Recent I looked at Bilpin’s latest creation, Archibald. After that I decided to go back to where it all began. This week I’ve got a bottle of the Bilpin Original to review.
So what’s the difference between Archibald and the Original? The first glance at the Original bottle’s bright green colours will tell you this is a modern style cider. At the pour you’ll see how pale and crystal clear this cider is.
Bilpin has used Granny Smith to make up the bulk and the bite of the cider. The rest is made up with Pink Lady and Red Delicious to help bring out the fruity sweetness.
Many ciders in this category have been back sweetened. This is where a dash of fresh juice is added back in after the ferment and just before bottling to bring the alcohol down and freshen up the whole show. Bilpin goes down a different track with the Original. Bilpin keep a close eye on the ferment. When enough sugars has been converted into alcohol ( around 4.4% AVB) the young cider is chilled down. This puts the yeast to sleep. The cider is siphoned away from the yeast so it can’t come back to chew up any more of the sugars once bottled.
Tart green apple skins and tropical fruits but mostly featuring fresh hay.
Remember over the winter months when you made that apple crumble? After peeling the Granny Smiths and putting them in the baking tray, you have a pile of green peels. Bilpin’s Original is the cider equivalent of grabbing all that skin and munching it in one go.
It’s easy to draw comparisons between Bilpin Original and others like Golden Axe or Apple Thief Granny Smith Cider. They all have qualities that remind me of fresh-cut grass tied up with a strong hit of acid. What sets Bilpin apart is its mouth feel. The bubbles here, form a smooth creamy moose normally reserved for MT ciders.
Towards the bottom of the glass, as it warms, the cider’s sweetness comes out thanks to the Red Delicious apples.
Final Thoughts on Bilpin’s Orginal
So the Bilpin Original probably isn’t the type of thing you want to drink all night, but it is an excellent palette cleaner. I’ve been drinking this with Thai style curries and well spicy pizzas. The apple skin acidity cuts though just about any food you can throw at it.
In a head to head comparison between Bilpin’s Original and their Archibald, I’m going to save Archibald for the weekend sessions. While the Original is better suited to a bit of spicy take away.