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.

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale (Australia)

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale 2009, 7.5% ABV – 375ml, (South Australia)

On the front label:

“Coopers Vintage has been brewed with choice malts and an extended top fermentation to provide a strong flavoursome ale. Stored under cellar conditions the rich and full flavour of Coopers Vintage will become more complex over an extended period.”

  • Style: English Strong Ale
  • My Rating: B
  • Taste Profile: bittersweet caramel -> toffeed malts -> slightly water mid-finish -> soft malty bitter finish
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek (?)
  • How much: ~$5, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: for aging purposes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours reddish brown, small head, micro CO2. Tastes of bittersweet caramel, toffee, and 5/10 sweet malts. Lingering bitter finish, medium bodied, medium complexity, medium depth. Above average silky mouthfeel, good complexity, good carry, good transitions, good drinkability. Overall solid when in a chilled glass.