Thursday, December 9, 2010

438. Scott Young Happy Critters Meadery Flathead Cherry Mead

Scott is another of the rabble-rousers in my local brew club, DRAFT. He’s an accomplished mead maker—his labels feature his cat and dog on the label, although the “happy critters” he’s referring to are those of us who get to drink the contents of the bottle. Or at least I’m assuming that’s who the happy critters Scott’s label refers to; I don’t think he is feeding his pets mead, although you never do know with Scott. He gave me this bottle a little over a year ago (it was brewed in 2008, and has the number 51 written next to the year), and I’ve been waiting to manufacture an excuse to try it. Is the desire to write this post too transparent?

Pouring a deep rich but slightly murky reddish brown—it was clear until I put it in the fridge to chill it a touch—Flathead Cherry Mead has a tart cherry and honey nose mixed with a touch of alcohol—there is a slight sweetness, but also a bit of sharper or younger alcohol mixed in with the other aromas. As it warms, the aromas meld into a pleasant cherry candy aroma. When swirled in the glass, it does exhibit some legs on the glass, and there are nice garnet highlights that flicker on the table when light shines through the fluid. Flathead Cherry Mead starts sweet and simultaneously tart—sweet from the honey and tart from the cherries. Cherry flavor emerges in the middle along with more of the tartness, and the finish is dry and lightly minerally with some warmth from the alcohol. There is a flicker of sweetness that returns in the finish; however, while there is sweetness across the profile, the mead is also very dry, which helps accentuate the tartness and cherry flavor. I’ve had other bottles with Scott that had more residual sweetness in the body, but I might be a fan of the tarter, drier version—there is a slight puckering component that I find refreshing, although slightly un-mead like. The body is medium, and since this is a still mead, there is no carbonation. This mead is delicious now, but it does taste a bit young (and not Scott Young)—the alcohol dissipates as the mead warms and the tartness exerts itself, which also allows the cherry flavor to come to the foreground, but it doesn’t quite disappear completely. Ah, time, you cruel mistress—you make things better, but it is so hard to wait. Nice work, Scott—I look forward to seeing how this mead continues to develop over time.


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