Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Ross On Wye Harry Masters Jersey Dry Still Cider


To release a review on Christmas day or not? Well, such is the curse of releasing something every three days (though I have wondered if I will run out of ciders to try if I keep this up!) Ah well, its something to worry about next year! So on behalf of Cider Pages, Happy Christmas. And if you don't celebrate Christmas I hope you are having a nice time avoiding it - although I guess that takes some skill!

Given that I am actually writing this on Christmas Eve (you don't really expect me to get away with doing this on the 25th, did you?) what can I select to review? Well, given the distinctly variable nature of ciders I have tried recently, I thought I would go for something that was fairly 'safe hands'. I also am going for something that I may have actually tried before although this is a completely different bottle and style...

Ross on Wye Cider and Perry Co. is one of the foremost producers in the UK. Mike Johnson, the man in charge, has appeared on various TV shows (well, when a TV producer needs to do something on cider its generally going to be between Mike of Ross on Wye and Roger Wilkins in Somerset. OK, its only a guarantee that they have been on telly - their cider needs to speak for itself. After all, not all celebrity chefs can back up their TV persona with great food!

Harry Masters Jersey is a great cider apple. Good tannin, plenty of charisma... very little acid. And, having milled and pressed a few this year I can also tell you they can be a bugger to mill as they tend to be on the fibrous, dry side of things. I have made a gallon of SV Harry Masters this year which I aim to try against the single varieties already reviewed on here. My plan is to do this as a 'true' single variety. No adjustments. This way I can see how others have got the most out of the fruit.

On to this review. At 7.2% its full on and on opening this cider smells deep and earthy. It has a tannic aroma and a pungent smell that is with Harry Masters from juice to cider. I would say it is floral in nature, but it's more earthy than that. It is a lovely golden colour and, as labelled it is still and flat.

OH the taste! Very smooth and intensely bitter sweet. Its a moderate but lasting tannin with very little acid behind it. This is nice as it is true to the variety (as well as being really tasty!) In fact, as far as acid goes the only part it plays is a very slight bite towards the end of the sip - though I am not sure if this isn't just tannin drying my mouth.

The aftertaste is long and fruity, so the drink stays with you a fair amount of time. Very satisfying. In fact, this is a very satisfying drink... even for a single variety! A score of 87/100 gives yet another silver apple to Ross on Wye.


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