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Document C2009/242/05

Main specifications of the technical file for Somerset Cider Brandy

OJ C 242, 9.10.2009, p. 22–24 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 242/22


2009/C 242/05


By 26 May 2008 the UK has applied for registration of ‘Somerset Cider Brandy’ as a geographical indication within Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89.

According to Article 17(5) of Regulation (EC) No 110/2008, the Commission shall verify, within 12 months of the date of submission of the application referred to in paragraph 1, whether that application complies with this Regulation.

This verification has been done and in accordance with Article 17(6), the Commission services have announced that the application complies with the Regulation at the 96th meeting of the Committee for spirit drinks on 8 June 2009.

Therefore, the main specifications of the technical file shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, C Series.

According to Article 17(7), within six months of the date of publication of the technical file, any natural or legal person that has a legitimate interest may object to the registration of the geographical indication in Annex III on the grounds that the conditions provided for in this Regulation are not fulfilled. The objection, which must be duly substantiated, shall be submitted to the Commission in one of the official languages of the European Union or accompanied by a translation into one of those languages.


Name and category of spirit drink including the geographical indication:

Name: Somerset Cider Brandy.

Category of spirit drink: Cider Spirit (category 10 in Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 110/2008).

Description of Somerset Cider Brandy: Produced from distilled cider.

Principal physical, chemical and/or organoleptic characteristics:

Product specification: Minimum ABV: 40 % vol.

Appearance: Golden to deep honey yellow, clear.

Aroma: Hints of caramelised apples, with notes of rich dried fruit, honey and spice.

Flavour profile: Caramelised apples, dried fruit, and vanilla note balanced acidity, silky mouth-feel and mellow alcohol.

Materials allowed for colouring: None.

Volatile substances specification: Volatile substances must equal or exceed 200 g per hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol.

Water: None added, except for final reduction prior to bottling and then distilled water is used.

Maximum ABV ex still: 72 % abv.

Minimum ABV: 65 % abv.

Definition of the geographical area concerned:

The county of Somerset in England.

The method for obtaining the spirit drink:

The cider for distillation is obtained by the fermentation of the fresh juice from the pressing of up to 100 recognised traditional varieties of apple grown within Somerset.

No additions are allowed to this juice and there is no chaptalization.

The fermentation is started by the addition of a yeast culture which results in a cider which is characteristic of the region. The cider brandy is obtained by the dual distillation of this cider and maturation in wood.

Any authentic and unvarying local methods:

matured in oak barrels for a minimum of 3 years,

ageing time: 3 years minimum,

method of ageing: oak barrels. This can be oak from Limousin and Allier forests of France and barrels of American white oak which may have previously held sherry, or port.

The traditional cider apple varieties used can be classified as sharp, bitter sharp, bitter sweet and sweet. The raw material cider must be made by pressing at least 20 varieties.

The varieties of cider apple used for distilling are grown without the addition of nitrogen fertilizer at any stage in the growing cycle. The yield must not be more than 25 tons (tonnes) per hectare.

Apple varieties for cider production have been grown in the region since before 1678, and of the 100 varieties, they include:

Harry Masters Jersey,

Stoke Red,

Brown Snout,

Kingston Black,


Harry Masters,

Yarlington Mill,

Stembridge Jersey, and


Barrel type: Oak.

Barrel size(s): Not exceeding 700 litre.

Style of still(s): Column and pot stills smaller than 100 hectolitres through put per 24 hours.

Details bearing out the link with the geographical environment or the geographical origin:

Cider brandy has been made in Somerset for approximately 300 years. A combination of the soil and climate in Somerset, together with the traditional apple varieties grown in most Somerset orchards for cider brandy production purposes, results in the production of a quality spirit drink recognized throughout the UK cider industry. It is these conditions that give Somerset Cider Brandy its unique characteristics.

Somerset Cider Brandy is produced in Somerset from traditional varieties of apples grown in Somerset.

The cider brandy is matured in barrels in bonded warehouses in Somerset.

Any requirements laid down by Community and/or national provisions and/or regional:

None except for the general provisions in point 10 of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 relating to cider spirit.


Applicant name: The Association of Somerset Cider Brandy Producers


c/o The Somerset Cider Brandy Company Limited

Burrow Hill

Kingsbury Episcopi



TA12 6BU


Supplemental information:

History: Apples have been produced in Britain at least since the middle ages around 600-700 years ago. The first written records of Cider Brandy go back to 1678, with the term ‘Cider Brandy’ being cited in the publication ‘Treatise of Cider’ by J. Woolridge. The term ‘Cider Brandy’ has been in continuous use since 1678. All books on cider and apple production in England for the last three hundred years describe the apple distilling process.

The term ‘Cider Brandy’ has been defined in EC law (directly applicable in the UK) for the last 25 years. The term describes a distinct cask aged product produced in UK that is distilled from cider made by the fermentation of traditional cider apple varieties.