From the website: “Bereziartua cider house was founded before 1870 and is today run by the fourth or fifth generation. Bereziartua has always been a well-known brand in Ergobia, and now in Astigarraga and surroundings. Famous for is good service over so many years, it is a pioneer in receiving the ISO 9001 certification of quality. Bereziartua´s cider carries the Eusko Label Quality Certificate.“
- Appearance: Dark Straw, Cloudy
- Aroma: Slight Cidery, Acidic, Dry
- Taste: Cidery, Smoke, Vinegar
Background: Spanish cider? Yes, there is quite a history of cider especially in the Basque and Asturian Regions in Northern Spain. For Centuries Spanish cider has been poured in a special way. They hold up the bottle high in the air and the glass down around the waist and then start pouring. This technique is called escanciar la sidra and is the traditional pouring method, allowing the bubbly cider to splash into glasses 2 or 3 feet below the bottle. This aerates the cider providing slight carbonation and improves the taste. Bereziartua is a Basque Cider House that has been producing for 4 or 5 generations (they lost count I guess) since 1870.
First Taste is: Delicious! This unfiltered cloudy cider is quite dry and quite bold. It’s a nearly still and hence poured very little mouse. Much like the other Spanish ciders I’ve had in the past there is pronounced acids (some might say sour). It’s a apple-lemon taste that really adds to the overall complexity. I picked up a slight farmhouse funk, smoke and vinegar as well as a fresh fruit after-taste. I wouldn’t say this is a balanced cider by any means, it’s an explosion of the senses. There’s a big crisp middle and a tart bite at the end with a tannic apple finish.
What’s in it? .Apples and Sulfites. Nothing else listed.
Overall: This is a really interesting cider. There is some good complexity that will keep me looking for this one again. That being said, this is not a cider for someone just getting into drinking. Just as much as you wouldn’t suggest to your American Lager drinking friend to go out and buy a Saison or Lambic for the first time. I would not suggest that unless you are accustom to traditional cider tastes you go for a Spanish Cidra. Start with something locally produced first and see if it’s to your liking.
Typical of Spanish Cidra it is unfiltered which might be a little ‘weird’ for some cider drinkers. Rest assured that this is not ‘weird’ at all. Globally, the majourity of ciders are unfiltered, unpasteurized and bottle conditioned. Much of the cider consumed in England and France is produce this way. Trust them, they know what they’re doing. I’ve found that while filtering clears then end product it also takes away some of the complexity that makes it so enjoyable for me.
Would I buy it again? Yes. Great deal on a good example of Basque Cidra.
Where to get it? I found this one at Whole Foods in Seattle. Whole foods is a key supporter in the craft cider movement in the North West and has been a majour sponsor for the Cider Summits.
Rating: 8 out of 10
X-factor: If I remember correctly this cider was only like $8.00 for 750ml, which is an awesome price if you are into trying this Spanish cider.
Full Disclosure: I couldn’t bare myself to waste so much cider trying to add carbonation. I enjoyed this one near still and without escanciar la sidra.