Art of Darkness, 2016
Name of Maker
Name of Product
Art of Darkness
Season (year fruit grown)
Alcohol level (% vol)
Dark green champagne
Ellis Bitter (95%); Foxwhelp (5%)
About the Orchard
All fruit from our home orchard.
Vintage Conditions & Harvest
2016 was an excellent vintage for Little Pomona.
Frost hit us at the start of flowering which put paid to any sort of crop for the Foxwhelp. The biennial nature of these trees meant we expected very little fruit in the vintage anyway.
May and June were fine and dry. July though was unusually wet but the trees needed the water. August right through harvest until late November was largely fine and dry and we brought in a large, healthy, ripe crop of Dabinett, Harry Masters Jersey and Ellis Bitter with higher than normal sugars.
Wild or Cultured Yeasts?
If cultured, more details:
At bottling. 40ppm
250L Oak. Ex Speyside Whisky. Our second use of these barrels.
Any Other Details
The Ellis Bitter was fermented in IBC before being racked to barrel for 14 months. The Foxwhelp component is from 2015 and barrel matured.
I think with everything we do we are not setting out with specific goals other than to express the vintage through the act of fermentation of the fruit. So we just follow the progress of the fermentations, thinking about what each of these are telling us. Ellis Bitter is a case in point. The fruit tastes great off the tree, but after fermentation the flavours and aromatics just seem to nose dive, so Art of Darkness became a sort of deep sea expedition to see if we could coax those sunken flavours back to the surface. It took a while but we did it. The time in tank but especially in barrel and subsequently in bottle transformed green, under ripe tannins into the opposite.
Extra Details (style)
Miniscule amount in some bottles. It's heavy though and quite hard to disturb
On a Scale of Sweet - Dry
Residual Sugar level (g/l)
Titratable Acid level (g/l)
Main Taste Characteristics
Art of Darkness 2016 spent a lot of time in the dark:. 10 months in tank, 14 months in barrel and 11months in bottle before release.
The resultant cider is the opposite. It’s light, pristine, delicate and pretty. The tannins are soft, the acid juicy and there is a limpid quality about the cider like a still mountain pool.
It’s very much a reflection of the early season fruit from the 2016 vintage, showing in its delicacy, another side to natural, bitter sweet cider.
Drink COOL, not cold.
Scale of 1-5
Food pairing recommendations
It's likes lighty spiced food, fat and salt so quite versatile. Food amplifies the flavours in the cider. It's unusual in that respect.
© The Fine Cider Company