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?

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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:

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