Tutts Clump Special Reserve

I’ve been really looking forward to trying ‘proper cider’, as Tim Wale from Tutts Clump Cider calls cider made in his cidery. I must confess that the claim ‘proper cider’ made by Tim regarding his cider sounds very inviting to me. But, unfortunately, ciders from this cider maker are currently not available in other parts of Europe than the UK. Finally, I was very happy when I saw that Louis from Orchard Box included the award-winning Special Reserve from Tutts Clump Cider in the March cider box. Review of this cider can be found below.Company: Tutts Clump Cider
Place of Origin: Bradfield, West Berkshire, UK
Apples: made from a blend of eating, cooking and crab apples from West Berkshire
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 6%
Package type: 500ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass, white wine glass or flute

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale golden with a large and quickly dissipating white head. Sparkling.

Aroma/Nose: The nose is dry and has floral notes with red and green tart apples. I can, also, smell leather, barnyard, and beeswax.  Judging by the smell I feel I’m gonna love the taste as well.

Taste: very tart and dry. Just the way I like it. On the mid-palate green apples, some funky barnyard notes, a hint of smoked ham with astringent taste coming from tannins. The aftertaste is dry with some green notes and very mild bitter flavour.

Overall: Such high level of acidity is rather typical for German Apfelwein as English cider-makers typically use bittersweet cider apples with rather higher pH (low acidity). However, the Special Reserve seems to be indeed a proper cider as claimed by Tim from Tutts Clump. Judging by the carbonation and the taste you can see that this cider was made using old-fashioned techniques and wild yeast. Quite rich and nicely balanced, although I think that those who dislike acidity will not become fans of the Special Reserve. Anyway, I loved it and would love to get some more. 4.5/6

Availability: through their online shop, locally through selected Waitrose stores. Until recently available through Orchard Box, but sold out very quickly.

Price: received through Orchard Box cider subscription.