Westons old Rosie cloudy cider review ” Excellent full bodied medium dry without fruity sweetness” – ( 9/10)

 

The Good

” Reasonably priced and practical”.
” Accomplished medium dryness as advertised”.
” Excellent branding with a pretty bottle”.
” Full-bodied and has a strong flavour”.
” Pleasant and lasting yeasty scent”.
” Soothing aftertaste”
” Light carbonation with good acidity levels”.
” Nice level of complexity and maturity as desired”.

The Bad

” Not fruity or sweet enough for my palette”.
” Carbonation slightly too subtle”.

Packaging

The packaging, as was the case with Wyld wood, announced the westons’ year of origin as 1880. Despite arising from the same farm at Much Marcle near Ledbury it did not specify organic which seemed a little silly seeing as the farm could quite easily use the same waste system for all orchards.

P.s It is this system which enables Wyld wood to claim this …

For the ” Old Rosie” name, the story arises from a 1921 Aveling and porter steamroller which had this name. Despite my rather primitive knowledge of cider production, I believe a steamroller isn’t generally the tool of choice for blending apples into a fermentable mixture.

The purpose of this as suggested by the blurb on the label is actually to show strength and reliability. This lead me to expect a full bodied, tasty drink which could become a regular “reliable” favourite without getting boring. Perhaps then this branding supports the idea of a fairly complex drink experience to prevent this boredom forming. The traditional designs complement the notion of slow maturation as mentioned on the label. Leaving unfiltered as stated supports that rustic approach that would perhaps be expected from a traditional production process.

The label certainly supports strength, with the steamroller clearly visible and “old Rosie” written in traditional gold font with bold lettering. This is perched upon a rural scene with a sunset to complement the yellow colour of the drink yet contrast with the black ground below. This is clever and good for the branding by helping things stand out. I like how this has been translated on the label to a few languages keeping things inclusive for other nationalities.

I have not previously noticed this…

 

In terms of practicality the drink isn’t bad with the 500ml capacity and at the same percentage as the Jonathan Blair premium vintage of 2015. This is also a Westons’ cider which is not the weakest. 7.3% with this capacity provides you with 3.7 units. This number is good since it is well within the government recommended drinking range of 3-4 units.

I thought I would be sensible and actually only consume one bottle of this for the evening.

For all intents and purposes the price was quite standard from the coop at £1.80 for the bottle. This made it more expensive than Capel road (£1.00), and Blackthorn gold (£1.75) slightly, yet considerably cheaper than certain ciders such as Savannah (£2.40).

From the bottle then, the taste experience expected should be strong and bold like the branding. The blurb announced light, crisp, dry, lightly carbonated, cloudy and the slow production process as previously discussed. This lead me to expect a strong, fruity cider lightly carbonated with a few bits of apple floating to avoid transparency.

On research, the website added the word scrumpy, stated medium dryness and confirmed my expectation of a strong tasting cider.

Overall then I was impressed with the branding and practicality of the drink. The expectation for light carbonation, a tang for strength, medium-dryness and fruity complexity were clear. It only left the level of sweetness to the imagination.

Hopefully the cider lived up to this great story …

 

Smell

Prior to opening, a generous head for a lightly carbonated drink could be seen. On opening, a short but confident burst of fizz emerged suggesting that carbonation expected with a couple of bubble pops. The scent on first sniff was subtle, yet gave an impression of yeast similar to Stowford press, yet with greater subtlety. This did not last long on the nose however and cut off abruptly. On many subsequent whiffs this was still apparent though, albeit ephemeral, suggesting strength.

Taste

On tasting, the flavour was highly distinctive. At first sip, you could definitely detect a tang from the acidity in combination with a strong, yet smooth taste. A bittersweet flavour was certainly apparent providing good balance to the drink that persisted into the aftertaste. The sweetness was not quite sufficient for my palette and the dryness was subtle but definitely apparent. The cider was not watery in any way and was therefore full bodied as anticipated. The flavour itself was not of apple in my opinion but of spirit-like alcohol. It possessed a level of warmth seen in many other strong ciders such as Jonathan Blair and Henney’s.

Summary

For a medium-dry cider this certainly lived up to the level of dryness it should possess. The carbonation was sufficient and the acidity was not overpowering but definitely apparent. The drink was full bodied and strong but didn’t quite have enough sweetness for my sweet tooth. That said, for the bittersweet apples, the impression was well balanced.

Overall then, a very pleasant drink which would benefit from a greater taste of apple.

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