Orchid cellar winery was established in 2006 as Maryland’s first premier meadery by Marzanna and Andrzej Wilk. The Wilks have a family history of home mead and wine making. Their wine influence is prevalent in their brand and offering – no surprise since they have “winery” in their name.
The lumberjack from Orchid Cellars won silver in the cyser category at the 2014 mazer cup. From bottle and label I could already tell it would be a sweet dessert wine style mead. It pours a clear golden color. The aroma is a little overwhelmingly alcohol initially but as it opened up and was given more time to breathe it become sweet and floral.
It is quite sweet and strong, yet it still drinks with balance and complexity. The cyser has a thick, full-bodied mouthfeel. No carbonation. The lumberjack has an incredible boozy warmth to it and at 16% abv it will warm you as well. The apple flavor comes through nicely on the finish with a little spiciness.
Though the label on its own is unrefined, alongside the other offerings, its a nice series. The other Orchid Cellar meads include the Ambrosia, Archer, Beekeeper, Blacksmith, Castellan, Knight, Monk, Hunter, and Big Game Hunter. Together they read like playing cards – each with a similar layout and a picture of their namesake. It could be better if all the figures had the same styling. The spacing of elements and typography should be taken up a notch, and keep the logo consistent throughout the wine, mead, and marketing collateral. I do however like the wooden capped cork. Since it is so strong, its nice to have the the option to reseal it.
I drank the lumberjack in the summer and chilled it slightly but I definitely recommend enjoying in cooler fall or winter weather. Pair it with an tart apple pie or a slice of chocolate cake and drink it in a snifter next to a crackling fire – with wood you chop yourself, of course.