I was sent a couple bottles of mead from the good folks at St. Ambrose Cellars – one of the many meaderies to be coming out of Michigan. St. Ambrose is producing three different types of products, Wine, Estate Meads and Draft Meads. I like how they differentiate their meads like this. I think the “draft style” connotation makes it a little more accessible for consumers who aren’t as familiar with mead.
The Evil Twin falls under their Draft Style Mead category and as I expected, it’s a very drinkable mead, good for easing newbies into the wide world of mead. Evil Twin is a carbonated cherry, ginger mead with 6% abv.
Sometimes bad is good. Star thistle mead adulterated with Montmorency cherries and ginger.
Michigan is known for their cherries, so it makes sense for St. Ambrose to incorporate them into their mead. The Montmorency is a sour cherry variety with a bright red color.
It pours a mahogany color with ample carbonation that fizzes out quickly, leaving a ring of bubbles around the glass. I was expecting a little brighter red, based on the description of the Montmorency cherry.
It has an earthy, musty cherry aroma. It reminds me of cherry cola – more specifically, the cherry bottle caps candy. A little bit of sweet honey comes through in the nose, but I don’t get any ginger.
It has a thick, sweet cherry flavor with slight tartness coming through on the tail end. It sips heavier and sweeter than expected, yet still finds a way to remain refreshing. It would be nicer if the sweetness was toned down a bit while elevating the tartness of the cherries. I only get the ginger in the after-taste – but it does linger long after the sip is swallowed, which i find nice.
I tasted it after a long day of helping my brother-in-law move into his new condo and the chilled temperature, carbonation and tart snap of the cherry and ginger hit the spot.
The 500ml amber glass bottle selection is perfect for the “draft style mead”. It’s the right size for the abv and doesn’t make you feel guilty (or too tipsy) if you drink the whole bottle yourself – I speak from experience.
The playing card illustration on the label works well for the name, but the typography and layout could be improved upon. There are 3 fonts being used in the front – all of which compete with each other. The text is also just dropped on top of the label. It would be nice to see it incorporated into the illustration or framing the content. Right now it’s in no-mans-land. And the yellow text over the yellow image isn’t helping its case. Their icon shows promise. It would be much stronger if the little thin lined face was removed and the line weights cleaned up.
St. Ambrose is definitely headed in the right direction toward “changing the paradigm of mead” – keep pushing forward!