Good lord, this is a clear cider. It’s so clear and light that it was kind of tough to get a photograph of it. It certainly is pretty – I can totally see it being served as a pre-drink at a wedding or some art gallery launch where everything is white and ethereal.
When I sniff and sip cider, I’m generally thinking “apples apples apples” so I sometimes find it hard to discern anything else. So I sat with this bottle for a while, sniffing and swirling. It reminded me of something and then it hit me – I was in a pub beer garden in England, but not drinking hearty English cider. In fact Cluver & Jack reminds me of when I used to be quite partial to a white wine and soda.
Suddenly I was thinking sauvignon blanc. I definitely pick up some gooseberries on the nose and the acidity is reminiscent of wine. There’s a zingy tartness on the tongue that transfoms to a pleasing sweetness when you swallow. Considering who’s behind the cider – winemakers Paul Cluver and Bruce Jack – the vinous qualities of it are hardly a surprise and I wonder if it might even be fermented with a wine, or perhaps champagne yeast.
I find this a great entry-level cider, particularly for someone who is normally partial to wine. It’s very quaffable without being particularly challenging. I prefer my ciders to be a bit more robust (think flat, 8% ABV scrumpy with a dead rat floating in it) but Cluver & Jack is hugely thirst-quenching and will doubtless serve as a crucial hook to convert wine drinkers to cider.
Want to read more about cider? Check out this review of Sxollie Golden Delicious.