37.5cl * Vegan * Gluten Free * 8.3% ABV * Somerset, England
The force behind the impossibly gorgeous Babylonstoren estate and boutique hotel, Karen Roos, former editor of Elle Decoration South Africa, and her billionaire tech magnate husband, Koos Bekker, have made Somerset’s idyllic 800-acre Hadspen House their UK base. And while Babylonstoren is all about wine, The Newt is all about cider—or “cyder”, spelt with a ‘y’ to preserve the old West Country tradition, originating from a time when it was used to indicate superior strength and quality. Records show that the secondary fermentation process being used at this time - in glass bottles, sealed with corks - came well before French monk Dom Pierre Pérignon supposedly invented Champagne!
This is cyder, but not as you know it. The Newt's Ice Cyder is comparable to a fine dessert wine, with a lovely fresh note of citrus on the nose and palate. Originating from Canada, Ice Cyder is made by pressing apples while they are still frozen. The water from the apples turns to ice and is separated, leaving only the intense, syrup-like juice behind. Having been inspired by this technique, the team at The Newt have recreated the same freezing conditions on the estate by storing freshly pressed apple juice at -25°C for a minimum of five weeks. The sweet, naturally concentrated syrup is then cold fermented in the cellar and aged in steel tanks for a further six months, before it’s bottled and ready to drink.
Aromas of tangerine, grapefruit, banana, and hedgerow flowers are followed by quince, orange blossom and honey. There is a sweet, fresh acidity and delightfully long finish. It would be perfect with pudding or a wedge of Westcombe cheddar.
"Rich colour and with rounded, ripe tropical fruit on the nose. A real flavour bomb, green apple character, mellow but sharp and zesty. It is intense, slightly less so than examples at higher ABV, and lighter in general. This evidences clever crafting that has clearly had thought put into it." - three gold stars, Great Taste Awards, 2023.