Savanna dry is South Africa’s best known cider. Labelled as a premium cider, it’s made in the tip of the continent and exported world wide. Does such an ambitious feat from a relative small cider producing nation mean that the quality has been sacrificed?

Savanna Dry ReviewMany of my expat “Siff Ifriken” friends have been nagging me for a while, saying “when are you going to write about Savanna Dry Cider?” And “it’s great, you should try it, everyone drinks it at home”. So after walking past it in bottle shop for years I finally picked up a bottle. Although I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to finish it.

So there website says this

We add some water to the juice and start the fermentation process which turns the juice into alcohol. The process continues until the right percentage of alcohol by volume has been reached. ”

Yeah, water does not start the ferment becuase water is not ferment-able, it’s sugar free. The water is added because the apple syrup is too thick work with.  It also says its triple filtered. There is a good argument that says filtering removes flavours. Savanna already has reduced its flavour by adding water.

The Nose

Just a bit eggy. It’s trying to smell like a farm house English cider, it’s a pity it’s not a good English cider.

The Taste

That faux English style carries on. I mean it’s a more heavily ripe apple flavour than a mass produced cider should have, but everything is killed off by the sulphites. Seriously it’s so eggy I don’t know if I should drink it or cook an omelette. The after taste is really telling it’s water and insipid as the flavour fades a world of chemical elements comes in, which is unsettling. It’s got that one dimensional… Let’s call it monochromatic flavour that is a dead give away that these apples have been bastardised. At the very least concentrated and reconstituted. I would go as far as to say it’s completely artificial but that’s only because it’s so sulphurous. The dry on the label is a relative term compared to many other mass market cider out there, it’s probably fairer to call it a medium.

As it warms up it’s Savanna dry gets much sweeter, is this the wet season? It feels like the rains down in Affffrica.

Final Thoughts on the Savanna Dry

Savanna Dry is a lot like the South African Rugby team, not terrible but should be a lot better. Just putting premium on the bottle doesn’t make it a premium cider. No that title needs to be earned. It’s not the worst of the mass produced ciders out there, it’s also not in the same league as ciders from 100% fresh juice. The serving suggestion is a wedge of lemon, well at least that way you get some real fruit!

Product Savanna Dry Premium Cider
Company Distell Group
Sweetness Medium
Alc/Vol 5%
Country of Origin South Africa
Region Western Cape

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