Christmas Crafty nectar No. 7 Craft cider review !! – “Well rounded and Oaky” – (9/10).
“Warming natural and oaky smell”.
“Eye catching bottle”
“Modern and consumer centred brand”.
“Medium dryness as promised”.
“Characterful woody taste”.
“Rich and natural taste”.
“Very well balanced”.
“Great medium mouthfeel”.
“Smooth throughout tasting”.
“Lacking much carbonation”.
With Christmas day fast approaching, as highlighted by my skeletal advent calendar, I feel there is time this year for one final post. I am looking to have a wonderful holiday, but am so pleased with my blogs readership growth this year. I couldn’t have asked for a better reception to motivate me to continue typing weekly reviews alongside other life commitments. I apologise for the previous 2 weeks lacking posts, this was due to scheduling and planning posts taking longer than expected, and lack of opportunity to research content for review.
Today, I received a delivery just in time for Christmas of some craft ciders from a cider company I have not previously explored called Crafty nectar. I found these whilst researching cider awards online on the “international cider challenge” website (linked below).
Crafty nectar is a cider company established in 2015. The bottle has a blurb which states how the cider was created based on the flavour profiles of thousands of cider drinkers. Exactly how this data was collected who knows, however I would suggest it maybe from surveys collected from customers.
Today we review one product from the crafty nectar range. The crafty nectar website suggests that following establishment, the company tested 6 cider blends before appearing satisfied with blend number 7, which they launched in 2018. With the exception of their “elephant in the room” product, all blends other than number 7 utilise other flavouring ingredients in addition to apples. These include flavours such as rhubarb and blackberry. If you are interested in purchasing these, I’d encourage you to check out the crafty nectar official website (also linked below).
For the purposes of this blog however, I shall be looking at “pure” apple ciders only, so behold today’s review of recipe number 7 below.
The bottle text of number 7 is rather funky, using informal language and varying front size, throughout the prose. The colours match well, with yellow, silver, and white combining into a stylish, modern spectacle. It’s clear this matches with its recent origins, and I must say I was impressed when the bottles arrived, with their design.
I should add that whilst these bottles can be ordered online, they don’t appear in supermarkets, perhaps due to the small scale production of this “craft” producer. This means they are reasonably expensive since you have to include delivery costs. I purchased for £26.49 including delivery for 6 bottles.
This equates to £4.42 per bottle. Considering each 500ml bottle provides a mere 2.7 units, the drink is both impractical and expensive. This is highlighted by greater cost than most other weak ciders including Aspalls offerings. Ideal then perhaps for a more extravagant Christmas treat, however less so for a regular tipple.
“Craft” seems to have quite an ambiguous definition, but requires the cider by law to contain at least 35% apple juice. It may refer to style, or the size of a cider producer. I’d suggest in this case it’s due to the small scale production, therefore the term “craft”, is used to emphasise its uniqueness.
On the subject of uniqueness, the bottle defines the drinks character as medium, mellow, and sparkling.
I have heard the term “mellow” used previously to mean “not fading quickly”, suggesting the flavour should last for a long time. This was used with respect to sweetness, possibly suggesting the cider will have some level of sweetness. Whilst technically “medium” could refer to mouthfeel/body or level of dryness, from previous cider review authorship, this tends to pertain to dryness level. I shall therefore expect medium dryness also.
As for carbonation, “sparkling”, suggests more than light carbonation will be anticipated.
So let’s get on with sampling …
The smell emerged quickly as natural and oaky. It persisted for some time confidently, and definitely wasn’t ephemeral per inhalation.
On pouring a head emerged, however on tasting carbonation appeared low, which didn’t quite meet expectations. The drink was pleasantly tangy, yet didn’t overwhelm the teeth or taste buds. Since acidity didn’t overwhelm, I’d suggest sweetness was sufficient to balance with it, although this element was impossible to isolate during sampling. I’d suggest overall the drink therefore was very well balanced.
Dryness was evident after swallowing the fluid, which I would grade as medium. This aligns with bottle promises. The drink has an excellent USP, clearly highlighted to me during sampling. I’d suggest this relates to a certain oaky woodiness, which resonated throughout. No bitterness was present though.
The flavour was rich and strong, yet felt natural, with a lack of artificially harsh notes. It was definitely fully flavoured.
Whilst flavour was full, it certainly wasn’t sickly, suggesting the drink would work well as part of a session. Mouthfeel was only medium, yet the full flavour compensated for this.
The flavour, despite resonating strongly, was smooth throughout tasting and into the aftertaste. This aftertaste persists smoothly as a continuation of the main flavour, lasting well.
Well rounded and Oaky.
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