It’s not unheard of for English wine producers to branch out into other drinks categories – a few years ago, Chapel Down set up Curious Brewery to make a name for itself in beer; in 2017, the Kent-based winemaker also launched a gin and a vodka made from its vineyard’s grapes. But there hasn’t been a wine producer with quite the same penchant for prolific exploration as Devon-based Lyme Bay Winery.
With a wide variety of fruit wines, English sparkling and still wines, meads, liqueurs, a rum, a gin and ciders, Lyme Bay continues to make itself known in new markets. It’s only appropriate, then, that the company’s latest venture marries several of these different categories in the form of craft cider.
The Ammonite range is Lyme Bay’s newest release, a range of three ciders with flavours that hearken back to other alcoholic drinks.
Ammonite Botanical Cider aims to reel in gin drinkers, as it layers classic apple flavours with notes of juniper, angelica and coriander.
For consumers who tend to drink beer, Ammonite Hops Cider employs American IPA hops to give it a citrus twist.
Finally, fans of sour drinks are directed towards Ammonite Sour Cherry Cider, which pairs the fruit’s pucker with notes of almond, clove and cinnamon.
These three Ammonite ciders join Lyme Bay’s original Jack Ratt cider range, which centres on cider apple varieties.
According to James Lambert, Lyme Bay’s company director, the Ammonite series has ‘the sole aim of challenging peoples’ perception as to what cider can be’.
‘Technically it’s classed as a fruit cider, but the range is a world away from the confected offerings currently available,’ he explains – and indeed, these ciders seem to have more in common with the beer, wine and cider crossovers that have been gaining traction among independent cidermakers as of late.
Amonite Cider, 4% abv, 12x33cl/£17.04, www.lymebaywinery.co.uk
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