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Cider Makers

STYLE: Cyser (Apple Melomel)

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Aroma: Depending on the sweetness and strength, a subtle to distinctly identifiable honey and apple/cider character (dry and/or hydromel
versions will tend to have lower aromatics than sweet and/or sack
versions). The apple/cider character should be clean and distinctive; it
can express a range of apple-based character ranging from a subtle
fruitiness to a single varietal apple character (if declared) to a complex
blend of apple aromatics. Some spicy or earthy notes may be present,
34 as may a slightly sulfury character. The honey aroma should be
noticeable, and can have a light to significant sweetness that may
express the aroma of flower nectar. If a variety of honey is declared,
the aroma might have a subtle to very noticeable varietal character
reflective of the honey (different varieties have different intensities and
characters). The bouquet should show a pleasant fermentation
character, with clean and fresh aromatics being preferred. Stronger
and/or sweeter versions will have higher alcohol and sweetness in the
nose. Slight spicy phenolics from certain apple varieties are
acceptable, as is a light diacetyl character from malolactic fermentation
(both are optional). Standard description applies for remainder of
characteristics.


Appearance: Standard description applies, except with regard to color.
Color may range from pale straw to deep golden amber (most are
yellow to gold), depending on the variety of honey and blend of apples
or ciders used.


Flavor: The apple and honey flavor intensity may vary from none to
high; the residual sweetness may vary from none to high; and the finish may range from dry to sweet, depending on what sweetness level has
been declared (dry to sweet) and strength level has been declared
(hydromel to sack). Natural acidity and tannin in apples may give
some tartness and astringency to balance the sweetness, honey flavor
and alcohol. A cyser may have a subtle to strong honey character, and
may feature noticeable to prominent varietal character if a varietal
honey is declared (different varieties have different intensities). Slight
spicy phenolics from certain apple varieties are acceptable, as are a
light diacetyl character from malolactic fermentation and a slight sulfur
character (all are optional). Standard description applies for remainder
of characteristics.


Mouthfeel: Standard description applies. Often wine-like. Some
natural acidity is usually present (from the blend of apples) and helps
balance the overall impression. Some apples can provide natural
astringency, but this character should not be excessive.
Overall Impression: In well-made examples of the style, the fruit is
both distinctive and well-incorporated into the honey-sweet-acidtannin-
alcohol balance of the mead. Some of the best strong examples
have the taste and aroma of an aged Calvados (apple brandy from
northern France), while subtle, dry versions can taste similar to many
fine white wines.


Ingredients: Standard description applies. Cyser is a standard mead
made with the addition of apples or apple juice. Traditionally, cysers
are made by the addition of honey to apple juice without additional
water. A spiced cyser, or a cyser with other ingredients, should be
entered as an Open Category Mead.


Comments: There should be an appealing blend of the fruit and honey
character but not necessarily an even balance. Generally a good tanninsweetness balance is desired, though very dry and very sweet examples do exist. See standard description for entrance requirements. Entrants MUST specify carbonation level, strength, and sweetness. Entrants MAY specify honey varieties. Entrants MAY specify the varieties of apple used; if specified, a varietal character will be expected. Products with a relatively low proportion of honey are better entered as a Specialty Cider.

 

Commercial Examples: White Winter Cyser

Wyeast Strains:
   4028 - Red (formerly Chateau Red™)
   4184 - Sweet Mead™
   4244 - Italian Red (formerly Chianti™)
   4766 - Cider™
   4783 - Sweet White (formerly Rudesheimer™)
   4946 - Bold Red / High Alcohol (formerly Zinfandel™)



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