Yule Harvest, 2011

Quite a harvest after the bottling session today:

Bottled three batches today: Spruce Tip Mead, Raspberry Damiana Mead, and Cherry/Red Ginseng Mead. If I may say so, all three batches are excellent in their own right, and for very different reasons.

For the Spruce Tip Mead, this is not the first time I’ve made an evergreen brew. They do hold a special place in my heart; last year’s spruce mead was surprisingly one of the best ones I did all year. This years is no different, though the flavor is different from last years. It’s still very sweet, but it still tastes like Yule.

When talking about the Raspberry Damiana the first thing I should mention is its incredibly vibrant color. Deep red, one of the most gorgeous batches since the Wild Black Cherry and the Prickly Pear. To be honest, at first I was a bit disappointed with the flavor when I racked it; it had a bit of a “cough syrup” vibe to it with the herbal damiana and the sweet-fruity flavor mixed together. I’m happy to say that the cough-syrupiness has faded significantly since then, and it is delicious! Will be a favorite I think.

Finally, the Cherry Red Ginseng is surprising precisely for its lack of color. I did use fewer cherries than last year, and the cherries I did use were not as ripe — bright red rather than deep black. However the mead turned out… yellow. Go figure. That said, it is beautifully clear and might be the most delicious of these three batches.

I’m definitely grateful for a bountiful Yule harvest! Happiness is…. a full mead cabinet.