Charlie Harvey

Review — Rockingham Forest Red Kite Cider

Rockingham Forest Red Kite Cider at the Far From The Madding Crowd Cider Festival

It turns out that yesterday was apple day here in the UK. So it was rather appropriate that I posted a review of the sweet and lovely Gwynt Y Ddraig Celtic Warrior cider. Today I returned on a whim to the Far From the Madding Crowd pub for another crack of the whip, this time ingesting a pint of Rockingham Forest Red Kite cider.

Red Kite is the kind of real cider that makes me juts want to jump for joy or something. Its complex and challenging but thoroughly wonderful and very drinkable. Its a muscular cider at 7.8% ABV you don't want to drink more than one of these in a row on a school night. In the leaflet at the pub it was noted that its kick was very long lasting and this was indeed the case.

In the glass, Red Kite is clear and as still as a mill pond. It is darker orange than some ciders, a rich Magners orange-gold. Though there all comparisons with Magners must cease. Red Kite is a real cider made in the traditional way in Northamptonshire. The makers add no artificial ingredients, just apples and yeast.

The taste starts with a massive burst of intense tannin, astringency. Imagine drinking builders tea with no sugar and you may be in the same ball park. It is medium bodied and there is a strong element of sherry buried beneath the tannins. The aftertaste somehow manages to end up being on the dry/bittersweet end of the scale. Red Kite is a cider that is wonderfully full of charater, very much of the farmhouse persuasion and all the better for it.

The guide told me that Red Kite was something of an acquired taste. Perhaps true and that it was a bitter flavour, which certainly was true. Overall, I found Red Kite the perfect foil for an evening potter in a local hostelry. Truth be told I was not without wobbliness as I exited said hostelry.

2012-10-07 by Charlie Harvey


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