Original (7.4%) and Special Reserve (7.4%)
Crone’s – Norfolk
Another two for one review, sampling two ciders from a producer which is new to me.
Crone’s Cider is certified organic, and claim that the only ingredient other than dessert, cooking and cider apples is “a small amount of unrefined cane sugar”. It would be nice to know whether that sugar is used to aid fermentation or to backsweeten, particularly as neither bottle makes any claim as to whether these are dry, medium, sweet or somewhere in between. What is claimed is that neither contains sulphites, which while it doesn’t particularly concern me personally is good news for many people.
The labels really give nothing away. The two I’m tasting today are “Original” and “Special Reserve”, and both are 7.4%ABV. So with nothing by way of information or tasting notes, it will be interesting to see if I can discern any difference between them. They’re from Norfolk so you have to assume they’re going to be Eastern Counties style, although the mention of cider varietals may mean it’s a bit more complex.
Both are clear and still, original being a little paler in colour. Judging by the best before dates on both bottles there were both bottled at approximately the same time, so I assume are from the same year’s crop of apples.
In terms of the nose I really can’t tell them apart. Both have the same understated appley nose, with a bit of an astringent, musty quality.
Tasting Original, I’d probably call it medium sweet, with very prominent sharp notes and a leathery astringency. There’s some tannin present, particularly in the finish which develops a dry apple aftertaste.
Special reserve is very similar, but a little drier and better balanced. I’d call it medium, and while the astringency is still there, the sharpness has gone. It’s very similar, just somewhat smoother and more refined.
I like what these guys are doing, and I’m looking forward to trying more from them – to be continued.