Review of Big Rock Brewery’s Rock Creek Dry Cider. It is my first time trying this Canadian cider, and I had some on draft while in Victoria B.C.
Cider: Rock Creek Dry Cider
Cidery: Big Rock Brewery
Cidery Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
How Supplied: six packs of 12oz cans, and draft
Style: Canadian commercial cider from cider apples
Availability: only in Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan)
Cider Description: One day back in 1993, Chris Turton drove 590 kilometers from Kelowna to Calgary, to show Ed McNally some apples. As soon as he surveyed the apples, Ed saw the possibilities. Chris grows apples you don’t see in the supermarket. The fragrant, sweet and succulent European varieties grown in Chris Turton’s orchards are fine examples of classic English-style cider apples. At the end of that meeting Ed and Chris shook hands. A year later, Big Rock’s first cider was in the keg.
Cidery Description: Big Rock Brewery is a Canadian public company with offices and a brewery located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Big Rock distributes its products in Alberta and several other Canadian provinces. The brewery was founded in 1985 by Ed McNally.
Price: ~ $7 CAN
Where Bought & Drank: Yates Street Taphouse in Victoria B.C.
How Found: They had this and Strongbow (British Dry), and I gave this one a try as I hadn’t had it previously (or even heard of it).
First Impression: Light amber hue. Low carbonation. Smells mild, clean, and apple-forward.
Tasting Notes: Semi-dry. Light to medium bodied. Moderate tartness and acidity. Hints of tannins and bitterness. No sourness or funk. Notes of apple juice with a bit of citrus and apple pomace on the finish. Quick to moderate length finish. Moderate to high apple flavor. High sessionability. Moderate flavor intensity. Low complexity.
My Opinion: This was plenty drinkable and something I wouldn’t hesitate to order if it was the best option, but nothing special. I didn’t really pick up the cider apple flavor, but I imagine it was because it wasn’t bittersweet cider apple flavor, which has a very unique and prominent flavor (and darker hue).
Most Similar to: Strongbow British Dry (the original recipe, no longer offered in the U.S., but still available in Canada, and very commonly found in Victoria B.C. at least)
Random Note: Victoria bartenders seem to like garnishing cider with a slice of lime, as that happened with both ciders I ordered that day. The second cider order (at a different place) was even worse, as they served me a can of cider (Tod Creek’s Tod Cider) with a glass of ice with a lime, so I asked for a glass without ice (that has never made sense to me, unless it was a very sweet cider I wanted to water down). I’ve never been offered lime or ice in the U.S.
I picked up a number of bottles of cider that day as well, many of which were a great value as the exchange rate was $1.00 CAN to $0.80 US.
Closing Notes: They also offer Pear, Peach, and Strawberry-Rhubarb flavored ciders, but I only saw six packs, which was a bit too much of a commitment for me.
Have you tried Rock Creek cider? What did you think?