As I’m sure you already know, Dear Reader: I love Strongbow.
After trying so many other ciders, after writing so many cider reviews (wink!), you may wonder why I’m so loyal to Strongbow. It’s not particularly exotic or nuanced, so why does it inspire such devotion? Whelp, Dear Reader, it’s because Strongbow was my first.
It was both my first cider, and the first alcoholic beverage that I really liked aside from Caesars (of which my love could inspire another blog entirely).
So, that in mind, I’m sure you can understand why I was so excited to see new Strongbows available here in Alberta. And why I was even more interested/excited to try this new Strongbow offering after reviewing the Gold cider option last week.
Now on to the Actual Cider Review for Strongbow Elderflower…
The Nose: Flowers! Lightly sweet scent, faint apple, almost a pear or lychee, a smidgen of citrus, and heavily floral.
The Colour: Markedly different from Strongbow Classic, or Strongbow Gold Cider. It appears to be about the same consistency as both of those, but the colour is a very faint yellow and softly green. Much less warm. The can was clearly designed with cues from the cider itself (the colour-scheme, at least).
The Mouthfeel: Solidly carbonated: good appearance of bubbles. A little thick, but not heavy. Each mouthful feels significant. Leaves a bit of a film, though.
The Taste: Sweet, exotic (lychee? and floral), and ends with apple. It’s sweet, but there’s a bit of bite there at the beginning. I can’t discern whether it’s the carbonation alone, or a combination of that and a tart flavour that I can’t really isolate.
The Verdict: Altogether, like the Gold Strongbow, this is marvelously well-balanced. Not too sweet, not too tart, and, unlike Classic or Gold, this is interesting. I don’t know if you can describe a cider as clever, but I feel like this is a clever cider. The elderflower doesn’t feel gimmicky at all. If I remember correctly from my classical rhetoric course: Churchill’s speeches were so powerful because he constructed his arguments so that his conclusion seemed like the only conclusion, the natural conclusion. In the case of this cider, the addition of elderflower seems like the natural conclusion. I’d give this a 4.5 / percent-alcohol-per-volume.