Sxollie Cripps Pink – cider review ” Pure and fruity, young and fun, if a bit expensive”. (8.75/10).

The Good

” Fantastic, natural, fruity aroma”.
” Non-sickly, natural taste and aftertaste”.
“Pleasant fruity sweetness”.
” Medium body”.
“branding consistent with taste” .
” Well-balanced”.
” Natural tang”.
” Practical”.

The Bad

” Carbonation a little subtle”.
” No dryness or woodiness”.
” Limited uniqueness”.
“Expensive”.

Packaging

One year on from my last African cider review, I’m now ready to continue the voyage south to the hot Elgin orchards of South Africa. Here the partnership, (Laura and Karol), came from Australia to set up a squeaky clean, new and hip cider business in 2014. My last review, (see Sxollie golden delicious) , achieved a great score of 8.5. Notably high, for a single variety brand of just 4.5% ABV.

This was in part due to excitement in the branding and flavour, but also, due to the feel of the product as vibrant, young, and enthusiastic. An outlook I try to maintain in my own life ; An ethos I believe central to great success.

Here, my second product, embodied in the same elegant, simple 330ml bottle, comes with a red colour scheme and a different apple composition of exclusively Cripps pink.
This could be a smart choice since according to the BBC, no one is allowed to grow the variety outside of Australia unless the country is licensed to. Therefore, this cider with it’s Australian founders, has established some uniqueness through the varieties used, without even considering the sleek bottle.

My golden delicious review gave strengths of tangy, fruity, sweetness in a full body. It was also well-balanced and natural, with a good level of carbonation. Unfortunately acidity was a little too subtle, with a high cost to achieve the regular limit.

The Cripps pink bottle itself informs of helping African Women in agriculture, detailing vegan-friendly, no added artificial ingredients, and defining Sxollie as a “Scallywag”, or “Hipster”, which is the brands’ target audience. This information is in small font, but only the bare essential text is present, allowing the quirky patterns and designs to truly sing. Whilst I’m not vegan, the brand shows knowledge of current popular trends in consumers, living up to it’s branding message of enthusiasm and modern change. Safe to say, despite the lack of Sarah and Karols’ story, or much about the brand message on the bottle, that this product exudes excitement.

The fact that only one apple variety is used per Sxollie product, not only highlights the subtleties of this apples’ strengths and weaknesses, I feel it also educates your palette, when tasting more complex combinations of apples. I therefore have strong expectations, and am excited to travel back to South Africa, through the medium of apple cider.

This, once again was bought for £1.99, for just a 4.5%, 330ml, 1.5 unit bottle. This means a £4 spend would be required to achieve the limit. A premium, almost certainly not worth it, even for a rather special cider. It is practical though.

Smell

The scent emerged confidently, from just a small lip of bubbles. It lasted for some time, yet cut off the nose on each occasion. Fast enough to leave you yearning more. It inspires your taste buds, encouraging salivation through it’s natural fresh and fruity smell. One dominated by a pure, uncomplicated sweetness. One you may expect from crushed apples out of your own, garden orchard. The scent is worth mentioning, as one of the best I have experienced. Possibly ever !! This smell shouldn’t be understated, and isn’t.

Taste

On first sip , a pleasant, tart apple taste quickly filled my mouth. One with plenty of sweetness, yet no sickliness. Shortly after, fruitiness faded as the tang cut through my palette. The tang was one that didn’t dominate, yet reduced the fruity sweetness levels to prevent any unpleasantness in the aftertaste.

The aftertaste remained as Apple. A truly natural and charming flavour, indicative of fresh fruit and the countryside. The body was medium, and not watery, yet could provide the illusion of fullness, due to the shear intensity of natural taste. The tang was sufficient, unlike in the Golden Delicious version. Carbonation did seem a little light though… It was a shame there was no woodiness, or dryness present. These things weren’t claimed or expected however, due perhaps to simplicity in the brand.

In my mind however, this left a slightly minimal impression, which couldn’t lift the cider to the peak of the great all-rounders.

Summary

A natural and fruity, pure apple cider. One with a charming smell and taste experience. It has pinpoint balance in fruity tang and sweetness. The non-sickly taste and aftertaste, maintains a thoroughly enjoyable, and rather guilt-free drink experience. A bit pricey though, lacking carbonation, and unique prowess, from woodiness or dryness. Without being picky though, difficult to fault.

Product

Sxollie Granny Smith Cider 330ml – Case of 12

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