From the website: “Winner at Bath & West Show and at the International Cider and Perry Competition at the Hereford Cider Museum. Merridale cider is light, dry and effervescent. It appeals to true cider connoisseurs, and has been called “the best English-style cider in Canada” by wine expert Jurgen Gothe.”
- Appearance: Light Copper Colour. Think “Pilsner” Colour.
- Aroma: Fruity nose. Smells of…wait for it…REAL APPLES!.
- Taste: Dry, Natural, Not overly Tart.
- Mouthfeel: Perfect. Nice light Natural Carbonation.
Background: Merridale is an Estate Cidery out of Cobill Hill, BC. It is located in the Cowichan Valley. Yes, the same Cowichan Valley that inspired that bad ass sweater that the Dude wears in the Big Lebowski. Merridale has an excellent microclimate that mirrors the famous Cider growing regions of Somerset in England and Normandy & Brittany in France. Those are good things as let’s face it the Brits and French are the bench mark for good Ciders….for now…I’m confident that NW Ciders are quickly giving them a run for their money.
First taste is: Perfection! I mean it is REALLLLLY GOOD! I can’t believe I am really having that moment right now…You know like the first time you ride you bike on your own without your Dad holding the back and running behind you? The first time you have cheesecake, pizza, ice cream, (insert favorite food here)? Your first kiss?
Yes it is one of those moments….it’s really that good!
There is a GREAT apple flavour here folks. Think if you were skilled and capable enough to make an amazing alcoholic beverage out of the sliced apples your Mom put into your lunch bag. And then make it AMAZING! You then might get and idea of what Merridale’s Traditional Cider tastes like. It’s a tart, dry, winner all the way around. It has the flavour of fresh pressed apples. It has a slightly sweet taste that is ‘spot on’. She’s not a jolly rancher cider by any means. It’s no wonder that’s it’s won awards and has been called, “the best English Cider in Canada”.
I get it…
What’s in it? Get this; It’s made from 100% undiluted juice from BC Apples. It does say on the label that it may contain sulphites. I’m guessing that the sulphites are from the sanitation process as my cider has floaties. Floaties also known as lees are what’s left over when yeast eats sugar. Floaties are a good sign that your cider is made the traditional ways. Without Sulphites. When yeast eats sugar it creates an off product called carbon dioxide. That’s what give cider & beer it’s fizz. I suspect that Merridale leaves some of the sugars in the cider without killing all the yeast to give it a slight fizz. See NATURAL fizz. It’s practically good for you right?
Overall: We’ve got a winner! I’d like to thank Merridale for making such an amazing product. This is the type of cider that you can not only love drinking, but you can feel good about drinking as well. Although I haven’t been out that way yet, I fully plan on making a visit in the summer. Please check out their website here.
Would I buy it again? YES. I’m not sure why this isn’t on tap every possible place that good Cider is served. I fully plan on stocking this in my cider cellar as soon as I can get more. It makes me wonder why it’s so hard to find here in Vancouver? This is a fantastic product that you need to drink….today. Seriously.
Where to get it? This was picked up at Legacy Liquor Store. Came in 1L bottle. Can’t remember the cost but I think it was around $12.00
Rating: 9.5 out of 10 (the only reason it’s not a 10 is because it’s in a plastic bottle).
X-Factor – Merridale’s Hammer Mill (Grinder) and Primary Fermenter’s are originally from Growers Cider Company (established in 1927). It’s got Floaties…me likey floaties.
Full Disclosure – I have drank Merridale’s Cider’s in the past but have not had their Traditional Cider before this review. This is now my favourite cider.