Real British dry cider is pretty hard to find here. There are a few British brands that are fairly common, but most of them don’t seem to send us their actual dry stuff. Maybe they think Americans don’t like cider unless it’s at least “medium”, or maybe they’re just keeping the dry ciders for themselves. Oliver’s Traditional is one of the rare true dry ciders. (By the way, the British scale of dry–medium–sweet seems to be at least one notch dryer than the American scale: I think if Oliver’s Traditional were an American cider it would be described as “extra dry”.)
Anyway, it comes in 500mL bottles (when you can find it) for about $9, and it’s 6.5% ABV.
- Sweetness: 0.5/5
- Bubbliness: 0/5
- Complexity: 4/5
- Tannin: 4.5/5
Nice strong cider apple nose and taste. Pours dark amber and dead still. Unmistakable British cider character, all cider apple flavor from the start of a sip to the strong finish with a pleasant lingering bitter apple taste. No eating apple notes. Strong body, almost slightly rough mouthfeel. Very dry but not overly tart and really not acidic. A solid benchmark for craft British dry cider.
Bittersweet apple nose, with some tanniny spiciness (The smell is hard to describe — Tess has said it’s a little like blue cheese; sometimes I think I smell a hint of acetone. Overall, I can best describe it as smelling like good British cider.) Tastes strongly of bittersweet apples, with no hint of dessert apples or sweetness. It’s a little sour, but without being acidic or sharp. It’s extremely dry and tannic, with a substantial mouthfeel. The finish is dry and clean, with just a little lingering bitterness. Overall, a very complex, well-balanced, dry cider.