While it may have a more sombre history, we also remember Bonfire Night for its warmth and joy. We come together through the crisp evening air, sparklers glittering and leaves crunching underfoot, to gather around the bonfire. The anticipation of the blaze draws us in and we hold our breath, listening for the crackle and pop as the branches catch alight, watching the mesmerising effect of the embers burning and smelling the husky aroma of wood that clings to our skin for days afterwards...
Remember, remember the 5th of November...
With a sensuously smoky taste followed by sublime creaminess, our Oak Smoked Clothbound Cheddar is the perfect bonfire night treat. Follow it with a tot of 5 Year Old Somerset Cider Brandy to warm you through while the fireworks pop in the sky.
5 Year Old Somerset Cider Brandy
Like our Oak Smoked Cheddar, this Somerset Cider Brandy is infused with the subtle flavour and colour of the oak barrels in which it matures for five years. As the brandy mellows and grows richer with age, it takes on complex flavours from the wood. With smooth flavours and aromas of spiced apples and a warm, comforting, rounded finish, it'll keep you warm on chilly Autumn nights.
Oak Smoked Clothbound Cheddar
Our Oak Smoked Clothbound Cheddar is aged for around 12 months in our cheese stores at Home Farm before it's gently smoked using oak chips from trees felled on the Quicke's estate. This gentle smoking imparts a natural, subtle, yet delicious flavour.
A 'Quicke' History of Somerset Cider Brandy
England has three “vintage” areas where the soil conditions and climate are deemed best for growing cider apples, known as "terroir"; all of these areas are in Somerset.
Cider apples have been grown in the West of England for centuries. The first written record of cider brandy being distilled in Somerset is in 1676. The exact extent of this historic production is unknown, since most production of Cider Brandy was done illegally in order to avoid taxes. However, ancient production skills were revived in 1989 when the first full cider-distilling license in the recorded history of Somerset was granted.
Cider Brandy is distilled from the fermented juice of a blend of cider apples. The spirit is then aged in oak barrels, which impart both colour and flavour, until (at a minimum of 3 years) it can be called brandy. The colour of the brandy is determined by the type of barrel wood used and the flavour varies according to the type of apple used and number of years the brandy has been aged.
The revival of the art of distilling Cider Brandy was led by the Somerset Cider Brandy Company, who received the first cider distilling licence in recorded history.
Somerset Cider Brandy has been awarded PGI status and is listed as part of Slow Food's 'Ark of Taste.
Did you enjoy this pairing? See our Bonfire Smoked Cheddar Jacket Potatoes recipe, perfect for Bonfire Night.