Sunday, 13 March 2011
Westons Old Rosie Cider
Well, I had to get round to this one sooner or later, didn't I. In searching for great cider, and thinking of my imaginary friend on a discovery of cider, its almost impossible to think that they (or I) wouldn't try this one.
Old Rosie was a tractor used at Westons and clearly was important (or peculiar) enough to warrent a cider being named after it. It is sold both on draught and in bottles. As I don't get out much, I am trying the bottle! It will be interesting to see how it scores (I guess it is on mass cider like this that I am declared a cider snob or cider slob...)
The first thing to note about Old Rosie is that it is a 'cloudy scrumpy'. There is a layer of dead yeast at the bottom of the bottle which gives it a light haze. Don't mistake this for in-bottle conditioning though - the cider itself is filtered and pasteurised and the yeast is added at that time. Anyway, if you want it cloudy, shake the bottle - if you want it clear pour it gently off the yeast... or buy a cider that isn't cloudy:-)
Old Rosie is a lightly carbonated, fruity cider that smells of fruit and has a pretty distinct acidic bite to it. This acid lasts through to the aftertaste. The tannin however, dies with the taste - leaving the acid on its own. Its not bad - just different. At 7.3%, its strong cider too - which comes through in the drink, although its a refreshing cider. I did feel that the 'cloudy' bit was a bit redundant - it doesn't actually add anything other than making it hazy. Nevertheless, generally its only the artisan full jucie cider producers who make cider that isn't bright and clear as a bell.
Some of Westons practices have been criticised a lot by many purists. Full juice, unpasteurised, unfiltered cider it is not. Magners it is not either. Westons are actually fairly open about their practices - they are a major business which sells some 4 million gallons a year.
This one isn't going to make my list of the best - its not even going to get an apple, but I am quite sure that most cider fans have tried it at least once and are not too disappointed when offered this as an alternative to a more 'less juice' brand.