Val D'Ornón

From Eating Asturias, the Encyclopedia of Asturian Gastronomy
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Menéndez is the biggest cider maker you've never heard of. Think of them as the third in the triad of big industrial cider makers, along with Cortina and Castañón. This is their DOP expression, a straight-ahead apple forward, but not machu cider.


Asturians put great stock in the proper appearance and presentation of the cider. Perhaps more so than anywhere else I’ve ever drunk cider. For that reason, there is a well-developed vocabulary in Asturias for describing the visual aspects of sidra natural.

Color Straw (3 SRM)
Clarity Bright
Espalme Panizal: lively carbon dioxide, well balanced
Pegue medium sized bubbles, good adherence, some legs


Mouthfeel refers to the physical sensations (as opposed to the aromas and flavors) of the cider. It refers to textures that touch the tongue, roof of the mouth, teeth, throat, and to some extent, the aftertaste sensations.

Body Medium
Sensation lively and effervescent
Finish Medium (15-30 Seconds)
Balance Finu: a cider that is "clean", "clear", and "balanced" - The ideal cider flavor profile

Aromas & Flavors

Sidra natural has a set of basic aromas and flavors that, to one degree or another, all examples exhibit. Here I rate the relative strength of those basic flavors, and afterwards discuss any additional flavor or aroma components that are noteworthy.

Alcohol Alma: Balanced alcohol
Apple Flavors Balanced apple flavors
Acetic Flavors Pleasant balanced acetic qualities
Astringent Flavors Secante: refreshingly dry and stimulating to the palate.

Tasting Notes

Pleasant nose, lots of green apple aromas. Restrained, elegant flavor profile - balance is the watchword here.

About Cider Tasting

This evaluation standard is my own. It is not created or endorsed by any official body in Asturias or elsewhere. I designed it based on the work of the Brewer’s Association and the work of Travis Robert Alexander & Brianna L. Ewing Valliere of the Washington State University Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources. It is also informed by the traditional vocabulary used to describe cider in Asturias. You can read more about my methodology, my standard for evaluating Asturian cider, and the descriptive lexicon I use.