McGargles Trader Tommy’s Apple Cider – Craft Cider Review
Having never been much of a cider drinker other than some sugary sweet Scandinavian varieties that I favoured for a fleeting moment in my early twenties, I often found it curious that regular beer drinkers would make the seasonal switch as soon as the elusive Irish sun appeared on a summer’s day, opting for pint bottles of Bulmers poured generously over a glass of ice instead of the usual beers or stouts. As refreshing an image as that is, I was always still the one to stick to beer. But forever endeavouring to broaden my horizons, I decided to tiptoe into the pool of boozy apple juice once more and discovered McGargles Trader Tommy’s.
McGargles cartoon clad labels have become one of the most easily recognisable craft beer brands to adorn Irish shelves in recent years, each one with their own unique character and back-story. They have made no exception with the launch of their latest cider, introducing us to Tommy: the wheeler-dealer Wall Street trader type who was “the second man in Ireland to own a mobile phone” and he has certainly put his trading skills to good use here as this particular cider is in fact brewed and imported from the town of Bingen, just West of Frankfurt, Germany. Gift of the gab aside, it was time to see if this Tommy guy knew a thing or two about apples.
On first sip I am struck at just how light on the palate this fruity beverage is, with a strong natural taste of rosy red apples as opposed to that synthesized flavour we’ve come to associate with most flavoured sweets. There are real floral notes at the end of each swig, with hints of elderflower. With very light carbonation and a sweetness which doesn’t feel saturated in sugars, this is an extremely drinkable cider and it’s easy to see why such a beverage would quench a thirst on a balmy day to far greater effect than a pint of the black stuff.
First poured at the Alltech 2016 Craft Beer Convention, the cider made it’s full premier at this years Bloom festival in June. A fitting launching pad for such a fruity and floral libation. Retailing at approximately €3.25 for a large 500 ml bottle.
Tommy can be found along with his award winning cousin Francis and the rest of the family regularly across all forms of off-licence as well as SuperValu and Centra outlets.
Having previously devoted every ounce of his spare time to music, Tony is more commonly found these days in a kitchen than on a stage. With experience in writing on festivals and shows around the country he has recently turned his pen to more culinary exposés. With a particular penchant for craft beer he can often be spotted travelling from one bar to another in search of the latest brew to hit the market.