Scoundrels and Rogues: New Premium Cider Partner

Scoundrels and Rogues: New Premium Cider Partner

Scoundrels and Rogues
Left Conatiner

It is with great pleasure that we announce a new premium cider partner for Negociants New Zealand: ‘Scoundrels and Rogues’ from Paul Donaldson in Waipara.

Scoundrels and Rogues is a boutique cider producer based in North Canterbury. Their philosophy is a hands-off approach, where they make small batches of cider just once a year at harvest time from whole fruit, which they mostly grow themselves. There is no added concentrate or flavourings. They use only wild yeasts and barrel for a least a year before blending and bottling.

Scoundrels and Rogues started with just one cider in 2013, then it became two ciders in 2014 and now due to a constant inability to make up their minds (their words, not ours!) and the fact that they keep all batches and barrels separate, the range has increased to five incredible craft ciders.

“Due to a complete lack of planning, interesting things have happened unexpectedly. We did not set out to make any more than one cider, but due to a complex mixture of nefarious techniques, impressive skills, and to be fair, a bit of downright neglect, the result is now four ciders. We were as surprised as anyone,” they say about the expansion of the range.

With the range expanded, they decided it was time to send the ciders to be tasted and judged at the NZ cider awards in 2016.

“We thought our ciders were all damn tasty, but we knew we were biased, so when we entered the three we had available at the time…we were stunned to find that right proper judges agreed with us, with all three of the ciders we entered getting a Gold medal.

The three Golds were more than any other cider producer was awarded.

The ciders are all relatively high in ‘octane’ which means that they are not just a ‘beverage’ cider but a true craft offering to be stocked and enjoyed by those looking for top quality and a high end cider experience. They admit: “Our ciders are all a bit intense and a little bit funky, but you’ll get over it.”

We currently have four of the ciders in our portfolio – Pleasantly Corrupted, Evil Genius, Morally Bankrupt and Cold Shoulder.

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Pleasantly Corrupted Apple Cider

The original style that started Scoundrels and Rogues is made with a touch of sweetness, to balance out the full body. The cider has spent 18 months in barrel and is comprised of a blend of both dry and sweet batches from a mix of heritage and desert apples. This blend gives it an impressive intensity, rich tannins, and a balanced sweetness, that should not be cloying. Once the juice is pressed it is left to undergo wild fermentation in old French oak barrels. Post ferment, the cider is aged in barrel, on lees, to build complexity and to soften the tannins. It’s designed to be a cider that delivers more than just sweetness and a light apple flavour, it’s designed to deliver a balance between tannins, sweetness, and alcohol.

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Evil Genius

What happens when some of the batches of cider you make turn out to have an extra level of complexity, intensity, and let's be frank, alcoholic content?

You feel compelled to do something with them rather than lose them in the blend. Made is a similar way to the Pleasantly Corrupted Cider, the Evil Genius represents a small barrel selection of the most complex and intense cider available from that vintage. It has a rich character with hints of toffee apple, and while it has sweetness, it is balanced by natural acidity which gives a crisp finish.

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Morally Bankrupt

This Pear cider was made from the contents of only a few ancient pear trees, fermented in a barrel, and then aged (or rather forgotten about) for six months. It is made in a Methode style, with a refreshing palate, strong pear character, and a hint of sweetness.

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Cold Shoulder

The very first time this cider was made the pulp was accidentally frozen. When it was pressed they couldn't be bothered waiting for it to thaw properly, and the result was sweeter juice than normal! So they moved from freezing pulp to freezing batches of juice, with even sweeter results. These batches were fermented and aged in barrel and produced a cider that was more akin to a dessert wine.

The Ice Cider release is just a very small selection from the best barrel of freeze concentrated juice, the rest of which went into the main cider blends. It is very sweet, with notes of toffee apple, honey, and tropical fruits, but balanced with great acidity and tannins. It's designed to be enjoyed at the end of a meal, but we find any time after breakfast is just as good, because breakfast is a meal too.

Note that the Cold Shoulder is an ‘ice cider’ and is a magic alternative to a traditional late harvest dessert wine – ideal for on premise accounts looking to do something a little different!


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