Being from the east coast it’s hard to get west coast mead – especially with Massachusetts’ tired old liquor laws. This is the first Golden Coast Mead I’ve been able to try, but it won’t be the last (well, because i have a handful in my house already). Golden Coast Mead was founded in 2010, but launched more significantly in 2012 with a successful kickstarter campaign.
Their Orange Blossom Mead comes in at 12% ABV, but it drinks similar to its appearance – incredibly light. It pours a pale yellow color with a good amount of carbonation. Large white bubbles that dance around the glass give way to lots of little carbonation bubbles that sit throughout and eventually give way to nice clarity.
The aroma is quite pleasant – lots of citrus notes with a mildly sweet honey backer – this is followed by floral and slightly earthy notes. I can imagine this would be similar to walking through an orange grove when the flowers are in full bloom.
The taste at first is a bit bland, like a seltzer with light flavoring. The carbonation was right where I feel it should be. It adds complexity and slight tingle to the tongue but not so much that it leans toward champaign. I poured it from the refrigerator, and as it warmed, it opened up and more flavors began to present themselves. Light, sweet lemon and orange citrus flavors appear throughout along with some light tropical fruitiness. Overall, it would be nice if those flavors came through a bit more, aside from that it has nice balance.
So, generally I like the direction the label is headed in. There are good ideas in the overall branding strategy – different icons and colors for different varieties allowing the consumer to differentiate, yet consistency in the overall framework allowing them to know they are from the same company – however I feel like there are a lot of little areas areas for improvement and some bigger ones. The biggest being the coloration. The blue and orange remind me of the the opposite coast – New York (mets, knicks, NY licensee plates), not the Golden Coast. The colors are also heavy, especially in the chunky blocks and type that make up the label. It’s such a light mead and that does not come out at all in the visuals. The mead has a great bright character as does the normal Golden Coast logo – none of that comes across on this bottle. It doesn’t have the feel of the Golden Coast brand.
Overall this is a nice example of an Orange Blossom varietal mead. It lets the Orange blossom honey speak for itself, I just wish the voice was a little stronger.
Sounds good to me!
Not sure why branding factors into the score here. Does it taste good or not?! Looks like the answer is yes!!
As a designer I try to provide insight into the branding to be helpful advice for the meadery being reviewed, but also the industry as a whole. Hopefully the critique can help elevate the brand of mead worldwide. A bit of a stretch… maybe, but can’t hurt!