Cider Review: Savanna Dry Premium Cider

FOR some reason, I’m unusually susceptible to cider advertising. Which is why I’ve ended up with a bottle of Savanna Dry Premium Cider, even though I don’t like dry cider.

Savanna Dry Premium Cider bottle

This one came from Tesco, where they’ve been heavily promoting it for some time. Its long has premium shelf space, and, last week, a little tag hooked onto the place where they put the prices for each product. The tag suggested drinking it from the bottle with some lemon. As I don’t have any sour citrus fruit handy, and too much class to drink from the bottle, this is going straight into the glass. Let me know in the comments what you think of it with lemon. Is it better or worse for it?

At just over £1.50 pence, this little bottle is at the premium end. It does have the advantage of having a name that matches its character. Wouldn’t it be great it a Brazilian firm started producing Rainforest sweet cider?
[EDIT: I’ve just checked the receipt, and the actual price was £1.31. Cheaper, but still at a premium.]

What can I say about the bottle? Well, it’s small and dumpy looking. And it’s transparent. So you can see the pale yellow cider held within.

The front label sums up what you need to know with excellent imagery.

Savanna Dry Premium Cider front label

The crayon effect gives it an unusual look. The pictures of savannah landscape and the prominent word “Dry” all add to the image of a drink that will make you thirsty.

The back label doesn’t add much in the way of a description. But it does answer some questions about its origin.

Savanna Dry Premium Cider back label

First up, we learn this drink’s vital statistics. This little bottle holds the typical 330 millilitres of liquid. But it has an above average 5.5% alcoholic volume.

You won’t be surprised to learn that is contains sulphites. But what will surprise you is that we get a full list of the ingredients. For the first time, pretty much ever, we can see what goes into a cider. This one is made with “apple cider, glucose syrup, apple juice concentrate, flavourings, carbon dioxide, colour (E150c), antioxidant (sulphur dioxide)”. That was interesting to learn. Sort of.

There’s a web address. Which is www.savanna.co.za. The observant among you will notice the unusual “ZA” country code on that address. And, sure enough, it’s confirmed by the back label. Perhaps the most prominent part of it is the line “Product of South Africa”. Suddenly, you realise that the “Savanna” name and graphics aren’t just marketing.

This is the first African cider I’ll have tried. And I’m looking forward to it. The African lager I tried, Castle Lager wasn’t bad. This might even change my mind on dry cider. Either way, it’s time to open this expensive and well travelled bottle and see if it’s any  good.

Savanna Dry Premium Cider poured into a glass

First impressions are, it’s very fizzy. No head though. Possibly because of its dry character, it reminds my of some Strongbows. The colour is a darker shade of yellow. Apple juice colour. It has a similarly rich apple-y smell too. Appetising, if like me, you like apples.

The character is exactly as it says on the bottle; dry. No surprise there. But it is very effective. Just a couple of gulps, and you get that dry sour taste at the back of your tongue. The taste is, no surprise either, as it tastes of apples. Not strongly so. Nor with the barely noticeable weakness of some ciders. Savanna Dry is somewhere in-between. But you’ll hardly notice. And that’s because your mouth will be feeling as dry as the savannah of this cider’s name.

It is however, not as dry as I feared. I was half expecting Sahara levels of dryness and unpleasantness. But it never seems too dry. The high-quality is very much in evidence. And that makes it drinkable. Which, I never expected to say about Savanna Dry.

To sum up, Savanna Dry is an expensive, but quality dry cider. If you like cider. And you like it dry, this is a must. If you like cider, but don’t normally touch anything “dry”, it’s still worth giving this one a go.

Rating: 3

Have you tried Savanna Dry Premium Cider? Have you tried it with lemon stuffed into the neck of the bottle?
Then share your opinions, thoughts, ideas, suggestions and recommendations with the world here please.

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36 Responses to “Cider Review: Savanna Dry Premium Cider”

  1. savannah Says:

    lol thats really my name my name is even on the play boy deodrant!!!

  2. Denise Says:

    I tried Savanah Dry while studying abroad in Ghana, and I fell in love. Pity it’s not as widely sold in the U.S. I can’t find it anywhere!

  3. Jordan Says:

    I got two bottles of this from sainsburys for only 67p/bottle – tesco are ripping you off!

  4. lerato maphosa Says:

    a cold savana is the best thing after a long day @ work…just sit back and have a cold 1

  5. shally Says:

    who do you think is savanna target market??

  6. naomi Says:

    hey peepz,me nd my fwnds r in lurv wit da savannah slogan…we hav adopted it in2 our family..ayoba!

    we drink a bottle everyday,b4 nd afta skul..keep on rockin guys nd keep on producin more of dat magnificent ish

    ITS DRY…BT U CAN DRINK IT!!

    L8r

  7. elias Says:

    This drink is the best, tried it and i can say try with a lemon too its going to rock your world!

    its dry…but you can drink it!

    😉

  8. Hlubkikazi Says:

    Nothing bette than a savanna on a summer afternoon on the balcony, beach front, or even better, at a braai (barbeque)

  9. Mark Says:

    I had some of this with lemon in it and it was disgusting! Tasted incredibly sweet and sickly. Horrible.

  10. Zumett Says:

    I believe Happiness is Savanna shaped

  11. miss savannah Says:

    I do Savannah and all i can say is after a few you get a real kick out of it. I take it with lemon because it decreases the chances of a burnt throat the next day

  12. conrad Says:

    I’m trying to track this stuff down in Australia, there is NO quality dry cider over here. I got sold on one of their magazine ads, a giant yellow page with “When I die, I’m leaving my body to science fiction.” Truly, words to live by.

  13. duppie Says:

    I would like to say something to mark. My friend there is no better cider than savanna. Its dry but you can drink it. Savanna is the best.

  14. Mike Says:

    I tried it last night. It very much like Strongbow, and, as it isn’t made from pressed apples, I wouldnt decsribe it as Premium.

    Stick with Strongbow if you want an artificial cider. It’s far cheaper.

  15. Dale Says:

    I just returned from my annual trip to South Africa. This year I discovered Savanna Dry and immediately fell in love with it. I do hard, physical work while there and we always come back to our hotel and have a beer. This is more refreshing and doesn’t sit as heavy on you before you go to dinner. Wish it was here in the States but I guess it is something towards which to look for next year.

  16. Tony Says:

    Now in Kuala Lumpur supermarkets at a staggering price of 2.50 GBP (around 12.5 MYR) per bottle.

  17. shirley watmuff Says:

    can anyone out there tell me if savanna is okay for vegetarians to drink.

  18. ryan Says:

    Savanna is the best after a long days work…
    Its dry but u can drink it…Iprefer it with a lemon slice…
    Savanna is number 1 – enough said

  19. Jhel Says:

    I had this one last night before my beer and its a perfect combi….

  20. Anonymous Says:

    serve over ice for best results. A quality cider that’s for sure.

  21. Jama Njokweni Says:

    I am starting up a Savanna Club in the London – West End at a trendy bar, and am looking for all the “Savannas” to come along and enjoy this Summer, with an Ice-cold Savanna with a slice of lemon and great music, to let your hair down to. Remember, “It`s dry, but you can drink it”,,,,,Please peeps, come along for the ride of your life…

  22. asher john Says:

    hi

    i want to know Savanna dry premium have any expire date or not.

    i have stock in club,

    so on the bottel have not mention expire date

    please reply me

  23. Klaas Thomas Mahlangu Says:

    Good day

    I tried to google for contact information of your company i could not find it.
    I am a film maker and have a project to run as a Television program. can you please send me relevant people in the marketing department. I need to propose for sponsorship.

    • hywel Says:

      If you can’t tell the difference between an independent review on a personal blog, and official company contact information, I can only guess at how amateur your television programme will be. Good luck. You’ll need it.

  24. verine Says:

    I love savanna, I have about 2 when I’m relaxing in front of the tv every other day. I love the taste and that it doesn’t go straight to my head.

  25. Nuckster Says:

    Must admit,thought it would be ‘rank’,but it’s is remakably pleasant….sort of a posh Strongbow for people who’ve moved on from Magners over ice!!! 6.75 out of 10 Not ‘proper’ cider but tastes good,cold and in the sun!

  26. Steve Says:

    Bought 4 bottles in Tesco Shah Alam,Malaysia,expensive at nearly 12 Ringgit each but wanted to try.
    Kepplers premium Irish Cider is far better and cheaper in Thailand

  27. da law Says:

    if u wantd to change the look of the savanna botlte what wud dat b?

  28. Brian Says:

    Disappointed, has a funny taste that I cant place but doesnt taste of cider! Will just have to visit the west country again!

  29. sneakywhoami Says:

    I tried a couple of mac’s isaac’s ciders (lion, nz) and didn’t like them one bit – except for the winter cider, which was OK.
    I didn’t like harrington’s ciders either.

    I’m a beer/wine/vodka/absinthe guy. Very plain. But wow, savannah actually tastes good. I like it! Supervalues and countdowns sell it in nz for nzd 9.99 as a 4 pack. That would be 2.50 each. Halve that to compare to euros.

  30. elsje de kock Says:

    how do you find the expire date of savana????????????

  31. Sinethemba aka Bugga Says:

    Thought I google about my favourite cider just now. I am glad to see a community of people loving it as much as I do…Its dry indeed but you can drink it! Live here in SA not far from where it is produced….Aluta Continua (y)

  32. Sue Minnaar Says:

    As a South African it’s quite interesting to read this non South African review. Interesting too that it’s considered expensive, I don’t drink other cider & suppose I had never looked at the cost. Makes me wonder how the price compares here at home.
    In sunny South Africa it is completely acceptable to drink Savannah out of the bottle with a piece of lemon stuck in the neck. Savannah filtered through the lemon takes this drink to a new heights when it comes to taste and may filter some of the fizz. I am not in the habit of drinking out of bottles (my Father was an officer in the UK military & I was groomed in the right way…..even given a book by Miss Manners for Frightfully Good Behaviour in case my South African upbringing rubbed off too much) but still Savannah tastes way better out the bottle with the lemon. Maybe my South African upbringing has rubbed off too much. 😊#myopinion

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