I know, i’ve been slacking on posts so far this year, but I have a good excuse…
My son Greyson was born on Christmas day! My mini mead maker has been taking up a lot of my time lately. But here’s what I’m going to do to make it up to you all. I’m going to do a #MeadReviewWeek! This week, I will be posting a new review each day, so check back tomorrow and the rest of the week for updates. Now onto the first review of the first ever Meadist #MeadReviewWeek.
The Knight from Orchid Cellar Meadery and Winery is a sweet mead made with a recipe attributed to Capuchin monks. Which made me wonder why it’s called “Knight” and not “Monk” – this question was quickly answered when I noticed on their website that they already have a Monk mead from a recipe developed by Bernardine monks. I guess monks really do like mead.
The Knight recipe includes cinnamon, Madagascar vanilla, and ginger root. It is aged in French Oak Barrels for at least 36 months – creating a nice amber color easily seen through their clear glass bottle.
Though it’s a still mead, when poured, the Knight retains some bubbles around the sides of the glass. It has a very nice gradient of golden amber hues, and the way it lingers on the sides of the glass as it swirls, you can tell it’s going to be quite rich.
The Aroma is that of a late harvest or nobel rot dessert wine – Lots of sweet raison with honey sweetness and some oaky earthiness.
It is incredibly sweet, but surprisingly not sickly sweet. The woody oak helps balance the mead. The sip starts sweet with cinnamon spice mingling in the middle which gives way to a little bit of ginger. There’s a little bit of waxiness on the finish. It coats the tongue and lingers nicely. I’m not typically a huge fan of the really sweet meads, but this one has good complexity that can be uncovered as I traverse down my glass.
Orchid Cellar took their branding up several notches since the last time I tried their mead. Their logo is 10x better and matches their higher end wine-style mead much better (though there is still a little room for improvement, like making the weight of the O and C match the rest of the wordmark). The old one was so heavy and clunky, with an icon that, with the gradient at the top, reminded me of a medallion for a car company in the 90’s.
They also improved upon the bottle labels with new illustrations by artist Goodloe Byron. The sketched lines of the knight work nicely with the OC new icon. The purple block, is a nice differentiator when lines up with the rest of their offering, but I feel like along with the heavy “Knight” text, it makes the label a little visually heavy, but I guess that the mead itself is a bit heavy as well. Overall, a great step forward for Orchid Cellar Meadery.