Cornish Orchard’s Trilogy

It’s been another hot day, I’m sweating like a… well, I’ll let you choose. That box of Cornish Orchards, I got for my birthday, will be a welcome guest.

Cornish Orchards Box

Cornish Orchards boxed set. Game of Thrones got nowt on this!

I stick them in the fridge. However, when it comes time to try the first, it’s still a bit warm. That’s not such a problem for cider, as it doesn’t taste too bad when warm, unlike lager – uuurgh! No wonder they try to make it extra cold, so it freezes your tastebuds.

Now is a good chance to try out those ice rocks, that I was also given for my birthday. These Sagaform rocks seem a bright idea to chill your drink, without the ice watering it down. Just freeze the rocks and shove them in. Why didn’t I think of that?

Episode I: Vintage
Cornish Orchards VintageI put half the rock cubes in a half-filled pint, but after a while it’s still not that cool. I put the rest of the cubes and the cider in, but it’s still not as cold as ice. Probably a bit colder than without, and getting colder, but maybe all the cold is at the bottom of the glass. Like in the sea, when you dive down a bit on a hot day and suddenly get really cold, and have a weird rush. This only works in hot countries, don’t try it in the North Sea. I think these rocks just work for drinks ‘on the rocks’. I’ll get them out for my gin and lemon – they’re more of a breakfast-time utensil.

Anyway, on with the sensing.

Just a moment – while I’m looking up a link to their website, I want to make a point. Normally alcohol websites ask you to put in your birthday, as this would obviously fool any under 18 year old, into being refused entry to the website, repeatedly, as they won’t realise that if they add a few years to their entry, they’ll get in. But Cornish Orchards, only ask me to tick a fucking button to say I’m over 18. What is the point of this, but to waste mine and several million other under-18s’ time? 

Vintage is an almost clear cider, lightly sparkling, but that might be the reaction of the rock cubes! There’s a bit of leather and washing up liquid in there, and a tart taste, like a fine, lime marmalade. This 7.2% cider from Duloe, Liskeard, Cornwall, apparently goes well with a platter of cheese. Well, it will just have to make do with a tin of Moomin biscuits from Finnish duty free. Very acidic, but a pleasant drink.

Episode II: Farmhouse.

Cornish Orchards FarmhouseThis 5% cider smells more cold and musty, like a farmhouse. It has more of a burn at the back of the mouth, a more oaked cider. It tastes stronger than the last one, though it apparently isn’t. Very drinkable, though. I read that this one goes well with a Cornish pastie, or a ploughman’s platter. Well, as long as that ploughman’s platter only includes Moomin biscuits, I’m well on track.

It’s a broader, less sharp taste, than the vintage. A pretty good for one. A bit of old cardboard in there. It’s funny what you can smell when you put your mind to it. Cornish Orchards say they use 100% pressed apple juice. It makes you wonder why people drink the keg ciders, but then you sometimes risk getting off your nut on the real stuff.

Episode III: Heritage
Cornish Orchards HeritageThe final espisode of the trilogy uses windfall apples, like Cornish Kingston and Tommy Knight. Though they sound like low-budget UK porn stars, they are respectable varieties of cider apple. 
This one is darker, and had the caramel taste of the traditional medium sweet, but with a certain dryness. Heritage has a rich taste. This is what I want my own cider to taste like. My own cider is a work in progress, and probably won’t taste anywhere as good as this.

Vintage: 3.5/5
Heritage: 4/5
Farmhouse: 4.5/5


Healey’s Cyder Farm Cornish Scrumpy

Some friends paid a visit to Cornwall and brought back a souvenir for me.

Cornwall has recently been recognised as an official national minority. Like other British minorities, such as Scottish, Welsh and Ginger, they have their own language, their own flag, and they like cider. Cornwall’s warm, wet climate supports many cider orchards and during my friend’s stay, they visited Healey’s Cyder Farm. I was quite jealous, there’s even tractor rides!heaneys farm house

Happily, they did think of me when they were there, and returned with a mini flagon of Scrumpy Farm Cyder, medium sweet. It even came with it’s own mini glass tankard! At 250ml, I’m not going to get lashed, but it’ is a 7.4% cyder with a Y. Good stuff comes in small flagons. It’s a pale, clear straw colour, and flat.It has the smell of a Cornish summer hedgerow. Almost white wine-like, I think this one will be fruity and dry.

Drinking from the tiny cup, it has a hint of sherry, warm and sweet. It tastes powerful and a little spicy, though I’m not sure if the tankardette is the best for drinking from, there’s not much to taste after that. This cider should come in a big stoneware flagon, with a bit of horse shit stuck to the bottom. However, a drunk face, imprinted on the base of the glass, smiles back at me, as if he knows something I don’t. I grab a half pint glass, which strangely takes off a bit o the warmth, though still unremarkable. However, it’s not bad, a drinkable, sweet cyder. From the look on the faces of the two bumpkin characters on the bottle, it has the desired effect, of heavy inebriation, combined with hair and tooth loss, in a field.

For the photo shoot, I wish I’d found a selection of miniature apples and other fruit, and pretend it’s in scale, but you never know when the cider sense will it. My head is already starting to feel warmed by it, and I’ve only had a quarter pint. Time to check out Healey’s Cyder Farm.

The Cyder farm is at Penhallow, near Truro. It’s also the home of Rattler cider, ah, fond memories of a trip to Cornwall where they sell pheromones in the mens toilets. Healeys farm also makes a range of whisky, brandy and wine. This family owned cyder farm, began in 1986 and is now the biggest cider maker in Cornwall! Not a bad acheivment. Wind fallen apples and a 16th century cider press, this is cyder done the olde way. With a Y. And an e…Ye cyder.

The farm is free to visit, too! Mind, it might cost you 5op for the tractor ride. But it’s on my list to visit next time I’m down in Kernow.

Verdict 2.5/5