Bliss (Cherry honey wine) – Meadow Vista Meadery (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

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Bliss – Cherry Honey Wine, 12.2% ABV, 500ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada) (*local BC mead*)

printed on the back of the bottle:

“Like you, we love the outdoors, good food and awesome wine. That’s why only 100% pure honey and real fruit go into making our cherry sparkler, Bliss. And now it’s easy to take on your next picnic, back country trip or join us for extreme bocci at the Farm this summer!”

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  • Style: (sparkling, cherry flavoured) Mead
  • Taste: Dense fruity bubbly cherry plum alcoholic honey wine med sour-acidic-tang
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $15 CAD – 500ml., June 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to mead aficionados: yes, and to wine drinkers

Visual: Bailer top. Pours coral pink with clusters of fast activity.

Nose: strawberry-cherry candy, background mead (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp-fine bubbly fizzy

Mid-palate: dense sugars, (lvl-7)-sweetness, CHERRY, PLUM, light tart, medium acidic-sour tang

Finish: light alcoholic honey wine heat, alcohol zingy bitter, fruity exhale.

Summary: Drinks like a hybrid fruit-honey wine, nice touch with bubbly mouthfeel, good structured body and delicious flavours. Solid.

Mabon Spiced Mead – Meadow Vista Meadery (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

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Mabon 2008 Spiced Honey Wine – Meadow Vista Honey Wines, 12.2% ABV – 750ml., (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

on the left side of the front label:

“A warm and spicy metheglin style, Mabon balances just the right amount of coriander, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg with pure BC honey. Pairing well with walnut and goat cheese salad, herb encrusted lamb and your favourite leather chair beside an evening fire.”

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  • Style: (coriander/cardamom/cinnamon/nutmeg) Spiced Mead
  • Taste: Sour-fruity apple-honey spiced acidic alcoholic
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot in Dilworth, Kelowna
  • How much: $30 – 750ml., summer of 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to mead aficionados: didn’t love it & didn’t hate it

Visual: Pours white wine yellow without any bubbles.

Nose: sweet honey wine mixed with distinct cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, very clean. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: big acidity

Mid-palate: (lvl-3)-sweetness, alcoholic bitterness, (MAIN) red apple, light honey, white grape, green cardamom/cinnamon/nutmeg

Finish: tangy-sour acidity, alcoholic throat warmth, coriander, medium tart apple-fruity off-dry finish.

Summary: Although a little “thin”-feeling on the palate, this mead is well-balanced in flavour, alcohol, and complexity. Too much acidity/sourness for me to love.

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)

Cloud Horse Mead – Meadow Vista Honey Wines (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Cloud Horse Mead 2008- Meadow Vista Honey Wines, 11.8% ABV, 750ml, (West Kelowna, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Piper (future Queen Bee) spotted the perfect cloud shape of a cantering horse in the sky while we were mixing our first batch of honey wine. Cloud Horse is a ‘varietal honey traditional mead’ style wine, using honey from a SINGLE FLOWER SOURCE. Enjoy this crisp, dry white honey wine on a blanket in a field watching the clouds go by.”

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  • Style: Mead
  • Taste Profile: dense fruity sugars -> honey/red apple/pear/vanilla -> tangy/sour/off-dry finish.
  • Where I got it : Hotel Eldorado (Kelowna)
  • How much: $27, Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: no

Visual: Winner of the ‘Best Winery at WINEFEST 2010 in Edmonton & Calgary’, a golden sticker is affixed to the bottle neck. Pours clear light golden yellow with a hint of orange colour.

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Nose: light tangy red apples and minerality

Attack: dense apple fruit (6/10)sweetness

Mid-palate: cuts off-dry, (MAIN) honey, red apple, melon, pear (HINT) vanilla

Finish: mild tannic, tangy, sour, off-dry fruity finish

Summary: Nothing too memorable. Good balance and flavours, but not something that wow’d me.

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.

Daringa Mead – Daringa Cellars (South Australia)

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  • My Rating: A

Daringa Mead – Daringa Cellars, 10.0% ABV – 75cl, (McLaren Vale, South Australia)

on their website:

“Mead is one of the oldest beverages known to man. In Greek Mythology it was known as Ambrosia “The Nectar of the Gods”. Because of its legendary qualities as an aphrodisiac it became known as the honey moon drink. It is naturally fermented from Australian honey and does not contain any added alcohol.

MULLING: The recipe contains a special selection of spices, which make mead ideal for mulling. A popular practice in coaching inns of Olde-England, a red hot poker from the open fire was plunged into a tankard of mead to heat it, to warm the cockles of the hearts of weary travelers. Today, an “electronic hot poker” in the form of the microwave oven can be used to “mull” mead.”

  • Style: Spiced Mead
  • Taste Profile: Sweet red apple -> cloves/cinnamon/nutmeg/caramel -> tart/honey/mellow sweet finish.
  • Where I got it: Firefly
  • How much: $23 (after 10% off), December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: YES!
  • Would I recommend this to mead drinkers: yes

Visual: Screw-top, cool font and label. Pours clear auburn with some large bubbles clinging to side of the glass.

Nose: Strong cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and apple cider.

Attack: dense 8/10-sweet apple-spiced sugars, dessert wine viscosity

Mid-palate: red apple, cloves at the forefront, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel

Finish: mild tartness, honey warmth, clean mellow sweet finish.

Wow this is an extremely easy-to-drink spiced mead. It must be the fact that the spices go so well with the mead that this hardly tastes like mead at at all. In fact this drinks more like mulled apple juice with alcohol hidden in the background. I can confidently say that I could polish off a bottle of this by myself any day of the week.

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.

Tugwell Creek Kickass Currant 2009 Mead (Canada)

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  • My Rating: C-

Kickass Currant 2009 Black Currant Melomel – Tugwell Creek Meadery, 12.0% ABV – 750ml, (Sooke, BC, Canada)

On the front label:

“A full bodied Black Currant honey wine with a robust fruity nature. Intense cassis and rich mouth appeal combine with a subtle honey background and a kiss of French Oak. Try pairing with your favourite red or cured meats or wild game.”

  • Style: (fruit) Mead
  • Taste Profile: tart/tangy/sour -> off-dry cassis/grape/tart/alcohol -> tart rough/alcoholic/dry finish
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: ~$33, sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to the curious: no

Tasting notes: Pours a clear dark reddish-purple. Lively cassis on the nose with all it’s tang and natural aroma.

Attack: super 10/10-tartness from the black currant, 7/10-tanginess

Mid-palate: 3/10-sweetness (off-dry), cassis, fruity red grape, lingering aggressive tartness, cuts dry, induced salivation, alcohol detection

Finish: tart roughness in the mouth, light alcoholic warmth, dry-rough mouthfeel finish.

This is definitely a wine that has to be paired with a meal – preferable with something meaty or saucy. I can’t say I love it but I do like cassis so hey I can’t hate it.

Tugwell Creek Brazen Blackberry Mead (Canada)

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  • My Rating: C

Brazen Blackberry 2008 Honey Berry Wine – Tugwell Creek Meadery, 13% ABV – 500ml, (Sooke, BC, Canada)

On the front label:

“This robust blackberry honey wine is rich and rewarding. Hints of honey and warm summer blackberry flavours pair well with rich meat dishes, pastas, or your favorite cheeses.”

  • Style: (fruit) Mead
  • Taste Profile: incoming alcohol -> dry/blackberry/alcohol/tart/honey -> rough/dry/alcohol.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $32, sometime 2009
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to the curious: no

Tasting notes: Pours a nice clear dark rose colour, with a few bubbles at the base of the glass. Fruity blackberry on the nose, with a hint of apple.

Attack: subdued alcohol in the background, tingling, bold

Mid-palate: 1/10-sweetness, almost completely dry, very blackberry fruit-forward, alcohol, medium tartness, mild honey in the background

Finish: slightly roughish on the tongue, lingering dryness, mild alcohol detection

All-in-all not too fabulous nor shabby. It’s not something that I would pop open and enjoy but I can at least enjoy it for what it is. I’m not super fond of dry beverages.