Superstition Meadery Hawaiian Honeymoon

Diverging a bit from cider, this is a review of Superstition Meadery’s Hawaiian Honeymoon, a pineapple-vanilla mead.  Mead is made by fermenting watered down honey.  It is my first time trying this one, but I sampled a number of Superstition’s varieties when I visited their tasting room (see here).

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Mead:  Hawaiian Honeymoon
Meadery:  Superstition Meadery
Location:  Prescott AZ
ABV:  13.5%
How Supplied:  375ml corked bottles
Style:  American craft mead (honey wine), with pineapple & vanilla added

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Availability:  limited; see here, plus they have online sales

Mead Description:  Hawaiian Honeymoon is a recent Superstition creation which has become an instant staff favorite. Big juicy Tahitian vanilla beans and pineapple, aged on toasted American oak staves, join forces with Arizona honey in this delicious craft beverage that will take you on vacation.

Meadery Description:  We have introduced over 200 unique meads and hard ciders since 2012.
Our products range from dry to sweet, still to sparkling, and easy drinking to the most flavorful beverage you have ever imagined.

Price:  ~ $24
Where Bought:  unknown
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  my husband got me this (and 1 other Superstition mead) for Christmas

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First Impression:  Light yellow hue.  No carbonation.  Smells of pineapple and honey.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low bitterness.  No tannins, funk, or sourness.  Notes of pineapple, honey, lemon, vanilla, and stone fruit.  Long warm finish, due to the high ABV.  Moderate honey flavor.  High flavor intensity and complexity.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  It was more pineapple than honey forward, and the vanilla was barely perceptible.  I see mead as a nice option in between cider and wine, and although there are more sessionable (low ABV) mead options, which often tend drier, I usually prefer the more traditional sweeter higher-ABV meads, which tend to be full-flavored.

Most Similar to:  High-ABV pineapple cider, or pineapple wine, with a hint of honey.

Closing Notes:  Superstition’s meads are at the higher end of the price spectrum, but they are also high quality.

Have you tried mead?  What did you think?

Author Semi-Sweet Draft Mead

Not a cider review, but a mead (honey wine) review, of Author Mead’s “draft” Semi-Sweet variety.

Mead Name:  Semi-Sweet
Meadery Name:  Author Mead Co.
Meadery Location:  Vancouver WA
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  four pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American craft “draft” style mead, lower ABV and carbonated, and made using brewing techniques

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Availability:  Washington and Oregon (see here)

Mead Description:  Thanks to the simplicity of ingredients – water, Raw American Honey and yeast – Semi-Sweet is truly a gateway into Draft Mead for those who don’t drink it on a regular basis. We left just enough residual sugars to balance out its crispness and still allow it to go down smooth. People say it tastes a lot more like its lager craft beer cousin than other mead out there today.

Meadery Description:  Crafted to be different…we assembled an all-star team of brewers and dreamers to explore how to help mead rise in the ranks of the craft brew world.  Our process of craft brewing mead advances that goal and we strive daily to deliver you something unique and tasty.  Game changed…get ready to meet the product that is changing the game in craft brewing.  We re-envisioned traditional mead to create crisp, carbonated and perfectly balanced style that pair equally well with a weekend exploring outdoors, a dinner party with friends or hanging out at your favorite tap house.  Let us introduce you to Author Draft Mead.

Where Bought:  Whole Foods in Western WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells very mild, of sweet honey with a hint of floral.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness, acidity, and bitterness.  No sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of honey with hints of floral and lemon.  Long bitter beer-like chemically finish.  Low to moderate honey flavor.  High sessionability.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked the flavor until it got to the finish, which ruined it for me.  I assume it was from using brewing instead of wine (and cider & mead) techniques, which is the first time I’ve heard of this for mead.  I had 2 other people try it and they agreed with me, so it wasn’t just me.

Most Similar to:  drier sessionable meads like Nectar Creek Waggle, except with a weird finish

Closing Notes:  I’d recommend this for beer fans who want to try mead, but not so much for folks who like typical meads and cider.

Side Note:  I’ve found I prefer the more traditional meads, which are typically fuller flavored, sweeter, and higher ABV, over the drier carbonated session meads like this.

Have you tried Author Mead?  What did you think?

Sky River Cherry Vanilla Honey Wine (Mead)

Today I don’t have a cider to review, but a mead, Sky River’s Cherry Vanilla Honey Wine.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had most of their lineup (see my trip report here from when I visited their meadery tasting room).

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Mead:  Cherry Vanilla Honey Wine
Meadery:  Sky River
Location:  Redmond WA
ABV:  12%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft mead (honey wine), with cherries and vanilla

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Availability:  U.S. (Washington, California, Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, & Pennsylvania), Japan, and Sweden, plus online sales

Mead Description:  The downy snow of blossom laden cherry trees.  The harbinger of spring.  Awakening the honey bees, and bringing the promise of new life.  With the blossoms come the tantalizing dreams of the promised lush cherries to come, and sumptuous days of sunshine.  Sky River Cherry Vanilla Mead reunites the honey and cherries.  Warm Honey and rich, dark Cherry, wedded with lush Vanilla bean  Enjoy with freshly grilled steaks, salmon, or even with your favorite custard.

Meadery Description:  From ancient cultures on distant shores, shrouded in mist, Sky River brings the age-old art of making mead into the twenty-first century to create a new tradition. 

Price:  $21
Where Bought:  a tasting event
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  a tasting event

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First Impression:  Dark cherry hue.  Still.  Smells of sweet cherry wine.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of cherry with hints of honey & floral, then a moderate length vanilla finish.  Low honey flavor.  Moderate cherry flavor, sessionability, overall flavor intensity, and complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  Nice flavor, of real cherry.  I would have liked a bit more vanilla.  Definitely not honey-forward though.

Most Similar to:  A more real-tasting, more complex, and drier version of Eaglemount Cherry Mead.  I’ve also had d’s cherry vanilla cider, with awesome flavor, similarly not apple-forward, but it is quite sweet.

Closing Notes:  Mead is a nice complimentary option to cider.

Have you tried mead?  What did you think?

Heidrun Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Honey Mead

Review of Heidrun Meadery’s Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Varietal Honey Naturally Sparkling Mead.  It is my first time trying anything from this meadery.  Not cider, I know, but mead is another alternative beverage I enjoy.

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Mead:  Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Varietal Honey Naturally Sparkling Mead
Meadery:  Heidrun
Meadery Location:  Point Reyes Station, CA
ABV:  12.5%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged champagne bottle
Style:  American craft mead from Hawaiian macadamia nut honey (and water), dry, naturally sparkling (methode champenoise)

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Availability:  likely limited to Northern California (although they have online sales – this one is currently listed at $25 + shipping of course)

Mead Description:  A few years ago, we had the pleasure of visiting an apiary on the Big Island of Hawaii. Beekeepers here alternate between pollinating cultivated crops and allowing their bees to forage freely in the native tropical flora. The Macadamia is a cultivated tree, of course, and honey produced from its nectar is as succulent and rich as the macadamia nut itself. That richness results in a full-bodied, brut dry mead of subtle complexity and exceptional balance that pairs with a wide variety of foods, from raw oysters to smoked duck.

Meadery Description:  We produce naturally sparkling varietal meads using the traditional French Méthode Champenoise. Our trademark Champagne-style of mead is light, dry, delicate and refreshing, with subtle exotic aromas and flavors found
only in the essence of honey.  The Meadery was founded in 1997 in Arcata, California. In 2011,  the meadery relocated to a farm in Point Reyes Station (just across the 
Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco) to develop its botanical and agicultural programs.

Price:  $21.99
Where Bought:  The Jug Shop in San Francisco CA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing – they had a large selection of meads from this meadery, from just under $20 up to $50

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First Impression:  Very high carbonation.  Light caramel hue.  Smells of tart burnt honey.

Tasting Notes:  It was very difficult to determine the perceived sweetness level with the high carbonation & tartness and sweet flavor notes, but I settled on dry to semi-dry.  Light boded with a fluffy texture.  High tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of honey, caramel, wood, nut, citrus, and burnt/smoke.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate honey flavor and flavor intensity.  High complexity.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked the flavor, but with the tartness, carbonation, and dryness, it was a bit much for me.  It mellowed out a bit the next day though (less carbonation and tartness).  My husband was a bigger fan.  This was super complex and interesting, and a memorable purchase, but I usually prefer the sweeter still meads.

Most Similar to:  The complexity of a fine mead (such as from Superstition Meadery in AZ), except methode champenoise (a labor intensive method for natural carbonation).

Closing Notes:  This is my first methode champenoise mead – all the others I’ve tried have been either still (usually sweeter and higher ABV) or force carbonated (usually drier and lower ABV, “session” style).

Have you tried mead?  What did you think?

Beehaven Watermelon Mead

Review of Beehaven’s Sparkling Watermelon Mead.  Yes, I know, mead isn’t cider, but I occasionally review other alternative beverages.  It is my first time trying any of their mead (made from fermenting honey & water).

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Variety:  Sparkling Watermelon Mead
Meadery:  Beehaven
Cidery Location:  Seattle WA
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and draft)
Style:  American craft session mead with watermelon flavor

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Availability:  seasonally, June-August, in California, Idaho, and Washington

Description:  Juicy watermelon with the seeds thrown in as well, lime lends a nice big zesty bite, then basil is added for an herbal kick! A great summer option.

Meadery Description:  Welcome to BeeHaven. We make mead, the ancestor of all fermented drinks. Mead is made with honey and may be flavored with fruit or spices. Our small-batch flavorful meads are hand made with the finest natural ingredients, sparkling with a touch of sweetness, unfiltered and gluten-free with no added sulfites.  Served chilled, on ice, or in the Old European tradition–warmed and served as a toddy. And BeeHaven mead is low in alcohol making it very drinkable and refreshing–use it to create your own personal cocktail!

Price:  $5.99
Where Bought:  The Cave in Kirkland WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I’m a sucker for anything watermelon flavored.

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue with a hint of pink upon first pouring it and taking the photo, but the last 1/4 of the bottle I poured came out murky brown (but tasted pretty much the same), so I guess I should have shook it a bit before pouring.  Low carbonation.  Smells of candied watermelon.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Medium to full bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Notes of watermelon, honey, honeycomb, and hints of herbal & floral.  Quick finish.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  However, I was expecting it to be much drier, like the other session meads I’ve tried.  I liked it was more flavorful than the other session meads, but I found it a bit sweet to have the whole bottle, and at only 5.5%, that is something I’d usually do.  The watermelon flavor was spot-on.  However, at times it seemed to be competing with the honey flavor.

Most Similar to:  Nothing much.  I’ve never had watermelon mead, the other session meads I’ve tried (such as from Nectar Creek) have been much drier, and the sweeter meads I’ve tried have been much higher in ABV (such as from Superstition, Aesir, Eaglemount, and Moonlight).

Closing Notes:  This was nice as something different, but if I’m going to drink something sweet, I think I like the higher ABV beverages, so I drink less of it.

On the watermelon note, lately I’ve been really into Smirnoff’s Watermelon Spiked Seltzer.

Have you tried mead?  What did you think?

Moonlight Meadery How Do You Like Them Apples

Review of Moonlight Meadery’s How Do You Like Them Apples.  I had previously tried this on draft, but they recently began offering this (and the “Little Apples” version) in cans.  I’ve tried a number of beverages from Moonlight Meadery:  How Do You Like Them Little Apples, How Do You Like Them Apples, Boys N Berries, Last Apple, and Crimes of Passion

Cider:  How Do You Like Them Apples
Cidery:  Moonlight Meadery
Cidery Location:  Londonderry NH
ABV:  13.5%
How Supplied:  12oz cans
Style:  American craft honey apple wine (apple cider with honey and brown sugar), rye whiskey barrel barrel aged

x2 x3 x4

Availability:  Semi wide release, in the U.S. in AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA, WA D.C., and WI, and Australia, China, and Japan.  They also have an online store.

Cider Description:  A New England Hard Cider, made with the finest New Hampshire apples that were available to us, which we had fresh pressed into apple cider. This fresh cider was delivered the day it was pressed to our Meadery, where we blended it with just a touch of honey, and some brown sugar and let it ferment, then we let it age in freshly emptied Last Apple barrels, for a minimum of 6 months.

Cidery Description:  We are a world class meadery and cidery from Londonderry, New Hampshire that specializes in meads, the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage made from honey, as well as hard ciders.  The diversity of our offerings often leave people speechless, while the flavors have them asking for it from their local retailers.  Stop by and try the oldest fermented beverage to find out why “History never tasted so good”™.

They have been around since May 2010 and have a tasting room in Londonderry NH.

Price:  ~$6 / single can
Where Bought:   Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  my husband picked this up

moonlight

First Impression:  Medium amber hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells rich, syrupy sweet, apple-forward, of honey, whiskey, and oak.

Tasting Notes:  Sweet.  Medium to full bodied.  Low tartness, acidity, and tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of concentrated apple, honey, orange, oak, whiskey, caramel, and brown sugar.  Moderate length finish, which is also the only time when the high ABV is noticeable.  Low oak/barrel influence.  Low to moderate whiskey influence.  High apple flavor.  Low sessionability.  High flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  Amazing.  I really love the in-your-face rich complex flavor of this cider.  However, it is best suited as an after dinner sipper, splitting the can among at least 2 people.  By the end of the can I was a bit over it, as it was so sweet, even though I sipped on it throughout the evening.  This tasted good anywhere between ice cold and close to room temperature.

Most Similar to:  Ice cider and Moonlight Meadery Last Apple (although that one had more honey than apple flavor, in contrast to this one), which are both high ABV, have concentrated rich flavor notes, and are sweet

Side Note:  I like that they added a dry-sweet indicator on the can, but I think they were off on this one…it is way closer to the sweet end of the spectrum than the middle (although maybe it was an appropriate rating based on the beverages they make at Moonlight.

Closing Notes:  My husband also picked me up a couple cans of the “Little Apples” version of this cider, so stay tuned.

UPDATE:  Like the canned How Do You Like Them Little Apples, the can of this I opened a month or two later was starting to turn vinegary.

Have you tried Moonlight Meadery How Do You Like Them Apples?  What did you think?

Nectar Creek Waggle Wildflower Session Mead

Review of Nectar Creek’s Waggle, a Wildflower Session Mead (lower alcohol content). I’ve previously only tried their Honeycone hopped session mead, at Cider Summit last month (see here).  This obviously isn’t a cider, but sometimes I cover non-cider beverages.

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Mead:  Waggle, Wildflower Session Mead
Meadery:  Nectar Creek (Oregon Honey Products)
Meadery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft mead (made from Oregon wildflower honey, water, yeast, and sulfites)

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Availability:  Year-round, at least in CA, GA, ID, MN, OR, TX, and WA (see their locator)

Mead Description:  The complex essence of Oregon wildflower honey is captured in this session mead with flavors and aromas of ripe fruit and fresh honeycomb.

Meadery Description:  Founded by two brothers native to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Nectar Creek combines a passion for beekeeping, agriculture and brewing into delicious, sessionable meads.

They were founded in 2012 and have a tasting room in Corvallis Oregon (which is also home to 2 Towns cider).

Price:  $8.99
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow.  Low to moderate carbonation.  Smells mild, of honey with a hint of floral.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Simple flavor, primarily of honey, with some floral and citrus.  Quick finish length.  Low to moderate honey flavor.  Low flavor intensity.  Low complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Tasty.  I liked it.  Simple and sessionable.  However, I prefer more flavor.  It tasted a bit watered down.

Most Similar to:  This was similar to their Honeycone, except Waggle was more honey forward and not hopped.  Nectar Creek is the only session mead maker on the market I’ve seen.

Closing Notes:   This was nice, but I think I prefer the higher ABV sweeter meads, which I’ve found to be more flavorful.  Check out some of my other mead reviews here.

Have you tried Nectar Creek Session Meads?  What did you think?

Moonlight Meadery Last Apple Cyser

Review of Moonlight Meadery’s Last Apple, a cyser (made from apples and honey).  I tried this previously on tap (see here), and have also previously tried some ciders, meads, and cysers from Moonlight Meadery (see here).

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Cider:  Last Apple
Cidery:  Moonlight Meadery
Cidery Location:  Londonderry New Hampshire
ABV:  16.0%
How Supplied:  375ml bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cyser (made from apple juice and honey), barrel aged

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Availability:  AL, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MD, ME, MI, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TX, VA, WA, and WA D.C. in the USA (see here), plus Australia, China, Japan, and through their online shop (shipped to 36/50 states)

Cider Description:  We took the very last New Hampshire apples that were available to us and had them fresh pressed into apple cider. We then blended it with True Source Honey and let it ferment and age in freshly emptied Jim Beam barrels for over 6 months.  The end result is nothing short of heavenly. It is unlike any of the other honey apple meads that we make, that’s why we felt it deserved its own unique label design.  Take your time with this precious liquid and allow its complexities to dance along your palate.

Cidery Description:  We are a world class meadery and cidery from Londonderry, New Hampshire that specializes in meads, the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage made from honey, as well as hard ciders.  The diversity of our offerings often leave people speechless, while the flavors have them asking for it from their local retailers.  Stop by and try the oldest fermented beverage to find out why “History never tasted so good”™.

Price:  $26.99
Where Bought:  The Cave in Kirkland WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I tried this previously at the Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA and remembered loving it, and didn’t even know bottles were available (I picked this up awhile back and haven’t seen it since), so I decided to jump on it, despite the high price tag.

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First Impression:  Light to medium amber hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells boozy, of honey and caramel.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Full bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of honey, sweet ripe apples, caramel, oak, and coffee.  Long warming finish.  Low apple influence.  Low barrel influence.  Moderate to high honey influence.  Very low sessionability.  Moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed this, but I think the batch I tried awhile back which was kegged was far superior; it didn’t have the coffee notes, had more oak flavor, was sweeter & fuller bodied, and was more complex.  In this price range, I think I’d prefer an ice cider from Eden (see here).  This reinforces how much I like cider bars, especially for high end ciders, as a sample can be had for $2-$5, vs. spending a good deal on an entire bottle.

Most Similar to:  This is more mead than cider, both in flavor and its high ABV.  It has more honey notes and a higher ABV than most cysers, such as the ones I’ve tried from Finnriver (Cyser Cider),  Eaglemount (Cyser), and Sea Cider (Birds and the Bees).  Its even higher ABV than the meads I’ve tried, such as Skyriver Solas (see here) and Superstition Honey Highway (see here), yet is smooth and easy to drink.

Closing Notes:   I look forward to continuing to try more ciders, meads, and cysers from Moonlight Meadery; they offer quite a large selection.

Have you tried Moonlight Meadery Last Apple?  What did you think?

Port Townsend Cider Route – Eaglemount Wine & Cider (& Mead)

As a continuation of my trip report on the Port Townsend cider route, this is post 3/4, on Eaglemount Wine & Cider (here is overview post 1 and here is post 2 on Alpenfire).  It was our second cidery of the day.  Eaglemount is unique in that they also offer red grape wine and mead (honey wine) in addition to cider.  All of these are made by the co-owner Trudy.  It was quite busy, but I got a chance to chat with her and introduce myself.  I learned that Drew Zimmerman from Red Barn Cider in Mt Vernon WA was an inspiration in their making cider, wine, and mead.  Red Barn Cider closed a few years ago due to his retirement.  Its not the first time I’ve heard of Drew Zimmerman…his Fire Barrel cider is now made by Finnriver (who also bought his cider apple orchard).

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Eaglemount is owned & operated by the husband & wife team of Jim & Trudy Davis, since 2006, although they had been making these beverages for 10 years prior to that.  They moved their tasting room just over a year ago from their home, orchard, & cidery/winery/meadery to a separate property (the Palindrome).  I learned they often start their ciders fermenting with wild yeast, then may add yeast as required.  There is an Airbnb on the new property, and plans for a new septic system and commercial kitchen so they can host events.  At their orchard they are planting 800 cider apple trees to add to the current 200.  They currently use cider apples in a mix with dessert apples in their Dry & Semi-Sweet Homestead ciders.

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One of the disadvantages of visiting during an event was they were offering less tastings for a higher cost (due to the chocolate pairings), and they were served in plastic cups (for some reason cider always tastes better from a glass to me).  I went through two sets of four tastes at Eaglemount.  My husband also sampled some of their red wines.

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The cider & mead tasting options that day were Homestead Dry cider, Homestead Semi-Sweet cider, Cyser, Quince cider, Rhubarb cider, Raspberry cider, Raspberry Ginger cider, Ginger cider, Apple mead, Cherry mead, Cranberry mead, Quince mead, Apple Dessert Wine, and Harvest Apple wine.  The last two were described as apple wines as they had higher ABVs.  I believe the only cider from their lineup that wasn’t offered was Boot Brawl, their hopped cider.  Bottles of cider & mead ranged from $14-$26 (mostly $14-$16), and most bottles are 750ml.  They also had 5 red wines they were tasting out of the 6 in their lineup.

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<this brand of environmentally friendly mini plastic cups is quite popular, also used at Finnriver and at several other cider events I’ve been to; I later learned that the county requires the two tasting rooms to use disposable drinkware as they have not yet met certain requirements such as water use and septic monitoring history–quite interesting>

Homestead Semi-Sweet Cider, 8% ABV – This is the sweeter version of their Homestead cider, also available in Dry.  Smells likes sweet apples with a touch of honey.  Slightly hazy.  Semi-sweet.  Moderate carbonation.  Medium bodied.  Low to moderate tannins.  Low tartness and acidity.  Yeasty, slightly rich, similar to English cider, but with a touch of honey notes.  Moderate finish length.  I liked this much better than their Homestead Dry that I tried at Cider Summit, as it didn’t have as much tartness or bitterness.

Rhubarb Cider, 8% ABV – Cider with organic rhubarb.  Smells tart and fruity.  Described as semi-sweet but I found it semi-dry.  Low carbonation.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Fruity notes, although I’m not sure I could have identified them as rhubarb.  A touch alcohol-forward.  Long finish length.

Quince Mead, 9% ABV – Made from honey and organic quince from San Juan island.  Smells sweet, fruity, and of honey.  Semi-sweet.  Full bodied.  Low to moderate tartness and acidity.  A hint of bitterness.  Tropical notes.  Moderate finish length.  I prefer their Quince cider.

Apple Dessert Wine, 18% ABV – Apple brandy blended with apple juice (which would more commonly be called Pommeau).  Smells like apple brandy.  Semi-sweet.  Light bodied. Low tartness and acidity.  Oddly enough I picked up a hint of tannins.  Smooth.  Honey, caramel, and brown sugar notes.  Long warming boozy finish.

Raspberry Cider, 8% ABV – Cider (80%) with pure raspberry juice (20%).  Deep red hue.  Described as semi-sweet but I found it sweet.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  A hint of tannins.  Medium bodied.  Full flavored with lots of raspberry flavor.  Quick finish length.

Apple Mead, 10% ABV – Mead (made from honey from Sequim WA) with apples.  I’m not sure how this varies from their cyser (which is also made from honey and apples).  Smells mild, of apple juice and honey.  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Mild acidity.  Moderate tartness.  A hint of bitterness.  A hint of tannins (apple skin flavor).  Notes of apple, honey, and pollen.  From memory I think this has more apple flavor and a higher ABV than their Cyser, which I prefer.  Moderate finish length.

Cherry Mead, 10% ABV – Mead (made from honey from Sequim WA) with Organic cherries.  Deep red hue.  Sweet.  I only picked up cherry notes, not honey, and they tended towards medicinal.  However, my husband really enjoyed this one.  I think at a lower ABV I may have liked it better.  Alcohol-forward.  Medium bodied.  Long warming finish.

Harvest Apple Wine – This is a new release for them, described as a dry wine crafted from heirloom apples and wild yeast.  They had planned to blend it, but liked it on its own.  Semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low to moderate acidity and tartness.  Low tannins and bitterness.  Both apple and alcohol forward.  Long warming finish.

I picked up a bottle of Homestead Semi-Sweet (and my husband bought a bottle of red wine).  I think their Quince cider remains my favorite, followed by the Homestead Semi-Sweet and Cyser, which I find to be their most complex ciders.

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Stay tuned for post 4/4 on Finnriver!

Sky River Meadery Visit Tasting Notes

I know, mead isn’t cider, but I like it too.  In case you don’t know, mead is typically classified as a type of wine, made from honey, water, and yeast.  The weekend before last I visited the Sky River meadery in Woodinville Washington (their address is oddly enough in Redmond; they must be right on the border).  The meadery is at the top of a steep hill with a beautiful view of the Woodinville area, home to numerous (grape) wineries and a couple cideries (Locust and Elemental).  They share the building with two (grape) wineries, Icon Cellars and Pleasant Hill.  My husband and friend sampled wines at Pleasant Hill, which they were impressed with.

I’ve previously gone mead tasting at Æsir in Everett Washington and Superstition in Prescott Arizona.

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I went for the “Whole Hive” and sampled their entire current lineup of nine meads–yum!  All were still (no carbonation) and served in a wine glass at room temperature.

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Dry, 11% ABV:  Semi-dry, medium bodied, a bit acidic / tart / bitter, more floral than honey notes

Semi-Sweet, 11% ABV:  Semi-sweet, slightly fuller bodied, less tart & acidic, no bitterness, more honey than floral notes

Sweet, 11% ABV:  On the drier side of sweet, full bodied, very flavorful but still tastes light, honey and pollen notes

Ginger, 12% ABV:  On the drier side of sweet, very gingery! (although much more in the scent and aftertaste at the back of the throat than the flavor); I’m not a ginger fan so I didn’t have much

Blackberry, 12% ABV:  Semi-sweet, medium bodied, moderately tart & acidic, light to moderate blackberry flavor

Raspberry, 12% ABV:  Sweet, full bodied, mild tartness & acidity, full flavored with strong raspberry notes (they call it “jam in a glass”), no honey notes

Rose, 12% ABV:  Infused with real rose petals; semi-sweet, a touch bitter, more acidic & tart than the others, definitely floral

Brochet, 12.5% ABV:  This is the only mead where they use heat–over 9 days the honey is heated to around 110 degrees to caramelize it, before they make the mead with it; on the drier side of sweet, full bodied but still feels light, rich scent & flavor, caramel & brown sugar notes

 

Solas, 12% ABV:  This is their Dry Fly Distilling whiskey barrel aged mead; sweet verging on very sweet, smells of oak with a hint of smoke, full bodied, very smooth, full flavored, rich, lovely lucious flavor

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The Solas is aged in Dry Fly Distilling whiskey barrels like this which decorated the tasting room:

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I bought a bottle of Solace, which was my favorite (followed by the Brochet).  I thought it was pretty reasonable at $26, plus buying a bottle refunding my $15 tasting fee (so buying a $17 bottle would have been an even better deal).  Apparently Solas is their best seller at the tasting room, except in summer when the raspberry & blackberry meads sell well.

Sky River meads can be shipped to a number of states (see image below), direct to consumer, either through the meadery or VinoShipper.com.  They are sold in stores in AK, CT, ID, LA, MT, OR, PA, WA, Japan, and Sweden per this list.

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My Visit to Superstition Meadery in Prescott AZ

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Yes, another mead post!  This time around our travels brought my husband and I back to Prescott (pronounced press-kit) Arizona, where we went to college (at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University).  A friend had told us about Superstition Meadery, and I just had to go.  This is a smaller mountain town (at least when I left over 7 years ago) so I was surprised to learn it now has a meadery!  Especially because they don’t even have a cidery, and only a handful of breweries.  Superstition also makes some cider, so its still semi on-topic for this blog.  Superstition Meadery is located in downtown Prescott, on “Whiskey Row”, under the “Old Capitol Market” shop (which sells spices and jams and such).  This tasting room has only been open about a year (they will have their first year anniversary party on Oct 24), but they have been selling their meads since 2012, and making them for about 10 years.

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<display rack in the store enticing folks to go downstairs into the meadery>

You oddly enough have to walk through the shop to get to the meadery (although apparently they only lease the space and aren’t associated with the shop).  If we hadn’t known it was there, it would have been easy to miss, even with the sidewalk sign and their name on the window.

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<the Old Capitol Market shop, and the Superstition sidewalk sign>

They make the mead (and cider) on-site, and one of the coolest parts of the tasting room is the window which looks into their workshop.  We visited on a Saturday afternoon with a few friends.  We had actually dropped by Friday night as some other friends were hanging out there (it was a big alumni reunion type weekend for us), but didn’t stay as the live music was way too loud.  I wanted to be able to enjoy my mead with less folks around, and maybe even chat up the staff.  During our Saturday visit my husband Aaron was lucky enough to spot an employee walking into the workshop and asked it we could have a tour.  Lucky us.  Thanks Justin!

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<view from the tasting room up the stairs>

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<
small batch mead in their workshop, including a few cherry trials on the left,
and some rhubarb which will have strawberry added at the far right>

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<kegs of aging mead stored under the stairs add to the decor>

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<more kegs, and their regular fermentation vessels for full batches>

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<
bottle filler>

It was a really classy place just to chill with friends, with a bar, comfy chairs & tables, and a nice overall vibe.  Pretty unusual for Prescott!

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<tables & chairs, and the bar area>

They serve mead (a type of wine made from fermenting honey & water), cider, grape wine, and appetizers/tapas.  Something to please most folks.  Plus, it appears to be an all ages place (they even have some kids food selections on the menu).  They offer a flight of all 12 selections (11 mead and 1 cider that day), or you can choose taster size pours individually, plus a few off-flight mead options (two which were barrel aged versions of the on-flight meads, and one cocktail).  Of course I opted for the full flight of 12, which was lower cost than purchasing individually as it worked out to only $2 each, when some were $3 individually.

Although it was $24, it was plenty for 2 people.  There were four of us to start (more showed up later), so after the flight we each got a couple more sample size glasses or a full glass of what we liked (and one person chose red wine instead of mead lol).  The pours were quite generous too.  Click to biggify the menu photos.  The only food we tried was the bread with oil & vinegar, which was a good choice considering the amount we drank!  No standard bar fare to be had here (I was kinda craving a soft pretzel).  The mead menu is laid out from dry to sweet, and they really ran the full spectrum.

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Tasting notes:

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<flight of 11 meads and one cider, with the cider up front;
I don’t have individual photos as the lighting wasn’t too great for photos>

Except for the cider, these were meads noted to be in order from Dry to Sweet, which I found mostly true:

Blueberry Spaceship Box, 6.9% ABV:  Blueberry cider.  Semi-dry.  Tart.  I get a lot of blueberry skin flavor, definitely from adding real blueberries, not just juice (or what some cideries do, artificial flavor).  Noticeable tannins and astringency.  Unique, but I didn’t find it to my liking (although all my table mates did).  I found it very interesting that this cider is actually the top user rated cider on RateBeer.com!  Its pretty limited availability, so its interesting they got so many folks to try it and rate it highly.

Lagrimas de Oro, 13.5% ABV:  Bourbon barrel aged mead.  Dry.  More barrel notes in the scent than taste.  Alcohol-forward (boozy).  Tart and astringent.  Not a fan, and I don’t think anyone at the table was.

Alexander the Grapefruit, 8.5% ABV:  Grapefruit and hops mead.  Dry to semi-dry.  Floral and citrus notes, tart, and definitely hopped (although mild, I’m just a wuss when it comes to hops)!  Not a fan, but one or two folks at the table were.

Tahitian Honeymoon, 13.5% ABV:  Tahitian vanilla bean mead, oak barrel aged.  Semi-dry.  Lovely vanilla, honey, and oak notes.  The vanilla notes were on the tart side, and the barrel influence was moderate.  Kinda wine-like.  I enjoyed this one (my fourth favorite).

Amnesia, 14% ABV:  Cyser (made from apples & honey) with Welsh Mugwort.  Semi-dry.  Check out this issue of American Mead Maker for an article on Superstition and the backstory on Amnesia, which was a Welsh collaboration.  It tasted like cyser with a hint of weird herbal notes to me.  A couple folks at the table didn’t mind it though.

Let Them Eat Cake, 12% ABV:  Raspberry mead.  Semi-dry.  Sweet raspberry scent, but this was a drier tart mead.  This one was rather well received at our table.  Not bad.

Maple Stinger, 13.5% ABV:  Maple mead, bourbon barrel aged.  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Maple-oak scent.  Maple start and barrel notes with the finish.  Not too much honey flavor came through.  Longer finish.  Awesome!  My second favorite.  I don’t remember anyone else at the table noting they liked it though.  I’m a huge maple and barrel aged fan however.

Mad Hatter, 16.5% ABV:  Apple, mango, and Belgian dark candi mead.  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  I picked up berry notes in the scent oddly enough.  Tart.  All in all weird; I just didn’t get this one, and it seemed to have too many competing flavors.  I think it was aptly named!  I don’t think anyone at our table liked it too much.

Marion Mead, 13.5% ABV:  Marion berry, blueberry, and raspberry mead.  On the sweeter side of semi-sweet.  Very berry indeed.  Nicely balanced tart-sweet.  This was a big crowd pleaser at our table, but I wasn’t too big of a fan (I’m usually not too impressed by berry ciders though, so I wasn’t surprised).

Safeword, 12% ABV:  Belgian Dark Strong Mead (BDSM).  Sweet.  I picked up brown sugar, molasses, and a hint of coffee.  Slight herbal & spiced finish.  Very complex.  Another crowd pleaser at our table.  My third favorite.  However, I don’t think I’d want more than a small glass of it, as it was really rich.  I bet this would taste awesome warm.  This is the mead our friend who recommended Superstition said was his favorite, and it was my husband’s favorite.

Honey Highway, 12% ABV:  Prickly pear mead aged in new oak barrels.  Sweet.  Smelled of honey, tartness, and oak.  This one was pretty weird, and I don’t think any of my table mates liked it.  I didn’t find that the prickly pear directly came across; it only seemed to add tartness.

Ragnarok, 14% ABV:  Mead with local catclaw honey and mango nectar.  Sweet to very sweet (more like a desert mead I think).  The honey flavor came across with this mead more than the others.  Very smooth.  Lovely tropical notes.  I had this with the flight, then ordered another taster, as it was my favorite.  Well-hidden ABV.  Bold flavors.  This was another crowd pleaser at the table.  Amazing!

Barrel Aged Ragnarok, 14% ABV:  The same as above but barrel aged.  Sweet to very sweet.  As I was drinking the second Ragnarok taster, I realized they had an off-flight barrel aged version of it!  So, I ordered a taster and compared the two side by side.  Definitely oak barrel notes, mild to moderate.  Even smoother than the regular Ragnarok.  I think barrel aging really makes any cider or mead better.

Overall Superstition Meadery was a tad pricey (especially the bottles to take home), but its a local craft product, mead is expensive to produce, and we were on vacation.  I kinda wished they had half size bottles as many dessert wines do instead of the 750s, as that cuts down the commitment (both quantity and cost).  My husband had to convince me a bit to drop the $48 on my favorite mead there, the Barrel Aged Ragnarok, as that is far more than I’ve ever spent on a bottle of anything.  Their bottles were $28-$48 for 750ml (compared to $25 at Æsir Meadery for reference).

I was surprised they didn’t charge any more for the barrel aged version of the Ragnarok versus the regular, considering a barrel costs hundreds of dollars, and the mead ages for months or possibly years, taking up floor space and tying up money.  Its awesome they had so many barrel aged meads.  I learned they have a broker they use just to obtain barrels.  Also, they collaborate with some folks such as breweries to pass the barrels back and forth, which will add different flavor notes.  Check out the Barrel page on their website for great info.

However, in the end I was happy to splurge, and I think alcohol makes a great souvenir.  Apparently mead can stay open for quite awhile in the fridge as it doesn’t oxidize very quickly, so I’ll probably open a bottle when the mood strikes and work on a bottle for awhile.  I’m intrigued to try these warm, as I liked the mead selections at Æsir best when warm.  I ended up getting a bottle each of the Barrel Aged Ragnarok and Maple Stinger.  I had come prepared with bags, rubber bands, and bubble wrap, and am happy to report both bottles made it home in our checked luggage safely.  I should have taken a photo of my handiwork as it looked pretty funny.

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<
meads & merchandise for sale, and the bottles I took home>

I even got a chance to try the Tahitian Honeymoon mead again later in the night at Granite Mountain Brewing down the street.  They offer one mead and one cider from Superstition (on tap) at a time, but were out of the cider (although I probably would have chosen the mead anyways).  My drinking buddies all enjoyed their beer from there, and we were happy to find their outdoor patio tucked way in the back, to escape the ever-present live music which was way too loud to be able to converse.

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I highly recommend Superstition Meadery if you find yourself in Prescott AZ, or if you can find them elsewhere.  They have the most availability in AZ, a couple spots in CA, IA  (soon), and even Denmark, Singapore, Japan, and Thailand (soon).  They will also soon be shipping bottles to 33 states through VinoShipper (same as Æsir; VinoShipper appears to be the only mead-friendly online market).  Check out the Availability page on their website.

They are also expanding.  To start, they have secured a production facility location at the Prescott airport, where they plan to make most of their meads, and only make sours (which they don’t currently sell yet) at the current tasting room.  I really wish we still lived in Prescott as Superstition Meadery has a club where you get special access (such as tasting their mead experiments), behind the scenes info, special releases etc.  They actually have a waiting list just to get into the club next year!

So, you may ask, how does Superstition compare to the meads I had from Æsir (and to a lesser extend, Moonlight)?  I think they are all rather on-par for quality, but they had as many similarities as differences in their flavors.  From each I preferred the sweeter selections, as I found them more flavorful.  I’ve also confirmed I don’t like spiced or overly tart mead, same as I don’t like spiced or overly tart or bitter cider.  However, just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean you won’t; they make so many varieties of mead & cider for a reason!

My Visit to Æsir Meadery in Everett WA

When I found out there was a local meadery not too far from me, I had to visit!  Yes, its not cider, but I find mead to have some similarities, and I like it, and its my blog.  I hadn’t thought I liked mead, after trying two varieties I thought were pretty horrible.  However, lately I’ve had some selections from Moonlight Meadery (out of NH) that were quite awesome.  I found out about Æsir (pronounced ah-see-er) Meadery from Erika of Full Throttle Bottles, who posted a link to vote for them for the best “winery” of Western Washington (a yearly King 5 News series).  By the way, through the power of social media, Æsir Meadery has been battling for the lead with the usual yearly winner (and traditional grape winery) Chateau Ste. Michelle.  Æsir is much much smaller than Chateau Ste. Michelle, been around for much less time, and doesn’t even make traditional wine!  The voting is far from over though, so we’ll see how it turns out.

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<Æsir Meadery’s lovely logo painted on the back wall>

Mead by the way is technically a type of wine, but it is made from fermenting honey & water.  Mead usually has an ABV similar to grape wine (Erik’s varieties appeared to range 11-17%), and may be drier or sweeter.  Æsir had selections from dry to sweet, although more sweet than dry (I didn’t find any to be overly sweet either).  I was able to try 7 selections, 5 of which were available in bottles to take home that day.  Æsir is definitely a micro-meadery, and is currently operating out of a garage literally in an alley.  Everything is done by hand (he unfortunately has never used his awesome steel tank pictured below) and its definitely a labor of love.  His methods however have advanced a bit from the olden days of mead.

Mead is thought to be the oldest alcoholic beverage.  It was originally discovered when a bee hive with honey would fill with rain water and the wild yeast would ferment it into mead.  The mead making process was then moved inside, and made purposely, where they would ferment it in barrels.  If they found a batch with a yeast strain they liked, they would stir it with a “yeast stick” (giant wood paddle) and save it for their next batch.  Erik still uses the yeast stick method!  He described starting out with commercial yeast strains, but happened across a strain he liked better, and continues to use it.  Note that Erik only minimally filters the meads as filtration can also remove flavor.

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<some of the meads we sampled>

I thought that sampling mead in the alley out of little plastic cups was more legit than many of the fancy tasting rooms which make you question whether they actually make their products there! Æsir Meadery is currently open Thursday-Sunday, noon-6pm, in downtown Everett WA (2625 Colby Ave).  I visited with my husband on a Saturday, just after noon.  We had two folks we didn’t know who joined us in our tasting as they were there at the same time.

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<this is the entire operation; in the photo is yours truly in the
teal fleece on the left and Erik in the Æsir t-shirt on the right>

Æsir is a one man operation, started & run by Erik Newquist.  He has degrees in Microbiology and Chemistry, which brings a scientific background to the art of mead making.  Erik has been making mead for over 14 years, but established Æsir in 2012.  He started making mead in college (Oregon State in Corvallis) with his roommate.  The mead making continued after college, but only for himself, parties, gifts, etc.  After spending time at unfulfilling corporate jobs, he decided to make the jump to starting a mead making business.  That process started in 2011, with a class on writing a business plan, and overall strategizing.  The first commercially available bottles of Æsir mead were sold in April 2014.  The company name and logo is based on Nordic mythology, a nod to Erik’s Scandinavian  heritage.  Check out this issue of American Mead Maker starting on page 11 for an article on the birth of Æsir Meadery!

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<Erik recently had some big groups in, so this was all he had bottled>

Erik uses local WA honey and as many other local ingredients as possible (except when for example a fruit or spice isn’t grown here).  Although honey is primarily produced in the Spring & Summer, thankfully it is available year-round, including in a 700 lb barrel size that Erik has used!  It was clear that he loves what he does.  Although mead is very much a niche beverage (much more so than cider), there are actually a few other local meaderies in the area, both smaller & larger, and plans in work for a few more.  Erik doesn’t sell any kegs at this time, but is working on it.  His bottled mead can however be found in a few Seattle area bottle shops (such as Full Throttle Bottles & Special Brews) and restaurants/bars, which he self-distributes to.  He is also working on getting in with VinoShipper, which would enable his meads to be sold online and shipped to 21 states!  Due to his planned meadery move and current projects (the “tasting room” is his workshop after all), the garage was a bit of a construction zone, so I wasn’t able to get the greatest photos.

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<his sweet carrying bag for mead samples>

My tasting notes really don’t do Æsir’s meads justice.  I’ll admit I have little mead experience, so I’m not even going to try to do full reviews…just list what I tried, a few notes, and my favorites.

Blackberry Honey (Nott, meaning Night):  Made using blackberries from Tulalip WA and blackberry honey from Eastern WA.  Dry to semi-dry.  Milder blackberry-honey flavor, tart, with some citrus notes.

Pomegranate (Slip of the Tongue):  Made using fresh pomegranites (from Southern CA as they aren’t grown in WA).  Semi-dry.  Tart pomegranate-honey-berry flavor.  I picked up citrus in this one again, which Erik commented was likely from the yeast strain he uses.

Haitian Spice:  Made using buckwheat honey from Arlington WA with a secret family blend of spices from a friend of Erik’s.  This was originally made specifically for a “Game of Thrones” event, but it was a big hit, so the variety has continued.  Semi-sweet to sweet.  There was definitely a lot of spice with this one, not just in amount, but complexity.  I honestly wasn’t a fan of this one (too much spice for me; I don’t usually like spiced anything).  It was however the favorite of our tasting companions.  Erik wouldn’t share all of the proprietary spices, but we learned they include a bit of habanero and orange rind.  I picked up cinnamon & cloves, but apparently they weren’t included.  Its interesting what we can pick up in an alcoholic beverage that isn’t actually there!  I’ve definitely learned this from my cider tasting experience.  This mead has a unique smokey / tobacco-type flavor which was probably my favorite part of it.

Licorice Root (Hunter’s Blessing):  This isn’t the black licorice (anise & fennel) that we think of, but was made using the milder root of the licorice plant and blackberry honey.  Sweet.  He didn’t tell us at first what the flavor was, but wanted us to guess.  I was thinking caramel, but not quite.  There was a bit of burn with this one too, but not nearly as much.  We started out drinking it just below fridge temperature, but Erik set up a sweet plastic cup double boiler using warm water and had us heat up the mead a bit.  Wow–what a difference.  A completely different (mellowed) flavor profile.  I honestly didn’t like it cold, but when warm, it was amazing!

Citrus (Midsummer’s Sleep):  Made using mineloas, naval oranges, and Marshall lemons from the Farmer’s Market stand up the street from Æsir in Everett WA, with blackberry honey.  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Bold citrus flavor without too much tartness, and without the citrus overpowering the honey notes.  Yum!  I also liked this one best warm.  I’m a huge citrus fan, especially lemon.  My husband thought this would taste awesome with hops, and Erik said he is looking into it.

So, those were the five varieties he had available to buy bottles of.  We also tried one experimental batch, and some of his “Traditional” mead he found a sample size bottle of!  (he thought he was completely out)  He had an entire table of experimental batches plus more in the fridge.  The weekend we visited he also started a batch of peach mead, which sounds amazing.

Madagascar Vanilla & Spanish Saffron:  This was one of those lets see what is in the kitchen pantry to add to mead sort of experiments.  Semi-sweet to sweet.  I picked up the vanilla, but wouldn’t have been able to identify the Saffron.  Again, the additions were nicely done and didn’t overpower the mead’s honey notes.

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<carboy of Madagascar Vanilla & Spanish Saffron mead with bubbler>

Traditional:  This is a mead without any other flavor additions.  Sweet.  Lovely honey flavor (and even texture).  Its really hard to come up with any actual descriptors, but it was amazing!  Some honeycomb and floral notes.  I thought this mead was a bit more viscous than the others, which I like.  Very complex for its simplicity.

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<the new bottles are very cool; every gold area is cut out so the color of the mead will shine through>

My favorites were the Traditional, Citrus, and Licorice Root.  We learned he is barrel aging his Traditional mead in two small Woodinville Whiskey barrels for a year and a half.  I really want some of that!  It will be a small release in the near future, probably about 70 bottles max (although the barrels are 8 gallons they lose some mead to evaporation).  So, if you are interested, sign up for his newsletter on the Æsir Meadery Facebook page so you’ll be notified when it is released.  I love barrel aged ciders, so I’m really looking forward to barrel aged mead!

I ended up purchasing a bottle of Citrus ($25 for 750ml, which I think is very reasonable given the product).  I would have liked to get several bottles of mead, but I have way too much cider at home to be buying mead on top of that.  I was very happy to learn however that Erik has found his meads can last weeks or more in the fridge after opening (as long as they are well-sealed), as they don’t oxidize nearly as quickly as wine.  He was out of Traditional (my favorite), so I had to decide between the Citrus and Licorice Root.  My husband’s choice was Citrus, so that is what we bought!  I couldn’t fathom walking away from there empty handed, so one bottle seemed like a good compromise.

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<the variety our tasting companions wanted wasn’t in bottles, so Erik made up a bottle right there!>

If you are in the Seattle area and interested in mead, in addition to visiting Æsir Meadery, check out this mead making class that Erik is teaching on Sat Oct 17 through the Nordic Heritage Museum:

2015-09-26 12.12.21

I hope you enjoyed this writeup from my visit to Æsir Meadery!  Have any suggestions for Seattle-area places for me to visit?