Aspall Dry Premier Cru Suffolk Cyder is reviewed by Doug McCaffrey.
“The bottle is lovely, a stout base tapering up to a long, slender neck. Like a giraffe you want to nail.”
Aspall Dry Premier Cru Suffolk Cyder
Premier Cru is a difficult description to start banding about. It evokes images of French waiters with immaculately trimmed moustaches serving Jeroboams of sparkling loveliness to ample-chested debutantes. Well, it does to me anyway. Seriously though, “Premier Cru” is a phrase that has a pedigree behind it. It sets expectations about a product.
I spotted this cider on the shelf at an off-licence and, as I was in a quandary about what to wash away the foul taste of shame and regret I usually get on a Thursday evening after work, I scooped a couple up. The bottle is lovely, a stout base tapering up to a long, slender neck. Like a giraffe you want to nail.
Having chilled down the cider a tad (this was during that 8-9 day summer we had in June) I emptied the contents into a glass. It certainly looks like a Premier Cru, a very champagne-esque feel to it. A rich, effervescent drop. The nose, then, is a little disappointing as it is very faint – even for a cider. It is a sweet, crisp aroma but is barely noticeable.
A sweet opening gives way almost immediately to a dry cider. It does this without coating your mouth and being cloying. The longish finish leaves you with the urge to take another pull. It is a satisfying, refreshing pint, but without making a fuss. And that’s the problem. Premier Cru’s branding made me expect a warm, unctuous experience, a rich, flavourful drop that would up the ‘classy’ quota in my front room (a move that is sorely needed. We tried ‘Top Hat Tuesdays’ but it loses its charm when your house-mate is wearing a topper, a string-vest and flip flops). My verdict is that this is a fine cider, drinkable and refreshing. It’s just not ‘Premier Cru’ material.