Our second destination on the trip was to the barrel rooms at Oliver’s Cider & Perry, Herefordshire. They are an incredible sight, with over a hundred barrels or varying shapes and sizes, laid out across 4 rooms. Light pours in through the slatted walls as they work their magic across months.
Tom Oliver uses an array of barrels, softened by prior use. His favourite are old rum barrels, but he also has old scotch, bourbon, wine and calvados barrels to work with. Each will affect the cider in a subtly different way, and all are home to the wild yeasts and microflora that imprint the specific taste of that barrel and that location on the cider they contain.