“C’est cidre, not cider” as that ubiquitous advert once proclaimed. And yes, they were right on with regards to translation, but whether you could consider a highly sugared, alcoholic apple juice to be a traditionally made French cider is frankly just a little bit questionable. Carringtons recently received a range of actual French cidre, in a number of different styles. None of which resemble a fruit alcopop marketed as being French, when in fact the brewery is located in Leuven, Belgium.
Traditionally hailing from Normandy and Brittany, though there are South Western varieties from the Basque region, the history of apple cultivation in France dates back to the Celtic Gauls and the later Romans, who ruled the country for approximately 500 years, though the earliest mentions of cider in this region go back to the Greek geographer Strabo.
Varying in style and strength French cider is really quite diverse, for example Cidre Doux is a sweet cider, usually up to 3% in strength. ‘Demi-Sec’ is 3–5% and Cidre Brut is a strong dry cider of 4.5% alcohol and above. Most French ciders are sparkling. Higher quality cider is sold in champagne-style bottles (cidre bouché). And so, without further ado to our new French stock to toast the arrival of Spring avec…..
La Bolee Des Korrigans Brut // £5.29 // 4.5% ABV // 75cl
Originating in in Messac in the heart of historical Brittany. Made from cider apples from this famous region, this pure juice cider has a subtle taste and a refreshing touch of acidity
Cuvee Speciale Kerisac Traditional Brut // £4.86 // 5.5% ABV // 75c
Aroma of ripe sweet red apples and some apple tree fields. Taste of sweet apples, leaves, young apple cider, apple juice and light sugar. Süssmost pur. Easily drinkable and quite quaffable.
Cuvee Speciale Kerisac Dry Brut // £4.86 // 5% ABV // 75cl
A ubiquitous sight in French supermarkets. This is an excellent, well-blended cidre, soft with deep fruitiness, its’ dryness just creeping in on the finish. Light to medium bodied, high carbonation, dry tannic finish.
Cuvee Speciale Kerisac Sweet Brut // £4.69 // 2.5% ABV // 75cl
Bottle in a French Creperie. Pours a slightly hazy amber colour. The initial sweet apple flavour is followed by quite a dry finish. Refreshing and light feeling in the mouth. Pleasantly carbonated.
Val De Rance Cidre Rose Brut // £6.95 // 2.5% ABV // 75cl
Another cidre bottled at a Creperie, salmon pink in colour this rose has a notes of forest fruits and a well balanced acidity. Crisp and delicate this is an exceptional bottle with a lovely mouse.
Cidre Breton // £4.69 & // 5% ABV // 1ltr & 33cl
Hazy yellow gold colour, fizzy white foam head that dissipates to a thin layer and aroma of fruity apple, wood, earth, light barnyard. Taste is tart juicy apple, apple skins, wood, tannins
Bayeux Cidre Breton Traditional // £5.19 // 4.5% ABV // 100cl
Sweetish, juicy apple, with some tartness plus toffee, oaky and barnyard notes. Slightly oily mouthfeel, medium bodied, medium carbonation, dry tannic finish. Really very drinkable.