Galipette Brut cider review – ” Natural and yeasty fruit, without dryness, in a medium mouthfeel” (8.75/10).

The Good

“Tangy, natural smell”.
“Good acidity level”.
“Well-balanced fruity tang”.
“Smooth taste and aftertaste”.
“Character from bread-like taste elements”.
“Sweetness provided by natural fruit”.
“Lovely medium mouthfeel”.
“Good backstory”.
“Lasting natural aftertaste”.
“Practical alcohol level”.
“Good value for French cider”.

The Bad

“Weak aftertaste”.
“Not fully balanced”.
“No woodiness”.
“Bottle looked tacky”.
“No dryness”.
“Carbonation slightly weak”.
“Company history not on website”.

Packaging

Rural charm, unspoilt scenery and sandy beaches may not be something you associate with France. That said, a region of Brittany, known as Pleudihen sur Rance provides just that. With beautiful landscapes, and traditional architecture, you’d surely want to go there. While relaxing on a french holiday, why not sip a cider, or “cidre” as they call it, made from pure, 100%, apple juice ?

Even better, all the apples come from Brittany, where this gluten-free product is developed. They are apparently handpicked from orchards in Northwest France, (hence the highlighted region on a pictorial French map) detailed on the bottle. All this information, is displayed by a slightly blingy, yet informative vessel. A stamp boasting “Geographically protected status”, assures you that the origin of the apples and production, does indeed occur in Brittany as suggested.

Whilst all french cider contains 100% apple juice, this certainly makes it desirable, since English ciders can contain much less. Due to french apple sourcing and cider production, I’d expect some carbonation to remain, due to spare yeast and early bottling. For more info see my (Aspalls Harry Sparrow review below).

The product is called Galipette Brut…

The name “Galipette” in English, means to have fun, or act in a silly or theatrical way. This is a rather joyous title for a drink. The drinks’ website suggests “Somersault” as the direct translation. The bottle with its cheap, and rather tacky appearance, unfortunately doesn’t portray this hip, young, or stylish, brand message.

The term “Brut” means dry and unsweetened, affirming expectations from the forefront of the bottle.

As for practicality and cost, the bottle assures of 330ml at 4.5% ABV, providing 1.5 units. You’d need 2 of these to have a fun evening, meaning rather high costs of £3.98. Harry Sparrow though, which was made in Suffolk, but still uses french cider making techniques, was even more costly at £4.30. With the French, international cider challenge winner of 2018, costing £9 for this alcohol level, clearly french cider doesn’t come cheap.
The value and practicality consequently, is relatively good here, despite initial concerns.

How about expectations though ??

I’d expect full flavour and mouthfeel from any french cider. This should be combined with considerable carbonation, plenty of tang from pure apple juice, aswell as considerable dryness due to the “Brut” tag. Brut implies limited sweetness, so I’d expect this to be a weakness. The website affirms “no added sugar” which is good, as sweetness should come naturally. Considering another product in it’s cider range is sweeter, I’ll be slightly lenient when assessing sweetness levels here.

Bon Appetite or whatever the French say before drinking something nice …

Smell

A tangy, natural foam emerged, steadily crackling following removal of the bottle top. The head faded fairly quickly, suggesting only light carbonation. Things progressed naturally, as expected from a high (apple-juice-containing), drink.

After a time, the scent faded considerably, becoming faint, emitting some yeasty or bready elements too. It never felt overpowering though, fading quickly on each sniff, never lingering for long. After some time, nothing could be sensed.

Taste

On first sip, surprising, a pleasantly smooth and tart flavour hit my mouth. Everything felt very natural. Not too much sweetness came through as expected from a dry, and the aftertaste quickly faded to almost nothing.
On subsequent sips, the juice really provided some good character, with sufficient sweetness. It was quite distinctive, mainly because the apples came through with a bread-like character. One seldom seen…
Carbonation was very light, and in my opinion, too much so. The tang was moderate, and the fruitiness made up for the lack of sweetness. As for mouthfeel, things were ideal. It wasn’t syrupy or overly thick, but a very pleasant medium. No wateriness was noticeable throughout consumption at any point. The aftertaste continued with medium tang and fruitiness.

No woodiness, or metallic nature, could be detected, yet these aren’t always needed. Whilst I wanted to sense some dryness to complete the drinks balance, this was hard to notice. After half the bottle, I still couldn’t determine any dryness. This was a shame. Despite this, the smoothness continued into an aftertaste which whilst weak, did persist for some time, and was pleasant.

Summary

A natural and yeasty cider, without dryness, in a medium mouthfeel.

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Sources

https://www.france-voyage.com/cities-towns/pleudihen-sur-rance-5241.htm
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/french-english/galipette
https://reasea.org/2018/12/01/harry-sparrow-aspalls-cider-review-9-0-10-a-strong-contender-thanks-to-consistent-brand-message-and-taste-profile-pricey-and-impractical-though/
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-wales-40721764/eu-protected-status-shows-cider-is-what-is-says-it-is
http://galipettecidre.com/#

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