It’s fair to say that Kiwi ciders haven’t had a good run on Real Cider Reviews lately. I know they must have been making some quality cider so I’ve made a point to try a couple from across the ditch. 8 Wired Brewing Co is a beer company that has recently branched out into cider. Their first creation is the Dry Oaked Sparkling Cider.

To be honest I’m not going diving into a 100% New Zealand cider. The brewing brains behind 8 Wired, Søren Eriksen, developed a taste for craft beers in Perth, Western Australia. He learned how to make beer with a Coopers home brew kit from South Australia. Phar Lap, Russel Crowe (on his good days) and Crowed House, Aussies will claim any Kiwi that is successful as an Australian. Will we be claiming this one as one of our own?

The name 8 Wired is a nod to Kiwi resourcefulness. No.8 wire is what was used on electric fences but has been used to fix just about anything from gate hinges to hanging photo frames. This is the type of resourcefulness that got this cider made in the first place. Beers and cider need very different pieces of equipment in the early stages of production. Cider needs scratterers to shred the apples and presses to release the juice. 8 Wired Brewing Co doesn’t have any of this equipment so they borrowed it from Zeffer Cider. Eriksen used it to press 5 tonnes of Sturmer Pippins, a classic desert apple grown in Tassie and New Zealand for over 100 years.

The pressed juices are left to sit on Oak chips for up to 4 months giving a woody flavour while allowing time for the harsh acids to change into softer forms.8wiredCider

8 Wired wanted to create a dry cider so there is no sugar or extra apple juice added back in after fermentation.  Instead that beg and borrow attitude comes in again. This time they have borrowed for a little for Zeffer Cider again. This time adding a little of Zeffer’s Premium Cider to added complexity.

 

The Nose

This dark golden cider smells of dark fruits like cherry and cider. Yes it smells like cider. That’s always a good thing. There is no escaping the oak, its as up front and uncompromising as a lump of 4by2.

The Taste

8 Wired Brewing Co’s Dry Oaked Sparkling Cider, is well dry, bubbly and woody.  It’s a mouth full of bubbles that alludes to apples dipped in caramel with out any shouting it to you. There is no sweetness just a moment of sourness not really bitterness. It’s easy to draw comparisons to a woody chardonnay. As it is a wild yeast cider there is that element of complexity that you expect from those rouge microbes. In terms of mouth feel it its pretty smooth upfront but more textured as that oakiness, although it’s hard to tell through the fizz.

Pairing ideas

This one I came across by accident. I saw I pic on twitter matching with different flavours of cupcakes with wines. So I wondered how does a dry cider match up with desserts? In this case there is something pretty special about the subtle caramel and the mountain of bubbles that matches so well with chocolate and honeycomb. The chocolate only promotes the smoothness and turns it into creaminess, while the subtle caramel fits like a number 8 in a scrum. Yes it’s it an oddity but if your experimenting, give it a shot.

Final Thoughts on 8 Wired Brewing Co’s Dry Oaked Sparkling Cider

So is this cider good enough to claim as Australian? Well yes, but I’m not going to. I’ve been hard on NZ’s Cider in the past but with a rich apple-growing heritage I know there must be a good cider in the land of the long white cloud. Feeling I’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg, I’m looking forward to trying more Kiwi cider, and I feel this is a great start.

Product 8 Wired Brewing Co’s Dry Oaked Sparkling Cider
Company 8 Wired Brewing
Sweetness Dry
Alc/Vol 8%
Website 8wired.co.nz
Country of Origin New Zealand
Region Blenhiem, in the north of the South Island