Olde Mead (Oak Aged Honey Wine with Elderflowers) – Middle Mountain Meadery (BC, Canada)

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Olde Mead (Oak Aged Honey Wine with Elderflowers) – Middle Mountain Meadery, 14% ABV – 750ml., (Hornby Island, BC, Canada)

*Taking a break from beer and drinking something else for the first time this year. MEAD. Oh yeah.

from the Middle Mountain Mead website:

“This sublime wine is the perfect way to enjoy the delicious subtleties of fermented honey. Lightly oaked, and finished with a hint of fresh elderflowers, this mead will entice…”

  • Style: (Elderflower, oak-aged) Flavoured Mead
  • Taste: Wet oak herbacious elderflower apple medium acidic alcoholic.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek Liquor Store
  • How much: $28 (after 10% off) – 750ml., March 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: just try it once

Visual: Synthetic cork sealed and shrink aluminum wrapped. Pours a very light clear yellow, with some bubbles settled at the base of the glass.

Nose: Chinese soy-veggie-tofu stir-fry, (i’m serious) (7/10)-pungency

Attack: flat-watery texture

Mid-palate: (4)-sweetness, (6)-sour-acidity, (7)-tanginess, (MAIN) grassy elderflower, wet oak, green apple, almost salty.

Finish: alcoholic bitterness, throat warmth, light fruity finish.

Summary: Despite the strange nose, this is actually quite drinkable. Quite different.

Cranberry-Red Currant Mead – Middle Mountain Meadery (Hornby Island, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B-

Cranberry-Red Currant Mead – Middle Mountain Meadery, 12% ABV – 750ml., (Hornby Island, BC, Canada)

from the Middle Mountain Mead website:

“Smooth, dry and full of flavour…. It has been the summer drink of choice and is wonderful served over ice with a splash of soda.”

  • Style: (cranberry, red currant) Flavoured Mead
  • Taste: fruity dense sugar -> alcohol/tart/cranberry/apple -> red currant/tart/off-dry finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek Liquor Store
  • How much: ~$23 (after 10% off) – 750ml., sometime in 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: just try it once

Visual: Synthetic cork sealed and shrink aluminum wrapped. Pours pale pink-orange, clear as water, with a few countable bubbles settled at the bottom of the glass. Quite a unique colour.

Nose: acidic fruity red-berry mixed with very easily detectable alcohol. The alcohol aroma almost overpowers the flavour notes. (8/10)-pungency

Attack: incoming cranberry fruitiness, dense sugar/alcoholic bitterness

Mid-palate: (7)-tart texture, (4)-sweetness, (6)-tanginess, (MAIN) cranberry, apple (HINT) honey.

Finish: red currant-flavoured nasal exhale, off-dry tart, mildly spiced finish.

Summary: Flavours are rather light on the palate, while the textures play more of prominent role. Very fruit-forward, a good amount of residual sugar, but the alcohol is a little too detectable.

Lavender Cranberry Mead – Middle Mountain Meadery (Hornby Island, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Lavender Cranberry Mead – Middle Mountain Meadery, 12% ABV, 375ml, (Hornby Island, BC, Canada)

from the Middle Mountain Mead website:

“This is a special mead with a lovely lavender bouquet. Herbs play a strong role in this mead, giving it truly ethereal flavours. Try sipping this wine and let the magically relaxing effects of lavender take hold. It was voted one of the top 101 things to eat and Drink in the 2009 Vancouver Magazine edition.”

  • Style: (lavender-cranberry) flavoured Mead
  • Taste Profile: sweet/sour/supple -> apple cider vinegar/tart/cranberry/lavender -> alcohol warmth/spicy heat/sweet-tart finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $23 – 375ml, April 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: yes, just to try.

Visual: Pours a very light orange with a hint of purple. Miniscule sedimentation in the pour.

Nose: apple cider vinegar and cranberry on the nose. (6)-aromatic strength.

Attack: incoming sweet and acidic sourness, supple mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (MAIN) apple cider vinegar, (7)-sourness, (5)-tartness, (5)-sweetness (HINT) cranberry, lavender

Finish: light-medium alcohol warmth, medium-heat spicy, sweet-tart finish.

Summary:  Quite interesting and sippable at room. It’s got a nice balance of sweet-fruit-sour-tart-spice-alcohol in there. (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Green Tea Elixir Mead – Middle Mountain Meadery (Hornby Island, BC, CAN)

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  • My Rating: C+

Green Tea Elixir Mead (Green Tea & Ginger)- Middle Mountain Meadery, 11.8% ABV – 750ml, (Santa Cruz, California, USA)

from the Middle Mountain Mead website:

“Finally, a wine that’s perfect with Asian food! This mead is made with GINGER, a blend of SENCHA and JASMINE TEA and BC GINSENG. Last but not least, it has been INFUSED WITH NETTLES and has a lovely green colour. Heat it like sake or drink it at room temperature. Who knew a wine could taste like this.”

  • Style: (Tea, ginger, ginseng) Spiced Mead
  • Taste Profile: sweet/alcohol/tangy -> ginseng/honey/apple -> warm/ginger/green tea/sweet tannic finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $23, Sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine drinkers: yes

Visual: Unfortunately the label doesn’t list the other ingredients on the label which is shame since BC ginseng and jasmine tea sound very intriguing with mead. Pours light white wine yellow, clear as water with tiny bubbles settled at the bottom of the glass.

Nose: bright mead, red apple, jasmine

Attack: dense sweetness(8/10), subdued alcohol, light tangy sourness

Mid-palate: (MAIN) ginseng bitterness, light honey, red/green apple

Finish: alcoholic warmth, light-med ginger burn, green tea exhale, light tannic semi-sweet finish.

Summary: A nicely constructed mead with unique ingredients that work well together.

Cyser Apple Honey Wine – Middle Mountain Meadery (Hornby Island, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Cyser Apple Honey Wine – Middle Mountain Meadery, 13.2% ABV – 750ml, (Hornby Island, BC, Canada)

from the Middle Mountain Mead website:

“Cyser is traditional mead made with apples. Ours is intensely complex with the rich flavour of organic, heritage apples and intriguing sage overtones. Dark amber in colour, this wonderfully smooth mead will enchant you.

  • Style: (Apple) Mead
  • Taste Profile: non-spicy jalapeno -> sweet apple/honey -> tart/tangy/sweet finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $23 (after 10% off in-store)/($20 online), March 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to the curious: no

Tasting notes: pours light white wine yellow. Light apple juice and “that” jalapeno/bell pepper vegetation on the nose.

Attack: jalapeno pepper (without the spiciness)

Mid-palate: 5/10-dense sweetness, mild apple, honey

Finish: medium tartness, clean tangy light-med sweet finish.

That jalapeno I taste is the same flavour I get when I infuse vodka with jalapenos for a few months. It’s not exactly pleasant but works okay in this case due to the existence of honey in the mix. Overall this is a slightly above average mead because I enjoy it’s drinkability and clean finish.

The Mead of Inspiration – Middle Mountain Meadery (Hornby Island, Canada)

The Mead of Inspiration (Honey Wine with Fruit, Herbs and Spices), 13.0% ABV – 750ml, (Hornby Island, BC, Canada)

on the front side label:

“Our own interpretation of this mead was inspired by our beautiful farm on Hornby Island, which arouses its own sense of mystery and intrigue to all who visit. The ingredients blended, along with pure honey, to create The Mead of Inspiration includes: organically grown and/or wild-crafted salal berries, elderberries, blackberries, oregon grapes, rosehips, arbutus berries, black and red currants, cherries and grapes, as well as herbs and botanicals too numerous to mention. Let a taste be the muse for your creative passion, as it was for the ancients.”

  • Style: Spiced Mead
  • My Rating: B
  • Taste Profile: fruity sweeetness -> rosehips/black&red currant/grapes/cherries -> alcohol warmth
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: $29 (after 10%), March 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to mead aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours clear rose red with a slight orange tinge. Lots of rosehips, red grapes, and blackcurrant on the nose. Tamed fruity 7/10-sweetness up front, tastes of black/red currant, rosehips, grapes, tart cherry, blackberries, cardamom, transitioning into alcohol, medium-cloyingness, med-high tartness and light warmth. Medium-high complexity, medium depth, good transitions, good carry, great drinkability. A mead with a great “wow” factor.