‘The Godfather of cider’, ‘one of the world’s best cidermakers’, ‘global cider superstar’ or even ‘the greatest cidermaker in the world, a real artist’. This is how Tom Oliver of Oliver’s Cider and Perry is described in the cider world by his colleagues, friends and competitors. Also, after speaking to Martin Egon, cider maker at A.K. Cider at Slavnost Cideru 2017 in Prague I heard ‘you have to try Tom Oliver’s cider’. So after reading and hearing so much about Tom Oliver, I was almost dying to try one of his ciders. An opportunity occurred during my business trip to Vienna, where I sampled the Shezam!Company: Oliver’s Cider and Perry
Place of Origin: Ocle Pochard, Herefordshire, UK
Apples: vintage varieties
Sweetness as per label: medium dry
Package type: 500ml clear glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or snifter
Ingredients: cider apple juice, water, sugar, sulphites (carbonated and pasteurised)
Appearance: pours a clear pale amber with orange hues and no head. Lightly sparkling. Body is medium.
Aroma/Nose: the nose is rich and slightly sweet with notes of caramel, cinnamon, vanilla, barnyard and a hint of wood. I found it very inviting.
Taste: it starts slightly sweet with a light to moderate lemon-like-acidity. The taste moves then to a flavour of a smoked cheese, overripe and red apples and medium to high astringency. Lingering light grapefruit-like bitterness and a slightly watery flavour in the aftertaste.
Overall: when I had the Shezam it was 29 degrees Celsius in Vienna although it was already 9 pm. I was thirsty, craving for cider more than you can think and I was looking for something light and refreshing. Luckily, I’ve picked the Shezam, which met my needs. It tasted refreshing and was well-rounded with a beautiful and rich palate. The level of acidity was higher than in a typical English cider but I liked it. Perhaps this is why I thought of it as refreshing. However, the Shezam tasted slightly watery and giving the fact that water was actually added to this cider (as per ingredient list) I think the proportion was slightly disturbed. Anyway, Shezam is a nicely drinkable cider that should appeal to everyone. 4.5/6
Availability: from their online shop or Cyderstore. Locally in London from the Cider House and Bristol from the Bristol Cider Shop or The Salutation Inn in Ham, and many others. In Amsterdam from Appels en Perren. In Vienna from Mel’s in Vienna.
Price: had it at 6.80 EUR in Vienna at Mel’s