A man, fallen on hard times, sold his art collection but kept his wine cellar. When asked why he did not sell his wine, he said: "A man can live without art, but not without culture. ‎- Unknown Author

Sunday Papers Club - We have to pick up our papers for Sundays and we could pick up yours too!

Would you be interested in getting your Sunday papers from here at 12 noon?

Let us know at the bar or email and we'll explain the plan.

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We've got 4 pint jugs to take away real ale and cider!
Come up to the top of Halkyn Mountain and join us as we drink in the atmosphere of the house of ale repute
CAMRA Vale of Clwyd 2017 Branch Cider Pub of the Year
20p per pint discount on cider for card carrying WPCS members
and on cask ale too for CAMRA members

I'm often asked what cider I would recommend, my reply has always been "sorry I can't, all palates are different - taste them and make up your own mind." It doesn't sound that helpful a response but having spent many years travelling and supping all kinds of brews, a taster will get you past the problem I experienced of having a drop of cider in front of you, bought with your own hard-earned cash and feeling upset as you really couldn't stomach finishing it.

We're deeply indebted to Pete Brown and Bill Bradshaw for their new look at describing cider which has a profile that incorporates sweetness, acidity and tannin in various amounts all at the same time.

Like wine, you tend to see cider classified as sweet, medium or dry.  That's fine so far as it goes, but it really doesn't begin to describe the full range and variety cider has to offer. 

The cider taste profile can be found in their new books which we would thoroughly recommend being; The Worlds Best Cider and The Guide to Welsh Perry & Cider, we've also been allowed to include an extract in the section at the end of this page.

You can help those still in a quandary by adding your own cider comments and there's guidance from Pete Brown and Bill Bradshaw from the Welsh Cider & Perry Guide.  Here is information on how cider is actually made from WikiPedia. To help you distinguish between Welsh and other cider & perry varieties we've used the Welsh forms for Seidr and Perai!

Steve



Nooks Med Cider 6.3% PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

Nooks Yard Cider is one of the newest cider makers in our neck of the woods and traditional they are too! Medium, fruity & refreshing.

Here's what they have to say about their dry cider...

Hand pressed from Cheshire and Herefordshire cider apples.

Locally hand-picked culinary apples from orchards around Little Leigh are pressed and fermented with traditional Herefordshire cider varieties.

In our experience, most apples grown in Cheshire are culinary or dessert varieties which, when used on their own, can produce ciders that are too sharp or lack enough tannin to give them any great depth of flavour.

However by understanding the unique characteristics of different apples, our aim every season is to create the right blend "on the press". This has the benefit that it allows the flavours to develop during fermentation. The result is, after several seasons of subtle adjustments, that we're pretty certain we can produce a full-flavoured, smooth cider that will appeal.

Those fine words were put together by Matthew Veasey a wonderful cidermaker who we unexpectedly lost in 2014. His other half Louise has thankfully decided to continue the business of making cider and this is her first brew - jolly nice it is too!

Taste Notes: Made from a blend of cider apples. A lovely mid-straw to pale yellow, easy drinking medium cider.

  • Colour - Straw
  • Sweetness - 3
  • Acidity - 2
  • Tannin - 0
 
Woodsprite 5.8% PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

Aspall'sWe've had Aspall's sparkling bottled cyders here for some years but we've managed to grab some of their traditional suffolk cyder to see what it tastes like beyond the bubbles!

Waddlegoose Lane is named after one of the lanes leading from the village of Debenham to the Aspall site and like the rest of their range Woodsprite 5.8% is named after a small bird from the area. Waddlegoose is mid to dark straw in colour, this has a clean aroma of fresh apples and toffee apple, it has a full bodied and slightly sweet palate with a dry lingering finish. Pleasantly astringent, providing excellent drinkability, this is a sessionable and thirst quenching cider.

This cider is produced in the East Coast style with more eating and cooking apples than bittersweet cider apples.

Taste Notes: Made from a blend of cider apples. A lovely mid to dark straw, easy drinking medium cider.

  • Colour - Dark Straw
  • Sweetness - 3
  • Acidity - 2
  • Tannin - 1
 
Rubber Chicken 6.5% PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

Apples CiderRubber Chicken is a medium 6.5%abv cider made by Palmers Upland Cyder in Newport, S Wales and is entertainingly named after Phil was spooked while collecting apples in an orchard and felt something very uncomfortable under his knee. It turned out to be a rubber dog toy shaped like a chicken and since then the cider made from that orchard has always been called Rubber Chicken!

Palmers Upland Cyder are a small scale artisan cyder company started by Phil Palmer in 2006. They make their cyder just outside Newport in Rogerstone hand crafted in small batches. The cyder is fermented using only natural yeasts and all cyder is 100% juice. Check out the link if your curious as to why Cyder and not cider or seidr!

Taste Notes: Made from a complex blend of 15 different apples from one orchard. A slightly hazy golden full-bodied medium cider with a nice bite.

  • Colour - Hazy Golden
  • Sweetness - 2
  • Acidity - 3
  • Tannin - 1
 
Blindfold 6% med PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

BlindfoldBlaengawney Blindfold Cider at 6%abv made by Blaengawney Farm Cider from Crumlin, Caerphilly, Wales.

Taste Notes: Made from a blend of cider apples. This is a medium cider which has an intense fruit flavour with a citrus sharp finish.

  • Colour - Golden
  • Sweetness - 3
  • Acidity - 1
  • Tannin - 2
 
Malvern Magic Dry 5.5% PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

altMalvern Magic Dry at 5.5%abv from Coddington, Herefordshire is a very dry cider, taste notes to follow!

Rob Uren at Malvern Magic has been involved in orchards since 1988 and started making cider in 2000. All produce is fermented and matured in oak.

Suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.

A Yorkshire based orchard, creates an infused traditional cider packed with flavour from Strawberries with a hint of lime - creating a wonderful fruity traditional cider.

 
Spadger 4.5% PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

Aspall'saltWe've had Aspall's sparkling bottled cyders here for some years but we've managed to grab some of their traditional suffolk cyder to see what it tastes like beyond the bubbles!

Waddlegoose Lane Spadger 4.5% is mid-straw colour. Slightly cloudy with a floral/appley aroma and notes of fresh apple juice. Pleasant, mouth-filling palate with a little sweetness and balancing racy acidity. Medium dry with a long finish.

This cider is produced in the East Coast style with more eating and cooking apples than bittersweet cider apples.

Taste Notes [under construction]: Made from a blend of cider apples. A lovely mid-straw to pale yellow, easy drinking medium cider.

  • Colour - Straw
  • Sweetness - ?3
  • Acidity - ?2
  • Tannin - ?1
 
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We're deeply indebted to Pete Brown and Bill Bradshaw for their new look at describing cider which has a profile that will incorporate sweetness, acidity and tannin in various amounts all at the same time.

Like wine, you tend to see cider classified as sweet, medium or dry.  That's fine so far as it goes, but it really doesn't begin to describe the full range and variety cider has to offer.  The cider taste profile can be found in their new books...

 

The Cider Flavour Profile

Most ciders will have a degree of sweetness.  The sugars in the fruit ferment and turn to alcohol, and a few ciders are fully fermented with no residual sweetness left, and can be astringent to the point of chalky dryness.  But sweetness isn't just about sugar content; it's about flavour, and even a well-fermented cider may have strong notes of fruit, or even honey or vanilla.

Then, while dryness could be about the absence of sugar, it might also come from the presence of tannin, the dry, puckering compound you get in tea, red wine - and cider apples.  This gives more than one way in which you might get the balance of sweetness and dryness. [Tannin tastes dry and astringent and you can feel it specifically on the middle of your tongue and the front part of your mouth.]

Finally, like white wine, cider is often a balance between sweetness and acidity.  Acid might present itself as citrusy, tart, sourness or vinegariness.  So there are three main flavour dimensions for cider, not two.  And a given cider may be high or low in all three.

There may be secondary flavours, imparted primarily by the yeast and the aging process.  Some ciders have funky farmyard notes or hints of cheese.  Others may have an oaky note, or there may be strong caramel or buttery hints.

 

The Blue Bell Inn supports the following programmes from the The Portman Group: I'll be Des and Drink Aware

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This site is authored by Steve Marquis for the Blue Bell Inn

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