Scoundrels And Rogues’ Repeat Offender Cider started off as one of those passion projects. Raiding abandoned orchards for baskets of apples. This cider from Christchurch is part 2 of my Craft Ciders of New Zealand series.

When I write these reviews I often try and get in touch with the people behind the ciders. I emailed Two Thumbs Brewery as they distribute the Repeat offender. The replying email was from a person who only identifies him as “The Scoundrel”. He started out by, presumably, stealing apples from abandoned orchards in 2012. Over the next few years the batches grew from about 200 litres up to over 2500 litres in 5 different styles, including the Repeat Offender. He teamed up with his mates at Two Thumbs to sell the ciders.

I think what interests me the most about this cider is the apples being used. Apart from clearly being nicked, the apples come from very old trees some are between 30 and 50 years old. Older apple trees are often highly desired by cidermakers as they add a little something extra. With about 17 varieties of apples there is a good range to make a well rounded cider.

The Repeat Offender is a wild fermented cider, relying only on the yeast cells living on the skins of the apples. The apples are crushed straight into barrels. Like all criminals this cider has served its time, it has spent 1.5 years fermenting and aging in barrels to soften up the acids. There is no year to year blending so this is the 2015 vintage.Scoundrels And Rogues Repeat Offender cider bottle

The Nose

I’ve poured the Scoundrel into a wine glass, that’s trapping in a monstrous load of crispy fresh apples.

The Taste

Do you yourself a favour. Once it comes out of the fridge the Repeat Offender needs some time in solitary confinement. Letting it warm slightly is going to let so many more flavours come out. Opening up a cascade of fresh apples fading into a baked apple pie with lashings of cinnamon and vanilla. Bone dry with a silky smooth acid profile. There is a little hint of tannin but its not shouty, its just a enough.

Final Thoughts on the Repeat Offender

The Scoundrels and Rogues have created a very smooth, drinkable cider. It’s one that is a little bit too nice to share the bottle but at 8.5% it’s at least worth considering. I don’t think it needs to be matched with food, it’s interesting enough to be a solo beverage. It’s probably called the Repeat Offender because you probably want to commit this crime over and over again .

Product Repeat Offender Dry Cider
Company Scoundrels And Rogues. Distrobuted by Two Thumbs Brewing Co.
Sweetness Dry
Alc/Vol 8.5%
Country of Origin New Zealand
Region Christchurch, South Island


Don’t forget to get your Real Cider Reviews merch