While I’ve enjoyed many a pint of cider in my time, and have spent pleasant weekends exploring Cider Country back in my native Britain, I must admit that I’ve never really given too much thought to the flavours found within. Much like a lot of people I’ve met at Beer 101 workshops who announce that the beer in their hand smells and tastes “like beer”, for me, cider smells and tastes of apples.
Luckily, the cider scene is picking up in South Africa, so I’m getting more opportunities to taste. So here goes my first cider review…
Sxollie’s first release, Golden Delicious did indeed have an apply nose. Specifically, sweet, stewed apples – the sort of aroma that makes your want to crumble up some flour, butter and sugar and bake the whole thing in an oven.
I loved the carbonation. I know that traditional Scrumpy-style bubbles (or indeed, the utter absence of bubbles) are unlikely to take off in South Africa for some time, but Sxollie’s cider isn’t full-on fizzy. Medium-low levels of bubbles mean you can go back for another bottle without feeling too full too soon.
Flavour-wise, Sxollie is a little sweet for me, but then I love beers with IBUs topping 70 where possible, and like my sweets sour and my cider dry. That said, this did give me a little taste of home; took me back to being in an English pub beer garden in our notoriously short summer. Oh, and it made me want to eat pork.
Look out for more cider reviews coming soon – where maybe I can pick out something other than apples!!