Maeloc Sidra seca dry review ( 8/10) ” Costly, fruity with tangy sharpness lacking balance or dryness”.

The Good

” Lovely, natural and fruity flavour”.
” Subtle, yet effective branding”.
” Great natural tang with sharpness”.
” Full-bodied and complex”.
” Exciting and different”.

The Bad
” Tang overpowering for fruity flavour”.
” Lacking carbonation”.
” Not a dry cider as claimed”.
” Expensive, expensive, expensive”.

Packaging

The small bottle was coloured with white, blue and brown with the exception of one green and red apple within a sunshine depiction. The bottle appeared subtle, yet of good quality.

Whilst I do not speak Spanish, the “do it your way” slogan in slender brown font was written in English. I was not that familiar with Spanish alcohol, but from my recent trip to Fuerteventura I would suggest the Spanish culture is not primarily aimed at cider drinking; Perhaps moreso spirit and cocktail based.

The slogan therefore appeared to be saying it is okay to be different which I like since the logo is of an old man with glasses and a basket of apples; Perhaps not the stereotypical alcohol consumer suggesting the idea of distinctiveness is carried through to bottle decoration.

The Spanish words which sprung out were “Galicia and Maeloc”. Galicia on reading refers to a small region in northwest Spain which is green and lush. It therefore follows that this will feature apple varieties which enjoy a little more moisture than would be expected from such a dry country.

Galicia is seen as an autonomous community; One that is unique from Spain in terms of heritage and climate. It is not as commercialised as tourist destinations in Spain such as the costas. It’s greater rainfall and mountains keep it from appearing similar to the rest of Spain.

For all intents and purposes then, this cider review was not of a typical Spanish cider which I am yet to find, but it was my first cider from Spain and the only bottled cider I have managed to find. This is after having searched many popular retail stores in the UK.

It set me back £1.80 from Waitrose for this little 330ml bottle. At 4.5% ABV this gives you 1.5 units. This means at least 2 would be needed, making this a costly option. That said for practicality 2 is a good number to achieve spot on the recommended limit. Due to novelty value from it’s foreign origin however, I was willing to overlook the cost for good quality flavour.

The website announced the drink as part of a trio including “Organic”, “Flavours” and this bottle which was termed “Dry”.
It announced in English ” Refreshing, light and flavoursome” which was reassuring considering the entire bottle label was in Spanish. I did not have the patience to translate this, although the website seemed to shed enough light on the beverage.

This suggested it had been brewed using a traditional Celtic process. It suggests manufacture using 100% Galician apples providing it with a smooth and bitter description. The word beer is included in this which made me shudder slightly due to my dislike of any beer I had previously sampled.
Some examples of apples stated included Raxo, Pero, and Verden. These were difficult to locate online on other sites but I was expecting them to come together to provide a fresh appley flavour for the drink; Instead of an artificial product from juice rather than genuine apples.

Maeloc as specified on the bottle and perhaps depicted, was purportedly a bishop who did things in his own way and respected tradition which also appeared to complement the brand ethos for individuality well.

With my sweet tooth and taste for anything but beer, I was certainly hoping this likeness was limited. I was expecting a dry drink therefore; perhaps lacking in carbonation and sweetness. I wasn’t sure what to expect but hoped for tang and acidity also. Full-bodiedness was not mentioned but with local, flavoursome apples I hoped this was apparent.

Smell

On opening, a smoothly acidic, yet natural aroma emerged. The smell felt almost vinegary perhaps like merry-down cider. Throughout smelling though, no variation was apparent and the aroma was surprisingly consistent and fairly strong. This suggested the potential for a smooth, strong and tangy flavour which hinted of great apple appeal.

 

Taste

The flavour, on first sip, certainly had a pleasant fruity tang. On initial taste, the flavour was surprisingly similar to Sxollie which tasted of fresh golden delicious apples. It’s aftertaste possessed a highly pleasant tangy fizz as if it had been made using Granny Smith apples. Transition between taste and aftertaste was as smooth as the flavour.

The natural acidity was perhaps one of the nicest I had tasted. On swirling in your mouth the cider does not provide any sound or feel of carbonation, but due to this tang it really didn’t appear to need it. The sweetness was catered for through the flavour of natural fruit and didn’t really need anymore; It’s key selling point was that of tang and acidity.

What perhaps was disappointing was the dryness level. Whilst for my palette, a cider which had a ” moist” level of dryness was very appealing, this drink claimed to be a dry cider which it really wasn’t. It was however full-bodied which kept the flavour fulfilling deep into the aftertaste.

In addition to limited carbonation with natural fruity sharpness and a moist level of dryness, the sweetness seemed absent but this appeared a ramification natural flavours enhancing it, rather than the attribute being lacking.

Summary

A smooth, fruity and refreshing drink with the uniqueness and tradition that it claimed. Tradition could be seen through a great taste experience showing good process selection and ingredient modification. The carbonation was a little lacking, acidity a little too overpowering for optimal balance and dryness could have been enhanced. Overall a lovely, full-bodied and natural drink which was certainly worth a try.

Sources
http://www.galiciaguide.com/Galicia-index.html
http://www.ibericarestaurants.com/our-producers/maeloc-cider/
http://www.maelocway.com/en/galicia

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