Craigies Irish Craft Cider is one of the new traditional/craft oriented cider producers springing up in Ireland. Located south of Dublin in County Wicklow, Craigies focuses on cider apples with character that represent the terroir of the apple as well as vintage variations. Their goal isn’t to produce a consistently flavor profile, but to make unique blend each year that relays the flavor of Ireland’s cider apple orchards.
Ballyhook Flyer is one of the two blends they produce, “Dalliance” being the other. Ballyhook Flyer, named after a famous soapbox derby entrant, is a blend mostly based around Dabinett and Katy varietals with a few others mixed in depending on the vintage. This bottle is from the 2014 vintage and features Jonagold in addition to the two main ones.
Appearance: Lightly hazy copper.
Aroma: Ripe apples, orchard floor, pears, goose berries, light brown sugar notes, lightly spicy.
Taste: Medium- tannins, medium+ acidity, medium+ astringency.
Overall Impression: The Ballyhook Flyer is a very balanced cider with nice cider apple character. I’ve only tried a few Irish craft ciders so far and am liking them quite a bit. This is a really nice introduction to apple forward British & Irish style ciders.
CO2: Lightly sparkling
Geography: Apples from south-east Irish counties.
Apples: Dabinett, Katy, Jonagold
Availability: Imported by Artisanal Imports. It’s a newer part of their portfolio, ask for it where you see their other beers and ciders.