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Friday, October 28, 2016

The Dude's Rug by B. Nektar Meadery

The Dude's Rug - B. Nektar Meadery
The Dude must abide! That little piece of wisdom was ground into a generation of us by Jeffrey Lebowski in "The Big Lebowski" some 18 years ago and for some of us, it still rings true. So when a drink appears on the market that brings about a stir of the same movie, it not only deserved notice, but simply, we must abide and check it out.

Not going into copious detail, but The Dude's Rug by B. Nektar Meadery (Ferndale, MI) really comes across as a total divorce from the standard cidar. Yes, this is cidar, but not like a cidar you have ever really tasted before. Cidar is usually light and the flavor is equally light. Heavy cider is a little more intense, but in the grand scheme of things, its not all that significant. 

The Dude's Rug is different. Way different. This cider is more like winter time candy with intriguing levels that engross you. It has black tea, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Not an apple, peach or pear in the bunch, though it is listed as an apple cider. The manufacturer lays it out this way:

Hard cider with tea and Chai spices

Essential Elements - Apple cider, chai tea (tea with cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla).

Appearance - Dark amber and clear with a foamy white head that dissipates into a thin white rim.

Aroma - Sweet, fresh apples with notes of cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger and raisin.

Experience - Sweet, baked apples followed by a vivid blend of clove and cardamom. Black tea rounds out the flavor and leaves little to no tannin. Medium-bodied with a crisp, red apple skin aftertaste.
The color is dark and the resulting drink is nothing short of spectacular. It tastes like dark, wintery port, or even porter if it had a little more body to it. It was one of those bottles that you wish you had an extra couple of ounces that you could wring out of it. It is 5.5% ABV, which is nice because you are going to come back to this one repeatedly - this could be the cider of the season.

I gave it a rating of 4 1/2 stars in Untappd. The Dude abides and this cider is keeping in that tradition.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Dwarf Invasion! by B. Nektar Meadery

Dwarf Invasion! by B. Nektar Meadery
You know, I like mead. Maybe its my sweet tooth. Mead goes places in the taste realm that beer can't go.  However, mead is kind of limited in where it can take you and that is unfortunate because I could see a number of areas where mead could influence the taste of certain food.  The honey sweet grapey taste of the beverage uniquely places along the beer spectrum.

Enter Dwarf Invasion by B. Nektar Meadery of Ferndale, MI. One of the primary meaderies in the US, the products that come out of B. Nektar Meadery are really on the upside and deservedly so.  Superior grapes, just the right level of sweetness from their honey, and the flavors that surround them make B. Nektar Meadery the places that one has to be beat.

And then their is the Dwarf Invasion.  First off, it is a mead, pure and simple, with water, honey and wine its first three ingredients. But that is where the break occurs, because Dwarf Invasion tastes more like a fruit beer than a mead. As a matter of fact, its taste and texture make it impossible to tell it apart from a fruit beer despite the fact that it has none of the beer ingredients.

Dwarf Invasion is 6% ABV and is made with tart Balaton cherries and Styrian Golden hops to gain a taste that rivals some Belgian cherry beers. The tart cherries and the slightly bitter hops really make this a smooth and supple drinking beer.

The taste if mesmerizing. You know this is mead, but it doesn't look like mead and it certain does not taste that way.  The tart cherries and the slightly bitter hops really make this a smooth and supple drinking beer rather than a mead. It doesn't not slam you back, but rather it lures you into a enchantment and lets you wander out of it. It is just really gentle with you and has no lingering effect, which some meads have in store for you.

Dwarf Invasion is one of several new meads coming from B. Nektar Meadery and I will be on the lookout for the others. Kudos!

Untappd: 4 1/2 stars.