The Willie Smith’s Non-Alc Apple Cider took me by surprise. The Huon Valley cider makers have launched a non-alcoholic cider. This is excellent news for those who want real apples without the booze.
So how does one make a Non-Alc Apple Cider? There are 3 main ways to make such a product. 1) make a regular cider and use a process like dealcoholizing. This involves reverse osmosis to filter out the alcohol, this is becoming more common in wine. 2) What I like to call the “American method” – it’s just fresh juice and they call it cider. 3) use water and juice to weaken a regular cider.
So, what are Willie Smith’s doing? Ironically, because it is non-alcoholic it must display an ingredients list on the can so we can work out what’s happening here: Water, cold pressed apple juice, cider (apple juice, yeast) lemon juice, and malic acid. So, the trick is to not use alcoholic ingredients. Yes, there is a bit of boozy cider but it’s such a low percentage of the drink the abv comes in under 0.5%. I’m surprised to see the lemon juice in there but at least it’s real fruit, I guess it’s there to boost the acids to highlight the apple fruit flavours.
Recently Tasmania got its first professional basketball team The Jack Jumpers and guess which cider maker’s name is on the back of their jerseys? Willie Smith’s recently chose a Jack Jumpers home match to launch the Non-Alc Apple Cider. I think this is a great thing. We are so often bombarded with alcohol ads during sporting matches. It’s great that Willie’s as the sponsor is giving fans a choice.
The smell is pretty juicy. Many Willie Smiths have a bit of a signature scent, but this is just a big old hit of fresh acidic apple juice, those pink ladies are really strong here.
The Non-Alc Apple Cider has two elements the (carbonated) water and the fresh juice. The sweet juice is tempered by the water while the fizz gives the impression of a minerally cider. That dash of actually fermented cider lets you know it’s a Willie Smith’s cider. I can’t really taste the lemon juice but there is a nice amount of acid backed up with all Fuji’s and Pink Ladys. There is a small amount of tannin from the cider making apples.
Final Thoughts on the Non-Alc Apple Cider
I think this might be the first non-alcoholic cider that isn’t super sweet. I could probably drink a couple of these without feeling like I am about to be carted off by sugar ants. I like that Willie Smiths have been upfront about letting us know that there is water in the drink, there are plenty of full-strength ciders that won’t be that honest. The real challenge here is building the flavour profile back up. Yes, the water is obvious in the taste but there is enough in the fresh juice and cider to keep me interested.
Would I buy more of these, absolutely! Sometimes I’m the driver, and sometimes I’ve got an early start and sometimes I just want something refreshing that isn’t boozy and the Non-Alc Apple Cider hits the spot.
|Product||Non-Alc Apple Cider|
|Country of Origin||Australia|
|Region||Huon Valley, Tasmania|