From the website: “Using skills and crafts refined through the centuries, this fine cider is made with unsprayed cider apples from local and traditional orchards. Fresh pressed juice is fermented by wild yeasts and then matured and aged in oak barrels. A true reflection of the cidermakers art.”
- Appearance: Copper, Clear
- Aroma: Cidery, Caramel, Vanilla, Oak, Smoke
- Taste: Cider Apple, Oak, Caramel
Background: Gold Rush comes from the collaboration of two passionate cider makers, Greg Hall of North America’s Virtue Cider and Tom Oliver of England’s Oliver’s Cider & Perry. While in comparison Tom Oliver has the edge in cider-making experience, Greg Hall has quickly made a name for himself as an innovator and top-notch cider maker in his own right. Gold Rush is their first Transatlantic collaboration.
First Taste is: Perfection! This West Country English cider pours a nice mousse that quickly dissipates. The nose is distinctly Herefordshire with luscious cider apple and wood being the dominant notes, but also balanced by the sweetness of vanilla and caramel. It pours gentle carbonation with a lazy flow of bubbles meandering it’s way to the surface. The tasting starts slightly sweet (medium) with cider apples, oak, and caramel being the boldest of flavours and finishes with a rich astringency and a slight bitterness that is not overpowering. The astringency was balance by a combination from the cider apples and oak, and was a inviting compliment to the sweetness.
What’s in it? Apples, Sulfites. THIS IS REAL CIDER!
Overall: For me, this is the type of cider that really gets me excited. If you follow my site, you know that I love my West Country Ciders. Gold Rush is a nice balance of traditional West Country flavours and follows through being made in the traditional style; unsprayed apples, wild yeast, and matured in Oak. For me, this is a cider that I come back for again and again. It has been the bench mark for how I look at other ‘English’ cider since the first time I had it years ago. If you are looking for a ‘traditional English Cider’ don’t be fooled by the likes of multi-national beer conglomerates like Molson-Coors or Stella Artois (InBev), stick with local, small, and honest cider makers like Virtue & Oliver’s Cider. You’ll taste the difference.
Would I buy it again? Yes. But, in order to do so, I must travel south of the border or to England.
Where to get it? I picked this cider up at Bushwacker Cider in Portland. I don’t have the full list of locations, but it’s distributed by the Shelton Brothers and a directory of their local retailers/distributors can be found here.
Rating: 10 out of 10
X-factor: Last May I had an opportunity to meet Tom Oliver, an amazing cider-maker, but an even better person. Cheers to you Tom for being and inspiration!
Full Disclosure: The first time I had this cider was also my first time at Bushwacker. Two of my favourite cider memories.