The Evil Genius is an imperial style cider from New Zealand’s Scoundrels and Rogues. Imperial, these days seems to be a byword for a very high alcohol beverage and at 11% this could get very evil. 

Scoundrels and Rogues are made in North Canterbury, about a 30-minute drive north of Christchurch at the Pegasus Winery with apples from local orchards. The grounds are beautiful and often host sculpture installations around the restaurant and tasting room.

Now you are probably thinking about how do they make a cider with 11% alcohol when normally a cider wouldn’t get much above 7%? Well, one of Scoundrels and Rogues other products is an ice cider. It’s made by partially freezing the fresh apple juice. The water naturally found in the juice will freeze before the more sugary parts of the juice. The ice is then scooped out leaving behind a super sugary concentrate ready for the yeast to feast on and create a boozy cider. Some fresh juice is mixed with the concentrate before the ferment, just so it doesn’t go too over the top. It is made in small batches and will vary from year to year. Because consistency is boring. Scoundrels and Rouges Evil Genius Imperial Cider bottle

The Nose

Peaches and warm honey are the first to jump out of the glass. It swings to subtle hints of vanilla. You could easily trick your friends into thinking you are about to tuck into a dessert wine with its thick and luxurious presence wafting out of glass

The Taste

The Evil Genius is luring me in like a kitten rolling over asking for a belly rub. Yes, it’s soft and sweet but it’s about to rip the flesh off your hand at any moment. That smooth, nearly burnt, honey tone is hiding 11% booze. The flavour is so rich almost like the fire cider from Pilton Cider in the UK, only this time there is a gentle fizz. Acids are seen off, erased by caramel toffee apple overtures. The intensity of the apple juice is just waiting to kick you when you aren’t looking.

Final thoughts on the Evil Genius

My one criticism is I want more spice in this cider. I am needing to balance that sweet warmth packet of chilli beef jerky (trucker strength). I’m not going to be operating any heavy machinery after this one. Like most evil geniuses it sneaks up on you and before you know it, all your best-laid plans are in ruins. but it’s tasty

Product Evil Genius
Company Scoundrels And Rogues.
Sweetness Sweet
Alc/Vol 11%
Country of Origin New Zealand
Region Christchurch, South Island

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