Orchard pig – The Reveller cans review (8.75/10) “Slightly sickly, Lacking tang, but a well balanced complex cider which delivers brand promises, practically”.

The Good

“Moist cider consistent with brand”.
“Perfectly medium body”.
” Subtle woody complexity”.
” Well balanced drink”.
” Practical and good value”.
” Lightly carbonated as promised”.
” Natural Apple sweetness and scent”.

The Bad

” Lacking acidity or tang”.
” Sweetness builds to Sickly levels”.
” No confident aroma as promised”.
” No lime element as promised”.
” Complexity not specified on branding”.

Packaging

The avid followers to my blog will know that a few reviews ago I reviewed the Rex of the orchard pig world !! The king of their range. After the similarly named Orchard view, and Stan’s twisted leaf cider both eased into my review range with modest 7 out of 10’s, I’m hoping the Reveller lives up to the success of the Hog-father. Maybe this could be nicknamed the Hogzilla, or God of the oinkers, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

To recap, Orchard pig was established in 2004, and is a cider producer using West Bradley orchards near Glastonbury in Somerset. The conception of using West Bradley orchard apples in cider, began in the 1850’s. 100 years later, it got it’s first famous customer. Back then, Robert Eden was supplied with cider from these orchards. At this time it was locally produced, by a man named W.T Allen. Robert Eden was famous since he was prime minister of England between 1955 and 1957. He also played a role in the Suez crisis.
Whilst the origins of local cider production at the orchards supposedly dates back to circa 1850, there is no getting away from it’s recent setup as a business with unrelated owners in 2004, when it was named Orchard pig. The distant local history doesn’t really sound overly relevant therefore, to Orchard pig as a product. Perhaps that is why 1850, isn’t specified on the can, unlike the est. years of older cider companies.

Having had a great recent experience with the Hog-father however, I can now let this potential negative go.

Looking at the can, a pleasant bubblegum style blue is shown. A continuation of the colour coded theme. One product, one colour. With the pig at the front of all products, Orchard pig provides brand consistency I can appreciate.

Looking at ” The Reveller” specifically, the first thing to notice is the striking name. My first thought was … What is a Reveller ?, since I wouldn’t name my pet pig “The Reveller”, as it just doesn’t sound right.
Reveller, actually means a wild celebration involving an indulgent treat or festivity. I would expect this drink in spirit to be bold and flavourful, much like my recently reviewed Orchard pigs’ The Hog-father. That set me back £1.80 for the 7.4 ABV bottle of 3.7 units. For The Reveller though, I invested £4 for a pack of 4 cans.

At £2 for 4 units, this is per unit, roughly the same as the Hog-father in price. Thatchers Gold is very similar at £1.88, so clearly The Reveller is competitive and practical for regular consumption. These cans are 4.5% for 440ml, so a good size to achieve the Governments “Do not regularly exceed limit”.

My expectations purely from these cans, are for a cider distinctly proud of it’s Somerset origin. One of a medium-dry. Due to it’s slightly ambiguous sign label on a black post stating “medium “, could this mean medium bodied instead ? … Also from the cans’ tasting notes, a cider which is lightly carbonated with a hint of lime seems likely.

The website, suggests this hint is on the finish, which means the aftertaste should include this. It also adds an expectation for a prominent apple aroma which will be evaluated.

As for acidity and sweetness, the Hog-father was tangy, but not that sweet, so I’m expecting much the same here. Hopefully it is both though … The Hog-father had complexity of flavour with a certain woody element aswell, so I’ll be looking for that too.

I’m not usually that fond of reviewing ciders with other fruit in except Apple, purely because they aren’t true ciders in my mind, so I’ll try to ignore the lime element for review purposes, but will provide separate scores if necessary, including, and excluding this.

Will the Reveller deliver on my Friday night ? or will the pig be banished to the orchard. With complexity, medium dryness and mouthfeel, light carbonation, good tang, pleasant natural fruity smell, and a sufficient level of sweetness, gasp, aswell as a bit of character. I may buy an orchard myself and keep some pigs !!

Smell

Despite a high bubble count emerging, and pleasant crackle, the aroma, whilst natural and fruity, wasn’t as prominent as expected. It didn’t last long on the nose, yet didn’t die on subsequent inhalations.

Taste

The mouthfeel of the drink wasn’t watery, yet certainly not syrupy, so had a solid middle ground monopolised. On swilling, the calm, steadily rising bubble stream, wasn’t eliminated or disturbed, so remained light, providing lightly sparkling cider as hoped. Whilst there was no real acidity or tang at first, this was compensated for, by a distinctive complexity. Developing notes of wood, formed throughout tasting. Not to dominate like a gold standard drink, but possessed as a lesser accolade, in a trophy collection. The cider, after a few sips, developed a slightly sickly sweetness, one that hinted of apples and nature, and wasn’t artificial. This, I’d describe as a slightly overpowering, fruity taste. This just edged on the side of too much however.

Summary

A highly natural, characterful drink, with a subtle fruity smell, light carbonation, medium-body, and no dryness. These were all great positives succinct with the brand. The complexity element was a bonus. Only a lack of acidity, and slightly sickly levels of sweetness, letdown an otherwise very strong all rounder. One that was both practical and competitively priced.

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