As we have already established, there are many many different styles of beer. Some of these styles are so different it is hard to even believe they are still in the beer family. Just like any family, there are members of the extended family, and I would like to talk about one of those today: Meads. Meads are an alcoholic beverage that is made by fermenting honey and water. Sometimes grain can be used but it is not necessary. This is how meads differ from beer. Honey is the main fermenting agent, while beer uses the sugars broken down from the malts. Now many other ingredients may also be added along the way which will eventually change the mead. One of the top meaderies around is Kuhnhenn located out of Warren, Michigan. They also make very tasty beers as well. I had the great fortune to taste several different meads from this company, and I would like to feature what I was able to try for a blog post today!
Kuhnhenn Shamaretto Mead
Pours a very clear light straw color with very little carbonation. Aroma is sweet honey, some sugary notes, and sweet cherries. Flavor is sweet honey, sugary and some light cherry fruit. Good finish.
Kuhnhenn New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Pyment
Pours a clear yellow color with no carbonation. Aroma is honey, dry sweet notes, woody notes with some faint grapes. Flavor is spicy and tingly. Slightly sweet but mainly dry honeycomb and wooded notes. Sweet finish.
Kuhnhenn Vanilla Gorillabilly Mead
Pours a very clear and light straw. Aroma is straight play-doh. Dry clay notes and sweet cereal. Vanilla is latent. Flavor is an odd mix of super sweet vanilla, cereal marshmelllows with lots of a tingle on the palate.
Kuhnhenn Meritage Pyment
2008 batch. Pours a very clear reddish pink color. No carbonation. Aroma is clay, light fruit, wood and alcohol. Flavor is mix of sweet and sour, dry wine and grapes with a huge tingle. Quite dry on the finish.
Kuhnhenn Cinnamonster’s Revenge
Pours a hazy peach color. Again, no carbonation but it’s not supposed to have any. Aroma is, in a word, CINNAMON!! Very spicy smell, with candles and honey. Flavor is spicy cinnamon and apples. Tastes like cinnamon apples that I get through my Elementary school lunch line. Different.
Kuhnhenn Hopnoxious Amarillo
Pours a clear yellow gold color. I’m just going to start leaving off the no carbonation thing but you get my idea. Aroma is very hoppy. Hopped smell with spice and earthy leaves. Flavor is very sweet honey with a large flavor and sense of hops. Interesting to say the least. Very interesting.
Kuhnhenn Wildflower Mead
Pours a very light straw color. Slight bubbles. Aroma is honey, flower petals, pollen and sweet notes. This smells hot. Flavor is spicy alcohol, dry floral notes and floral notes. Finishes spicy and polleny.
Kuhnhenn Elderberry Melomel
Pours a very pretty dark rouge color. Aroma is dry, and a bit musty. Maybe raisins in this? It’s hard to tell. Flavor matches the smell. Dry raisin notes, small fruity. Sweet and honey.
Kuhnhenn Hopnoxious Cascade
Pours a clear light orange color. Aroma is a very nice grapefruit hop smell. Nice aroma. Flavor is pretty sweet, lots of honey notes and a sense of hops. Not bad!
Kuhnhenn Merlot Pyment
Pours a clear reddish color with a hint of orange. Aroma is fairly subtle. Some light notes of honey but very little smell. Flavor is dry, big alcohol bite, some wood and maybe a hint of fruit. Doesn’t finish too well.
Kuhnhenn Imperial Bourbon Barrel Braggot
Pours a very dark brown color with a light bit of carbonation. Aroma is woody, chocolate, bourbon, and sweet honey. Flavor is roasted and sweet honey. Dark flavors and slight roast. Finishes pretty nice.
Kuhnhenn Lingonberry Melomel
Pours a very light orange color. Very light. Aroma is sweet fruit with maybe a jelly bean type of nose. Sweet lemony nose. Great smell. Flavor is very sweet. Candied sugar and fruit, passionfruit and tropical flavors.
Kuhnhenn Blackberry Port Pyment
Pours a dark cherry red color. Aroma is light and subtle. Some fruit and berries. Otherwise light. Flavor is dry and sweet honey. Some light fruit but not much.
Kuhnhenn Black Jelly Bean Mead
Pours a very light straw color. Aroma is very sweet and a mix of other tropical flavors. I suppose the black jelly bean flavor is licorice but this smells sweeter than that. Jelly bean with a perm perhaps. Flavor is very sweet, clay notes with a sugary finish.
Kuhnhenn Dry Ginger Citrus
Pours a light golden color. Aroma is ginger spice, shampoo, soap and shiner ruby redbird. Flavor is fat ginger, super bitter and unflavorful with a bitter soapy finish. Not good.
Kuhnhenn Santa´s Sack Mead
2009 batch. Pours a very light straw color. Aroma is sweet and spicy. Christmas spice, lipstick and perfume. Very sweet flavor. Spicy with perhaps nutmeg or potpourri? Very spicy. Perfume finish.
Kuhnhenn Wildflower Sack Mead
Pours a very light and clear straw color. Aroma is light and sweet. Some light honey and floral notes. Flavor is dark grapes and wine, sweet honey, sugar notes and floral notes. Good.
Shoo! 17 in one night, wow! There were some good ones and there were some not so good ones. Don’t worry, I only had a taste of each. These meads are all fairly high in alcohol and I wouldn’t have had a very cheerful night had I finished all of these. All about enjoying responsibly folks. Cheers!