Henry Weston’s Vintage Rose review – “Character and nature, in a slightly thin body” (8.25/10).
“Acidity too strong”.
“Carbonation too light”.
“Smell not floral”.
“Sweetness too weak”.
It’s worth noting that over the last 2 weeks, my shopping frequency has changed. Because of this, my planned 2 cider reviews per week, has not been possible. Somehow though, amongst the depleted stocks and shopper chaos, I managed to find a little gem tucked away in a dusty corner of our U.K. supermarket … Tesco.
Perhaps this was spared, since its cost was the rather princely sum of £2.20 per bottle … I’d hope it’s price, not quality of flavour, that deterred those eager 2020 shoppers.
At 5.5% ABV, each 500ml bottle supplies 2.8 units. This makes it fairly practical, whilst a touch below the government’s “Do not regularly exceed”, daily alcohol limit for men.
This is the second of the Weston’s new range I’m reviewing. You may recall the first was a rather innovatively-coloured orange offering, known as medium dry “Organic”. Today’s is the second of this new range, known as medium “Rose”.
The bottle displays clearly it’s 1880 year of origin; A time in which Henry Weston established his ciders, nestled amongst the Herefordshire countryside, near Ledbury.
This cider is far from old in its branding though. Since 2019, Rose ciders have become much more popular in stores, due to increased consumer demand. “Vintage Rose” was produced in 2019 as announced on its bottle. The ciders’ backstory, regards it’s production process being refined over many years, involving oak maturation. This is consistent with the old photo on the bottle front.
Judging by my recent Rose reviews I’d expect ….
I described Kopparberg Rose as Sickly sweet with moderate acidity, yet Angioletti Vero Sidro Italiano Rose has natural tang, but lacked sweetness. This shows just how varied even Rose ciders can be, so we must look specifically at “Vintage Rose” to gauge accurate expectations for consumption.
Judging by website and bottle I’d expect …
The bottle blurb suggests a “smooth and rounded finish”, suggesting a natural, unharsh drink, which is balanced. It also suggests a confident aftertaste. It then specifies “Sparkling”, suggesting noticeable carbonation level. It continues to describe the smell as “Apple Blossom”, and the taste as “Medium”. This suggests a medium level of dryness, with a floral and natural scent.
The backstory explains how all Westons’ vintages are now matured in oak vats, suggesting woodiness should be present in the drinks’ character.
Overall I’m impressed with the amount of traits described on the bottle, those to be expected. Only acidity and sweetness level, are left to the website. The website only added “long and fruity finish”, suggesting the aftertaste should last well.
Let’s find out if it lives up to these expectations …
The smell seemed nicely fruity as promised, and emerged from a very generous head. This suggests at least moderate carbonation.
On pouring, the smell continued for a while but was weak.
On first sip, the drink didn’t have thick mouthfeel. It had a pleasant, yet subtle flavour, which was fruity. The aftertaste faded into a lasting natural tang, and certainly lasted well as promised. Carbonation was surprisingly light, which was a little disappointing.
The taste lacked sweetness, yet was natural, which was good. Tang was clearly evident, yet perhaps too dominant. Because of this, the drink wasn’t fully balanced, which was a bit of a shame. Woodiness emerged effectively after a time, providing a good level of character. The mouthfeel seemed thin after a while, yet the cider was session-able.
Dryness was impossible to detect, despite moderate dryness being promised.
Character and nature in a slightly, thin body.
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Other Rose and westons reviews
1 Henry Weston’s “Medium dry” aged finish (2017) cider review
2 Henry Westons’ ” Medium dry” oak aged vintage 2016
3 Henry Westons’ “Medium dry” Signature Vintage
Tags: Henry Westons, westons, vintage, Rose, medium dry, oak aged, 1880, much Marcle, Ledbury, Herefordshire, reaseaorg, reasonedandseasoned, 5.5% ABV, 2.8 units, 500ml, red label, twisted tree, woody cider, £2.20, Tesco, benandthegang, blogging
Photo credits: https://www.westons-cider.co.uk/product/vintage-rose-500ml/
Photo edits: reasea.org