Orpens Irish Cider won three awards at the International Cider Challenge held in the UK. Set up by friends Chris Hill and Matt Tindal, the cider won gold and a trophy for design and packaging and bronze for the cider itself. As these awards were won for Orpens’ first batch crafted with leading wine maker Bruce Jack, it bodes well for the 2013 vintage, which is currently ageing and due for release in September. Orpens is made using a secret ratio blend of cider and dessert apples, with only the best quality Irish apples used. There are no concentrates, colourings or flavourings added.
What does it taste like?
This golden-hued cider has a deliate nose and very little fizz. Not nearly as sweet as most ciders, it has a fresh, clean and gentle applely flavour that ends in a long, slightly dry after-bite. Light and easy to drink, it would be easy to forget that it boasts a 5.5%ABV.
What to have it with?
Pork is the obvious choice whether it’s sausages, chops or slow cooked pork shoulder. This cider is also light enough to go with some seafood dishes or roast chicken with just enough sweetness to head off the spiciness of Asian cuisine. Cheese is another winnner, so we’re thinking a warm croissant with melted cheddar and salty Parma ham could be just the ticket.
Where to get it?
Orpens is available in off-licences, restaurants, bars and Tesco stores nationwide at an RRP of €2.69.