Ritchies On the Rocks, Mixed Berry Cider Review

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Kit Reviews' started by Archtronics, Jun 4, 2012.

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  1. Jun 4, 2012 #1

    Archtronics

    Archtronics

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    Brewed this up yesterday with 1kg of brew sugar not the 1.3KG stated in the instructions but I am brewing short to 19l to fit in a cornie. Large add back sachet as usual with these kits, now left out back at 18 degrees fermenting away happily.

    After 1 week I racked into the secondary and added the add back pack 5 days after that I racked into a plastic barrel to mature. It's not completely clear yet but has a bright red shine to it.

    Will update further once matured and racked into a cornie and we get a nice summers evening I can try it out.

    (This is apparently a limited edition kit, dunno how long it runs for so might be worth buying soon)
     
  2. Jul 21, 2012 #2

    mmaguy41

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    I bottled this 5 weeks ago and at the moment its not a very nice drink, it has a very harsh aftertaste that seems to be calming down week by week. Im hoping with another few weeks it will turn into a nice drink. I think i underprimed it too as its not very fizzy at all
     
  3. Jul 21, 2012 #3

    Casey76

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    I bottled one of these a couple of days ago. Although I've yet to taste it properly, my impression from testing samples is that it is incredibly sweet, even though fermenting had finished at 1.002.

    As I'm not really a fan of sweet cider, these could be "conditioning" for quite some time...
     
  4. Aug 8, 2012 #4

    mmaguy41

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    have just tried another pint of this by accient, i put it in the fridge thinking it was an ipa (dark bottle) and it has improved quite alot over the last few weeks, if still a little harsh it tastes alot more fruity than it did. A little undercarbonated though which is my own fault. Ill leave it a few more weeks and see how it goes.
     
  5. Aug 11, 2012 #5

    BrewSage1985

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    I thought it tasted a bit funny at first (a slight chemically/artificial taste) but after about 8 weeks it improved alot and was quite drinkable after that time, the mixed berry flavours came out nicely. :thumb:

    Will I miss this limited edition kit? Probably not. It's nice but there are better On The Rocks kits out there already.
     
  6. Aug 14, 2012 #6

    Casey76

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    Tried a bottle of this after almost 4 weeks in the bottle...

    Very insipid with nasty chemical aftertaste. Will leave for another month before trying again.
     
  7. Aug 20, 2012 #7

    ScottM

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    What started off as a disaster has actually turned out really nice. I got a new fridge for the garage recently, set it to 3 (5 is the max) and filled it up with my already mature, already primed bottles of OTR Mixed berry. The following week I went out and found most of them frozen solid, with the others not showing much life at all.

    Anyway, I found 2 that had carbonated properly and didn't need re-priming so I stuck them in the fridge and popped one open tonight.

    Now, firstly I have to say that I brewed this kit in June. It was racked to secondary after 10 days and left to mature until 2 weeks ago. I then primed and, via bottling bucket, racked into bottles. This has meant that the cider has a decent amount of time to round itself off. The only thing I didn't do that I really should have was add the flavour packet at the secondary stage, instead I waited until the bottling stage.

    So.. onto the cider itself.

    It's CRYSTAL clear. Absolutely spotless. It's a stunning deep red colour akin to curries red cola (I think that may be a Scottish drink lol). It very much looks like a bottle of Jacques. At 1 level tsp per bottle 500ml bottle it's perfectly carbonated so no issues there.

    The taste is slightly alcoholic, to let you know you are drinking a cider. It's very fruity, I would say it almost tastes like raspberry jam from a doughnut. The fruit flavour is very nice, but a little bit sweet... again very akin to jacques. There is a slight miss-match on the palate in that the flavouring is sweet, but the cider is dry. This means that there is a slight harshness just after tasting. The initial taste is fine and the aftertaste is fine.. there's just a small in-between time as the cider is going down that there is a bit of a tang to it that feels un-natural. Probably unavoidable with the sachet type additions. The flavour is also a little bit watery. IMO this happens with most kits, beer & cider anyway, so from now on I will always be brewing cider kits with a couple of litres of apple juice or grape juice.

    Overall I would compare this cider to Strongbow Jacques Fruit cider. It's not quite as dry as the strongbow due to the sweeteners but it's a very palateable drink. It's not a traditional cider by any means so if you are a veteran cider drinker this definitely isn't for you. It's more a refreshing alcopoppy cider, one that most SWMBO's would love. I'm really enjoying it as a refreshing beverage, it'll be lovely in the sun.

    Other than the slight watered down taste and the very slight harsh mid-after taste I would give this cider a thumbs up. As said, it's not a proper cider but for a jacques/bulmers/fruity cider clone.... it's really good competition.

    Oh, I brewed it to 6.5% too.... just so that it has a nice kick :D
     
  8. Aug 21, 2012 #8

    ScottM

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    Found out an interesting "fact" today.

    I was in the local HBS helping a guy I work with get setup for making some homebrew and got to talking to the lady who works there about different brews. Got to talking about cider and I mentioned that I had just made this kit. She then explained that the mixed berry came about through a competition that Ritchies had where entrants had to come up with a new recipe for them to use. The guy that won it, apparently, is a customer of the shop and it's his recipe that this particular kit is based on. Apparently it's very much a limited edition, and is no longer made, so it will be very difficult to come by now. She said she was hoping that Ritchies took it on in a permanent basis, she also said that the guy would have no problems with them continuing with it with no charge.

    Fingers crossed they do end up going for it.

    PS had another 2 bottles of this tonight, absolutely loving it!
     
  9. Sep 10, 2012 #9

    darren64

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    I have trid this cider,and I didn't know what to expect bacause its been in the cupboard as the shed was far too warm,anyway I put it in a fridge and started drinking it after 8 weeks and it tates really nice,I will get another one these kits and possibly try the blueberry.
     
  10. Sep 23, 2012 #10

    Archtronics

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    Racked and bottled mine today, mine tastes similar to Scott's but without that alcohol tang. It tastes like a cranberryish drink watery at first then dry and slightly tart in your throat.

    Once it carbonated it is going to be fantastic such a shame it's limited edition.
     
  11. Sep 23, 2012 #11

    ScottM

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    It's coming back out soon ;)

    The flavour will round off over time. My last few bottles were outstanding, very well rounded without that watery taste :D
     
  12. Sep 23, 2012 #12

    ScottM

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  13. Sep 23, 2012 #13

    Archtronics

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    Yes!

    Might buy two this time to be safe.
     
  14. Sep 23, 2012 #14

    ScottM

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    Should be safe enough. I contacted Ritchies regarding the kit, asking about whether it was going to be made available again and was told that the kit had been such a success that it was going to become a permanent addition to the range. Demand was allegedly quite high for it.

    It was a guy fairly local to me that won the competition to have it made :D
     
  15. Sep 23, 2012 #15

    Archtronics

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    Congrats to the winner of the comp, it is one of the best cider kits I've done, if only we could get a tc recipe.
     
  16. Sep 24, 2012 #16

    alank950

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    I have a Raspberry and Lime OTR kit fermenting at the moment..Only day 3 of first ferment and i was wondering when to add the flavour .It states after day 7 when fermenting has slowed down or ceased.Will this need a second fermentation for the flavour ,if so how long before i prime and bottle?>
    It says on the tin to add the flavour packet then 3 oz of sugar after first ferment and leave to stand..i guess this is the same thing as adding a teaspoon of sugar till all the pint bottles for priming..
     
  17. Sep 24, 2012 #17

    ScottM

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    I wouldn't recommend following the instructions to the letter.

    What I did was ferment in a primary for 2 weeks. I then transferred to secondary for a further 2 weeks. After that I transferred into a bottling bucket which contained 160g of sugar that had been dissolved in boiling water. Once transferred I emptied the packet into it and gave it all a good stir before racking into bottles.

    The above method will give fantastic results and very clear cider. Best to leave it in the bottle for a month though. As nice as the stuff is after a week or 2, giving it a bit more time just rounds off all the flavours making it all the better.
     
  18. Sep 24, 2012 #18

    alank950

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  19. Sep 24, 2012 #19

    alank950

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    I had just posted the second question when i realised you had answered the first very well...thanks
     
  20. Sep 24, 2012 #20

    alank950

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    You still added the teaspoon of sugar though at bottling?..from my past experiences with beer i always never seem to add enough sugar at priming as i am cautious at adding to much..you suggested a level teaspoon full 500m ,,i might try just a little more..although i might bottle into 2ltr plastic lemonade bottles with 3 teaspoons of sugar into each bottle.
     

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