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A real page turner

Warwickshire-based Napton Cidery’s new Whisky Cask blend has been featured in a new book, Modern British Cider, which is being launched around the country by author and industry expert, Gabe Cook.

Gabe Cook

In the book, the self-titled ciderologist, Gabe, examines the increasing popularity and diversity of craft cider, as well as exploring the trends, challenges and opportunities that influence cider’s ability to innovate and develop.

Napton’s 7.7% ABV Whisky Cask Kingston Black Cider is made from a blend of Kingston Black apples from a 30-year-old orchard, which is matured in single malt whisky casks from Auchentoshan distillery using wild yeasts and natural sugars.

In the book, which was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, Gabe reviews the cider, commenting that is has: ‘Christmas pudding levels of clove and cinnamon richness but finely balanced with a brusque bitterness, dusty astringency and glowing warmth.’

With 15 years of experience to draw on, Gabe is an acclaimed international, writer, broadcaster, educator and consultant on everything to do with cider. He is the resident cider expert on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, and an outspoken advocate of the industry, leading the charge for a cider revolution by chairing a number of international competitions, contributing to publications and spearheading campaigns and events.

Featured in Gabe’s new book on cider

Commenting on his new book, Gabe said: “Modern British Cider looks at how cider has formed an integral part of the UK’s landscape with a heritage dating back at least 2,000 years.

Today, cider faces a new change in the drinking landscape of Britain – the rise of craft and modern styles, discerning drinkers with different needs, habits and spending opportunities.

“This guide celebrates the heritage, diversity and innovation within the wonderful world of British cider today and celebrates the full diversity of styles, flavours and occasions that cider can provide, whilst also showcasing the best of cider-making talent from across these isles.”

Napton Cidery, based in Napton-on-the-Hill, was established in 2012 by husband-and-wife team, Jolyon and Charlotte Olivier. The cidery started life as a hobby when the couple were first introduced to the taste of craft cider on a family holiday in Cornwall. Returning home with an apple tree, they soon started experimenting in their back garden.

Today, the team harvests, presses, bottles and distributes more than 90,000 litres of craft cider a year, using 17 types of apples from six orchards. Central to Napton’s growing popularity is its their strong sustainability ethos, from harvesting through to packaging.

All of its apples come from traditional unsprayed orchards, organic and biodiverse growers, so no unnatural chemicals are introduced into the ecosystem. The cider is also naturally fermented using only wild yeasts and packaged in recyclable materials and all ingredients sourced as locally as possible.

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