Kirin makes a range of ciders that are most quintessentially Japanese. The most basic is their Fuji Apple Cider, but every year or so, Kirin comes up with a flavour pairing with a fruit that captures a traditional Japanese flavour, such as mikan (mandarin), ume (plum), momo (peach) or ginger. This year, it’s the nashi in the Kirin Fuji Apple Cider & Pear. Nashi pears are deliciously juicy, crisp and easily a favourite. The packaging on these bottles is beautiful and evocative of Japan.
The drink has a bright and clear golden colour with strong hints of alcohol against a more mellow apple in the nose. Served chilled, a dry apple flavour comes through in the head before the pear notes emerge in the body, bringing much needed sweet relief with a slight acidity into the finish and leaving a fresh and sweet apple and pear aftertaste long on the palate. The notes of nashi pear come through faintly as a sweetness rather than as a bold instantly recognisable nashi pear flavour. Here, it harmonises well with the medium dry style of the apple cider, making it easier to drink. For those who prefer their apple ciders very crisp, though, the sweetness — as is the case here — takes the edge off the crispness.
This bottle of Kirin Fuji Apple Cider & Pear contained 330ml. It was bottled in Australia and purchased in Sydney, Australia in 2017.