Whenever I see a new hard cider at my local booze store, I’m always compelled to try it. Whether it’s a standard, run of the mill cider with a 5% abv or one with an exotic, multi-flavored mashup of ingredients, I’m going to imbibe. As ciders constitute only a small segment of the overall alcohol market, new offerings aren’t available with any sort of regularity. So I was intrigued when I saw that American Cider Co.’s MackJac Hard Cider had created not just one but three different flavors of cider, “Empire Red,” “Blood Orange Ginger,” and “Black Currant Passion.” Of course I bought them all, but today I’ll be reviewing the last in that delectable sounding list.
The Black Currant Passion is a fairly effervescent cider, a quality I rarely encounter in relatively mass produced 12 oz bottles, but it was not unwelcome. The color is a nice, rich amber, similar to an unfiltered apple juice. I’ve never had a cider flavored with currants, but it definitely compliments the apple flavor without overwhelming it. I was also immediately struck by the intense tartness, which is balanced a bit by the sweetness of the currants. At first this sweetness is really enjoyable but about half way through my drink, it started to become a bit cloying and the aftertaste is fairly strong and long lasting. At 6% abv, the Black Currant Passion is moderately potent for a cider.
While I’d try it again, this offering from MackJac is an interesting concept but ultimately not a very memorable one.