If you follow my blog you might have read my last post about Slavnost Cideru 2017. I promised there to review the best cider of this cider festival next. The winner of the online voting for the best cider of Slavnost cideru 2017 is Joker Cider from the Czech Republic. Not only it won the festival, Joker Cider has received the majority of votes, leaving craft cider makers far behind. Not sure how to comment on this, as Joker cider is made from apple and pear juice concentrate. Inspired by modern cider in the UK, but made from Czech apples and pears fermented with a selected white wine yeast strain with no funk typical for French cidre. This is what you can find on their website. Scroll down for my tasting notes and overall impression.
Picture below is courtesy of @SlavnostCideru.Company: Joker Cider
Place of Origin: Kostelec nah Orlicí, Czech Republic
Apples & pears: Czech apple varieties from concentrate
Sweetness as per label: semi-sweet
Package type: draught
Recommended type of glass: pint glass
Appearance: pours a clear golden with no head. Lightly carbonated.
Aroma/Nose: smells of regular apple and pear juice with a hint typical for apple juice concentrate. This is all I am getting here.
Taste: Although they claim it’s semi-sweet, it starts very sweet, with a flavour typical for apple juice concentrate. The level of acidity is very low, which makes this cider tasting overly sweet. Most probably old apple varieties were used as there is a gentle astringency in the aftertaste along with apple and pear juice concentrate flavour. That’s it.
Overall: For my palate, Joker Cider tastes absolutely horrible. It’s a sickly sweet tasting industrial cider with flavours of apple & pear juice and terrible notes typical for apple and pear juice from concentrate. I’ve been really giving it some thought, why the majority of visitors of Slavnost Cideru 2017 could have found the Joker Cider most appealing. I see two possible explanations here. The first explanation is that the Joker Cider fits in a trend created by mass-market brands such as Somersby or Rekorderlig as the Joker Cider tastes sweet and appley with no funky flavours. Perhaps consumers look for products resembling what they already tried before. Furthermore, Joker Cider is made locally in the Czech Republic and doesn’t taste as watery, so could be considered as a local alternative to the Scandinavian mass-market brands. The second explanation is that online voting systems are often not reliable as they can be artificially manipulated. Those extremely large voting counts look slightly suspicious. Don’t you think? Anyway, if you are looking for real cider, you will not find it in a bottle of Joker Cider. 1/6
Availability: many bars and restaurants in Prague, Brno, Liberec and other large cities in The Czech Republic.
Price: sampled at Slavnost Cideru 2017, 0.2L (25CZK =1 EUR)