Ross-On-Wye Harry Masters Jersey Oak Cask Dry Cider (SV) Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Ross-On-Wye
Cider Name: Harry Masters Jersey Oak Cask Dry Cider (SV)
Region: Herefordshire
ABV: 7.2%
Taste: Dry
Served: Lightly chilled 750ml bottle
Smell: Rustic apples/Dry/Oak
Colour: Dull yellow/Golden
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Lightly sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

Purchased From: Bristol Cider Shop
Date: 14/02/13

We had another successful night at the quiz last night and came out on top, with a 0.5 point win. We lived life on the edge, but it’s good to come out winning. Well, we won £5 between the 3 of us, however that won’t put us off celebrating like it was a lot more! The feeling I had last night was just like when I have found a good cider. There’s not a feeling that can match it! After having a good few recent experiences of that with Ross-On-Wye Cider, I am hoping the Harry Masters Jersey Single Variety (SV) cider can continue this rich vein of form.

What first drew me to this bottle was the fact the Harry Masters Jersey is a completely new apple on me, which therefore means it’s one I’ve never had before! From a brief bit of research, this appears to be a vintage bittersweet apple, which falls in the late season. It all sounds so promising this could potentially be a decent SV cider.

Everything about this bottle of cider is all standard Ross-On-Wye things; The logo, it contains only apple juice, natural sugar and sulphites, and finally that is has been matured in a cask. With it being a full juice cider, it’s been done how nature has intended it! Anyway, that’s enough blabbing now and now time for the drinking!

I opened up the cider and I heard a fizz, which startled me a little at first. I thought this was going to be as flat as a pancake, like most of theirs I have had previously. This time I was wrong though. It had some light carbonation, but at the same time nothing too overactive that it looks like it will jump out of the glass. The smell is a really rustic and musty apple smell, which had a very dry feel to it and some oak notes in there too. It’s the kind of smell where you can tell the apples are really ripe and ready for this.

Finally, I take my first sip and I have to say it is fairly fruity and tasty, though a little too much on the dry side for my liking. There’s a nice mellow bittersweet taste at the forefront of your mouth, has a slightly watery texture, very little acidity and plenty of tannins. In the aftertaste you can feel a minor oak feel and bitterness, but a dry feeling in your mouth is what you will really remember most. I can see this working well in a blend and not just left out on its own. This doesn’t quite work for me personally too well, but it will appeal to a true dry cider drinker. It needed to be just that little bit less dry and more acidic for my liking.

Would I buy this again?: Possibly, but not a first choice
Overall Rating: 7/10

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