Bristols Cider from the Paso Robles region is one of the growing number of new California cideries looking to treat cider as seriously as the state treats its wine. And in the case of Bristols, that’s not hard. It is the sister company to Lone Madrone Winery, a well-respected Paso Robles winery. While it’s not difficult to coax more people to make cider these days, the folks at Bristols have a good reason to.
Bristols owners, brother and sister Neil and Jackie, grew up in Bristol, England in the region known as West Country and a source of some of the best cider made on earth. Apparently struggling with not being able to find much good cider while they made their California wines, Neil and Jackie decided to make their own and name it Bristols as an homage to their home and their long-lost ciders.
Produced from locally grown apples of primarily the culinary variety, Bristols delivers a fairly extensive line up from straightforward, apple driven varieties to hopped versions to barrel aged powerhouse specimens. It’s likely that someone looking to try cider or add to their collection will find something they like among the varied Bristols line up.
And it won’t be hard to find. Bristols has opened a cider house in Atascadero, California where all their bottlings including a number of obscure, small batch bottlings can be tested and purchased. The Bristols ciders are also available online at the Lone Madrone Winery website.
Based on our tasting of five of Bristols ciders we can say that the folks there have absolutely no fear of experimenting with apples, flavorings and production techniques. This experimental outlook bodes quite well for the cidery and its customers. We look forward to tasting other examples of Bristols Cider in the future.
BRISTOL CIDERS REVIEWED AT THE CIDER JOURNAL
Bristols Cider Blackbeard — 3 STARS
Bristols Cider Anne Bonny — 4 STARS
Bristols Cider Rackham — 3 STARS
Bristols Cider Barti Ddu — 3.5 STARS
Bristols Cider “Original” — 3 STARS