Art of Darkness, 2016

Company Name

Little Pomona

Name of Maker

James Forbes

Name of Product

Art of Darkness



Season (year fruit grown)


Bottle Size


Alcohol level (% vol)


Case Size


Bottle Type

Dark green champagne

Closure Type

29mm crown


Varieties Used

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?

Wild yeasts

If cultured, more details:


Any sulphites?
(non naturally occurring)


Extra Details

At bottling. 40ppm





Fermented In


Barrel Type

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.


Makers Aims/Intentions

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)


PH level


Titratable Acid level (g/l)


Tasting Notes

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
(1=Delicate, 5=full bodied)


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