Old Man and the Bee, Little Pomona

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Old Man and the Bee, 2019, Little Pomona

Like pure Autumn in a glass – a nice balance of power and freshness

Region: Herefordshire, England
Grape(s): Apples
Genre: Organic (in mindset, not stamp)
Low Sulphur: Yes
Tasting Notes: Rich apple, peach, honeysuckle, leather, black tea, spice

Set up in 2014 by Susanna and James Forbes, Little Pomona Cidery and Orchard is based in Thornbury, North Herefordshire. They have 5 hectares beneath an ancient hill fort, which they cultivate in as natural a way as possible, making ciders and perries with complexity and depth that are fantastic with food. Pomona is the Roman goddess of fruit trees and the orchard, and the taste of the Little Pomonas, lives up to this Godly associtation. Their ciders are typically made using the traditional method – where an alcoholic fermentation takes place in the cellar before bottling with the addition of a liqueur de tirage to create a secondary fermentation in bottle. The result is complex ciders with plenty of alcohol and bubbles that are worth serious contemplation.

Old Man and the Bee is a blend of four of the main apple varieties that Little Pomona has: Dabinett, Harry Masters Jersey, Foxwhelp and Ellis Bitter. They are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks, and blended together over time as the ciders are racked. The final addition is the Foxwhelp, which adds a zippy acidity to balance the richness and tannin of particularly the Dabinett. Bottled both unfined and unfiltered without the addition of any SO2, this is English Autumn in a glass – some warmth and power from the richer apple varieties, balanced with the acidity and freshness of the inevitable Autumn rain (or, in this case, the Foxwhelp apples).