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  • Writer's pictureCider Buzz Mcr

North meets South - a cider review

Raison D'Etre on sale at Ross on Wye Cider and Perry Co's Cider Shop in the Yew Tree inn, Peterstow, Herefordshire.

Raison D'Etre, a cider from Herefordshire reviewed by Chris Hewitt, a cider maker from Manchester.


When Cider Buzz Mcr visited Chris Hewitt in the middle of his cider orchards we left him with a challenge: 'What is Northern Cider'?

In this review of a southern tannin rich Dabinett cider from Herefordshire, Chris answers the question:

'Its the same as his own Dabinett cider 'Dabbler' from Manchester, but it is also subtly different.'


Following on from Dick and Cath’s visit to our orchard last month I was asked to review a Raison D'Etre, a 'Natural Cider' from Ross on Wye Cider and Perry Company.

This is cider is made from Dabinett apples pressed in 2016 and aged in cask, along with a small amount of Michelin apples pressed in 2017, blended in 2018 and bottled.

Dabinett is one of the varieties that we grow up here in South Manchester. We used it to make our Single Variety 'Dabbler' cider.

The Ross on Wye Dabinett had been fermented in oak Barrels using wild yeasts and matured for 2 years to allow the tannins to reach their ideal complexity. This has produced a dry cider with an ABV of 8.4%.

On opening the bottle, I received an unexpected but pleasant small amount of carbonation on pouring into the glass.

The cider has deep, rich and baked apple aroma.

The taste is nicely balanced with a long tannin rich finish yes there is an astringency to this this cider, but you should expect this from a Dabinett bittersweet based cider.

It has been a pleasure to sit, sample and review this cider (it must be since I’ve just ordered 12 bottles of it !!) and compare this to our own Dabinett single variety cider, Dabbler.

Its my opinion that the Michelin apple in this cider makes this a more astringent than our Dabbler, maybe we’ll have to plant some in the near future!!

Find Cath's review of 'Dabbler' for Cider Buzz Mcr at the end of this other blog post.

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