making excellent, finely tuned cider. They recently collaborated with award-winning Tasmanian whisky distillers Sullivans Cove to create Whisky Aged Cider.

This special edition was aged for 16 months in the same French oak barrels Sullivans Cove use to age their 12-year-old whisky. It is then packed in 750ml bottles and sealed with a cork.

The flavour is rounded and generous, with whisky and vanilla-oaky notes alongside a refreshing dry cider complexity. It’s fairly hefty (10.1% ABV) and only comes in a long neck, but while you’d happily drink this on its own, the Whisky Aged Cider also has a great relationship with food.

A good place to try a cider-food match is at The Lincoln in Carlton, which stocks the William Smith range. It’s a great way to embrace cider’s comeback.

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