Green River Ambrosia is a small meadery in Greenfield Massachusetts that got their start in 2007. They joined forces with Katalyst Kombucha in 2013 to form the Artisan Beverage Cooperative. Both companies have strong missions that include environmental stewardship, democratic governance, sustainable agriculture, and building a strong local economy.
Currently Green River Ambrosia is only distributed in Massachusetts and they are not licensed to ship bottles, so unless you’re from mass, its hard to get your hands on some.
Green River Ambrosia’s Bourbon Barrel Buckwheat is a newer part of their small offering. Here’s how they describe it:
Our Bourbon Barrel Buckwheat is a hearty mead made with New York state buckwheat honey. The dark rich flavors of buckwheat honey give this mead a very unique and enjoyable flavor. We condition this mead for over six months in Jack Daniels barrels to balance the intensity of the buckwheat with the flavor and aroma of bourbon and oak.
I love the idea of this style. I think the hearty buckwheat honey would pair nicely with the oak and bourbon from the barrel aging. It pours a nice light amber color.
The mead has a decent aroma – you definitely get the bourbon and oak that you expect, along with some sweet, dark brown sugar notes but there is some alcohol sharpness as well.
The flavors are layered and robust. To start, you notice the sharp bite of the alcohol. Its not the warm bourbon alcohol, but the newer alcohol flavors. The oak then rounds that out and it finishes with sweet buckwheat honey flavors that linger and tingle on the palette.
Overall, I think it could use a little more aging to mellow out the alcohol aromas and flavor that are prevalent throughout. It’s certainly not a casual drinking mead, but better for sipping after a hearty meal.
I really dig the Arts & Crafts style artwork on the front of the bottle and lettering in the “Art Bev” logo tab over the cap. However, the Green River Ambrosia wordmark itself needs some serious refinement and the “Bourbon Barrel Buckwheat” text seems like an afterthought. The font looks out of place and just dropped at the bottom without any consideration. Either go with the arts and crafts font or a sans-serif font that doesn’t compete with the other decorative text. The label was also incredibly wrinkled, combine that with the subtle beehive background, it just looked really messy. Keep going with that Arts and Craft style – but clean up the elements that fall outside of that!