Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Notes: The Somerset Pomona Cider Brandy, Kingsbury Episcopi, Martock, Somerset, England, NV

Initial review, by way of background: This is a tasting of a unique blend from England, a blend of juice and apple cider brandy from the vintage apple orchards of Kingbury Episcopy, matured in small oak barrels, and finished at 20.% alcohol. It is called The Somerset Pomona Cider Brandy, Kingsbury Episcopi, Martock, Somerset, England, NV.   It is one of the only drinks I know with its own book written about it, called A Somerset Pomona: The Cider Apples of Somerset

In the glass: It is a light to medium caramel in color, with a definite translucent orange cast.

On the nose: Poured cool and swirled vigorously, shows a definite old world oak seasoning, with apples coming on subsequently, and faintly, behind the bold wood.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bold, layered, potentially sweet, potentially dry - hard to tell at the start.  There is an interesting phenomenon:  as you settle in with the drink, the apple comes more to the fore, and the wood to the rear.  The apple then brings with it some light elements of honey.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact balanced sweet brandy on the tongue, with the old folding in around it.  Not hot at all with the alcohol, it lays out easily across your palate, with oak and apple both gliding nicely to your cheeks. The elements I would identify, besides the definite apple and wood, include light brown sugar,  perhaps maple, and a touch of citrus. The finish moves to the bright side as the alcohol flares off.  Somerset Pomona then ends in a clean, lightly sweet wisp. You'd certainly be primed for the next sip!

In summary: Overall, a wholly unique experience.  One I would definitely come back to again.  And one, in fact, for which I might spurn all other drinks for a given evening.  Unique at a minimum.  Compelling for sure.

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