I bought this Tutts Clump Rum Cask Cider for a rainy day whilst we were on a particularly sunny holiday visiting Greys Court near Oxford. We were very impressed with the medieval donkey wheel, Tudor house and surrounding gardens, not to mention the fact that I beat Cinabar in a wooden sword and shield contest in the children's playground, which was hidden away amongst some trees at the back of the gardens.
That rainy day become something rather different when Cinabar mentioned that I was to be challenged by a friend to do the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness and donations for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also referred to as motor neurone disease (MND), as well as other Neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Not one for ever wanting to be in a video on the internet I still felt pretty honoured to be thought of as someone who would want to take part in something selfless for a change and certainly for charities that I have never done anything for in the past. This sounds crazy when I think about it as the guy who sold me my first car has been wrecked by Alzheimer's and a previously super active relative ruined by Parkinson's. It was for these reasons I immediately jumped at the challenge and bought a bag of ice that day. It was a fairly sunny evening, straight after work and you can see the results on our Facebook page from this link.
After my quick chill I reached for this bottle to try and warm myself up again. There was quite a pungent rum liquor smell with the cider odour behind it on opening the bottle. Like the ice for my bucket this cider had come freshly chilled from the fridge. There was a decent dose of condensation on the outside of the bottle on pouring. There was a good fizz to the cider which had a deep yellow almost orange colour. I have to admit that the bubbles went straight up my nose on first taste, and mixed with the strong rum taste I almost sneezed. The sheer bitterness from the apples in the cider bit at the back of my mouth stopping the sneeze in mid-flow like a surprise pinch from a cheeky loved one. Each sip of this drink was like that. There was an almost alcoholic vinegar kick to start with mixed with the fizziness begging the question "shall I sneeze?" ending with the sharp bitter pinch answer of "no, you won't!" This drink is certainly not for the faint hearted. I must admit that the rum flavour did warm me up a little, but the dry bitterness and almost saccharin sweetness at the end of the taste made me shake after every mouthful. Not much of a pleasant relaxing sweet cider flavour here. Its strength made me forget the ice bucket pretty quickly though. If you like a liquor bitter burst from your dry cider this drink is for you.
Information on the label;
500ml bottle at 7.5% volume. Tutts Clump Cider is produced in the Travellers Rest Farm, in Bradfield, West Berkshire. Made from locally grown eating, cooking and crab apples which were fermented and matured in oak rum barrels.