I’ve just got back from a short break in New Zealand. While traveling around the South Island I tried to find a couple of hard to find ciders to write about. I drove through some very scenic parts. Tried some local mass market ciders and a couple of craft ciders. I managed to track down a couple of craft ciders and put them into my suitcase. The first one I managed to try was the Abel Méthode Cider.

Before heading over to New Zealand I put a message out on Twitter, asking for recommendation of good places to eat with good ciders on the menu. Mark McGill from Abel Cider reached out and recommended Twenty Seven Step restaurant in the center of Christchurch. Took him up on the recommendation as the restaurant was just around the to corner from where we stayed. The Abel Méthode Cider matched a treat with the seared scallops and sweet corn puree.

A Little bit of a back story on Able Méthode Cider. For the last 8 years Mark Abel and his team have been working on small batches of methode traditionelle style cider. Skins, pips and even a few stalks get thrown into the shredders. This is all in the search of flavours. With no filtering the flavours are kept in the cider. The cider is fermented in the bottle for a natural carbonated product.

Abel Cider Bottle

The Nose

I’m taking Mark Abel’s advice I’m serving this in a wine glass for the review. Even from the aroma capturing wine glass, the Abel is a very subtle smelling cider. What is there, is predominantly an earthy autumn leaf scent mixed with the unmistakable smell of a fermented pear.

The Taste

Abel Méthode Cider is certainly a bottle conditioned cider, bone dry with fine, sharp bubbles pricking the inside of your mouth. The start is an all apple wonderland with all the charm and sophistication of a 7th generation French champagne house. Earthy based notes and fresh apple highlights. Then, barging in like a fat guy on a trendy nudist beach, in comes the pear. Some people love pear ciders. I’ve never been that much of a fan of pears. Here , it’s adding more earthy elements and something like the after taste of a breath mint, that might be the traces of sorbitol. It certainly adds another layer of complexity to a well-balanced cider.

Final Thoughts on the Abel Méthode Cider

The Abel Méthode Cider is a well-heeled gentleman in a 3 piece suit with a bit of a kink. You know, he’s a bit of weekend naturist. All class with a bit of an edge.

 

Product Abel Méthode Cider
Company Abel Cider
Sweetness Dry
Alc/Vol  7%
Website AbelCider.com
Country of Origin New Zealand
Region Tasman, South Island

 

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