Cider Review: Fanjul Sidra Natural

Cider review of Fanjul Sidra Natural from Sidra Fanjul in Asturias, Spain.

Type: Hard Apple Cider  ABV: 6%  Tried from bottle.

Their Description: “This natural cider is dry, moderately acidic and slightly oily sensation and fine astringency, highlighting its characteristic freshness and aroma of fruit. Aspect is slightly opaque, as befits a product that has not been subjected to filtration, its fine pale yellow with green highlights, young. The alcoholic strength is around 6% ABV and fermentation maintains a small amount of naturally occurring carbon that gives that feeling so nice liveliness, especially when it pours.”

The Reality: It does has a nice aroma of fruit (apple) along with a strong funk. When poured properly (we’ll get to that later) it is slightly opaque. The initial flavor is that of dry aged apple, with specific hints of red delicious and a mild tartness. The finish shifts gears and has a sharp sour funk filled with tang and acidity that only lasts a second before dryness sweeps it away. This is a still, non-carbonated cider and has a smoother and richer mouthfeel than most ciders. They describe this effect as a “slightly oily sensation”, which is accurate enough I guess, but I probably would have thought of different phrasing.

Final Verdict: This is a really fascinating product because it manages to feel very “old world” and like a new experience at the same time. The first thing you notice is a set of serving instructions and a special pouring spout that are attached to each bottle when you purchase it. Basically, after you uncork it you put in the special pouring spout, pour a little bit in a class at a certain angle, let it sit a second, then pour the remainder of your glass at a different angle, you’re ready to drink it. I’m sure this is supposed to aerate this cider or somehow unleash its power, but at the very least it makes it seem important. Also, the sensation of a still cider is quite pleasant, and along with the instructions adds to that “Vintage European” vibe. However, the pungent sour jab in the finish and its quick disappearance thereafter, when combined with its other features, made this cider a very new experience for me as a cider drinker. Sidra Fanjul has been around for many years, but I have not had a cider quite like it before (in a good way). I can’t remember something that felt this old and new at the same time, with the exception of “Key Lime Slime” Twinkies, which recently hit stores shelves. They are still the same old twinkies, yet they have found a way to make it a new (and questionable) experience in my mouth. Believe me when I tell you that Sidra Fanjul did a much better job with this concept…