“Cidersmiths Harry Masters’ Jersey” craft cider review (7.75/10) – “A fizzy and refreshingly moist cider; Tangy, harsh, with no dryness or character.”

The Good

“Well-balanced”.
“Moderate carbonation”.
“Harsh, with natural punchy tang”.
“Some sweetness”.
“Non-sickly taste”.
“Confident and natural scent”.
“Smooth drinking experience”.
“Lasting tangy aftertaste”.

The Bad

“Is it mono-varietal ?”.
“Weak branding”.
“No dryness”.
“Harsh tartness”.
“No unique character e.g wood”.
“Expensive”.
“Impractical”.

Packaging

“Cidersmiths” was created as a brand to make cider interesting. I must say that is no easy task. Certainly my maths teacher failed to make that interesting but I guess you have to have a receptive or engaged audience.

All things going well, a cider fan should enjoy a well made cider. Hopefully the Cidersmiths brand will provide that on this occasion. The term “craft” in the name of this cider, I believe, refers to the lack of added water and solutes used, and the level of natural juices involved in the production of the drink. This is subjective though, since the term is not clearly defined online.

I previously glugged through a pretty mediocre offering known as “Bristol Draught” scoring a lousy (5.5/10), but today we sample their “Harry Masters’ Jersey Craft”. If the taste is as good as the rhyming, we could be onto something …

I suggest you read that “Bristol Draught” review for a more in-depth analysis of the company history (link below). Briefly, “Will” with his friend “Phil” Warren, both with roots from Herefordshire, created the drink as a friendship duo. Even their mother was good at rhyming when she named them…

Quite poetic really …

The apples are provided from Somerset by the named “Harry Masters’ Jersey”
He, according to website, raised the apple trees. From the bottle we get further insight to his legendary status, even having his own Harry Masters Jersey apple variety, named after him. Cidersmiths claim this to be one of the best … It would be nice to have it mentioned whether this apple variety is used in the drink, or indeed whether the drink uses exclusively this type of apple. Since it isn’t mentioned, I’d assume not, which appears a brand weakness.

Whilst the cider’s Somerset apples categorise the drink into the Somerset cider block with the likes of Thatchers and Orchard pig, it isn’t consistent with the story of the makers who were said to be inspired by Herefordshire.
With highly experienced cider makers such as Weston’s based in Herefordshire, it seems a little odd that Somerset apples were selected. Still, at least only English apples were used in this product.

As for price and practicality: …

Bristol draught cost £2.19 from Waitrose which provided 2.8 units at 5.5% ABV for 500ml. Not that cheap.

Todays cider, Cidersmiths Harry masters Jersey “craft” was 500ml too, also costing £2.19 from Waitrose. This was 4.5 % ABV though, making it considerably weaker and only providing 2.3 units. Still not that cheap …

As for expectations …

Bristol Draught: “Light carbonation, and full flavour are implied by the website. Delving deeper, balance and limited sweetness are mentioned for this product”.

( Drink of the day) For Cidersmiths “craft”, the website leads me to expect medium dryness due to the assertion of “medium blend”, and “ towards the sweeter end of the scale”, leads me to expect a high level of sweetness. Hopefully this won’t be sickly…

With the assertion of “enough character”, the drink would be expected to have something different e.g. woodiness. It didn’t specify the carbonation level though, unlike “Bristol Draught” on it’s website, and the acidity had to be left to the bottle or imagination unfortunately. Following inspection of the bottle, no clues about carbonation or acidity level were apparent.

Smell

The smell was smooth and natural. This was as expected, yet was pleasantly strong and poignant. It appeared a little warming, perhaps resembling a woodland slightly. Elements of character had to be delayed until tasting though. The smell persisted at a weaker level for some time, until a moderately frothy white head settled.

Taste

On first sip, fruity sweetness quickly came through. A reminder of the apples sugar content, yet it wasn’t immediately sickly. Carbonation was moderate which was good, since no expectations had been established. As for acidity, this developed on the aftertaste well.

Early on in tasting, it wasn’t too apparent, but began to build into the aftertaste throughout bottle consumption. This was natural, if slightly harsh. The sweetness was balanced well though, with this developing acidity level. The experience wasn’t full of identity or character however. I’d refute slightly the “enough character” claim, since the drink seemed rather generic.

The aftertaste persisted well, as natural tart apple. The balance was nice, and the drink seemed refreshing. As for dryness, this was totally covered up by the strong tart aftertaste or wasn’t present at all. Either way, I couldn’t detect it. The mouthfeel, whilst not contributing to a sickly experience, was rather thin, and didn’t seem to blend the flavour enough. Consequently, sweetness remained separate from tartness, leaving a less wholesome drinking experience.

All things considered, this was slightly harsh, moderately carbonated, and built tartness well. It lacked medium dryness and sweetness though. It’s mouthfeel was a little watery, with good balance.

Summary

A fizzy and refreshingly moist cider; Tangy, harsh, with no dryness or character.

Bristol draught cidersmiths review

https://reasea.org/2018/10/19/cidersmiths-bristol-draught-review-lightly-carbonated-sweet-drink-without-balance-or-character-5-5-10/

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Sources:

American Hard Cider and the Meaning of “CRAFT”

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