We have introduced two West Country style ciders to our Cider Barn collection.
Thatchers 458 has been blended from the 458 varieties of apple grown in our Exhibition Orchard at Myrtle Farm. Thatchers Vilberie, in contrast, has been created from one single apple variety, the bittersweet Vilberie, harvested from just one single orchard in the foothills of the Mendip Hills.
It is a well-balanced, medium dry cider. Pale gold in colour with a light sparkle, and crisp, clean finish, Thatchers 458 is a cider that is full with apple flavour, blended to appeal to those who love a traditional, West Country style. Enhanced with subtle spicy notes, Thatchers 458 is a perfect cider for the winter months.
458 is full strength cider at 8.4%, a true showcase for the heritage of the apple, including the complete range of cider apple types – bittersweet, bittersharp, culinary sweet and culinary sharp. Lesser known and ancient varieties preserved in the Exhibition Orchard, collected by our third generation cidermaker John Thatcher over thirty years, and blended into Thatchers 458, include Vagon Archer, Wyken Pippin, Pigs Snout, Foxwhelp, Cider Ladies Finger, and Slack-ma-Girdle.
Richard Johnson, our chief cidermaker describes Thatchers 458, “This is a cider that’s been created to showcase a moment in time and makes a welcome return after a few year’s break. The selection of apples – harvested over a period of three months in four separate sessions to ensure we gather them at their optimum ripeness – really offers us the periodic table of apples – from those high in tannin and acidity, to those at the sweeter end of the scale. There’s no other orchard like the Exhibition orchard, creating a truly unique cider made from the heart.”
Thatchers Vilberie is a single varietal cider from the Vilberie apple. Creating a deliciously dry 6% cider, the late cropping Vilberie apple offers a balance of rich, soft tannins and acidity, and has been a favourite amongst West Country cidermakers for over 150 years. Harvested from a single Thatchers orchard at the foothills of the Mendip Hills, Thatchers Vilberie cider is made from the freshly pressed juice of these locally grown bittersweet apples.
Richard continues, “Thatchers Vilberie is a cider brimming with tannins. It is robust and packs a strong apple punch. If you like a Malbec or Rioja wine, then Vilberie will be one for you. It has a rich amber colour, long, dry finish and hints of chocolate and coffee in its aroma. It’s a cider for the experienced cider drinker that keeps you wanting more!”
Martin Thatcher says, “We relish bringing new ciders into our Cider Barn collection every year, showcasing the skills and expertise of our cidermakers. Thatchers Vilberie and Thatchers 458 have contrasting traditional West Country cider styles thanks both to the apples selected and the techniques used to craft them.
“With apples from our orchards all within a few miles of Myrtle Farm, blended and packaged here at our mill, these are ciders that reflect the very heart of Somerset cidermaking.”
The Thatchers Cider Barn collection has gained world wide acclaim, with its single variety Redstreak cider widely praised with awards including the Supreme Champion at the 2017 International Cider Challenge, and the 2017 World’s Best Sparkling Cider. In 2018 Cider Barn Redwood was presented with a Gold medal at the British Bottlers Institute awards, and both Redstreak and Dabinett won Gold at the Taste of the West awards.
Thatchers 458 and Thatchers Vilberie are available in 500ml bottle, in the our Cider Shop here at Myrtle Farm and at The Railway Inn, Sandford, alongside other ciders in the Cider Barn range including Redstreak and Redwood.