Sidreria Isastegi Sagardotegia
Isastegi Sargardo Naturala Sidra Natural Gorenak
I am drinking a three year old bottle of Sidreria Isastegi Sagardotegia Isastegi Sargardo Naturala Sidra Natural Gorenak (6.0% alcohol by volume) with some Garroxta Cheese and I do this quite often so I am surprised that I haven't reviewed this cider sooner. Both the cheese and the cider are Basque and I often drink it with Garroxta in honor of my Basque friends and also because I like it. Pulling the cork releases a rich funky apple smell along with tart apple skin. To get the full joy of the cider you need to do the long pour. It provides a light effervescence to the drink and in theory, you drink it quickly before the effervescence from the pour is gone. After several bottles my adeptness with the long poor is enough where I am comfortable doing it outside but it will take a few more bottle where I am comfortable trying it indoors. The cider is acidic - at least Granny Smith Apple levels - bone dry and funky but it is more a dab of barnyard than a full force funk. There is not a lot of bitterness in the cider - the acidity and funk play that role. Paired with the cheese the funk of the cider works with the funk of the cheese while the creaminess of the cheese softens the beer's tartness and the beer's tartness and effervescence cleanses the palate and gets you ready for more cheese. Sidreria Isastegi Sagardotegia serves their cider with a cod omelette's, fried cod with peppers, steak, walnuts, quince jelly and cheese. If reserved in advance you can get the cider served with roast lamb or codfish in sauce. I enjoy the cider immensely with a steak with a crispy char from the grill and red on the inside. I have also had it with grilled lamb chops and at some point I must try it with fried cod and codfish in sauce. I rate the cider 90. It is an acquired taste well worth acquiring.