Recipe: Four Polish Style Meads

So, for this one, it is less of a recipe and more a brief description of each mead and their proportions of honey to water. Each one was made with juice of limes, zest of limes, wildflower honey, and about one pound each of buckwheat honey.

The stronger of the four meads will be step fed their remaining amounts of honey so as not to overwhelm the yeast initially with massive gravities. Will add nutrients during every honey addition.

Made a huge starter of K1V-1116. This way, I can compare and contrast the four styles and see how they age side by side, as well as determine later if I’ll oak some and not others, etc. etc.

Czwórniak is made by using 3 parts of water to every one part of honey. I expect a fairly dry result here.

Trójniak has 2 parts of water to every one part of honey, and I expect a semi-sweet finish.

Dwójniak has one part each of honey and water. This one will be very sweet, take a very long time to age, and is being stepfed the remaining fifteen pounds of honey that are to go into it.

Półtorak is the big daddy here. The one that will take many, many years before it is properly enjoyed. One unit of honey to each half unit of water. Will be intensely sweet (as well as intensely expensive). I owe this mead an additional 22.5 lbs of honey. Seems excessive for what will be such a small yield, but I’m sticking to it. May manipulate with some spices in secondary, though I am undecided.

Can’t wait to rack these, likely 2-3 months from now.

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Review: Boulevard Smokestack Series Whiskey Barrel Imperial Stout

Another fantastic and very well priced beer from Boulevard’s Smokestack series. Not as good as my personal favourite (the bourbon barrel quad) but great all the same.

Pours black with a rich and thick (and delicious) cappuccino coloured head that hangs out a while. Not much barrel aging on the nose, but hints of coffee and chocolate. The whiskey and oak are in the front if the beer, but linger throughout. Comes in strong and fades into a balance against the contrasting full body and heavy flavour of the stout itself. It is big, earthy, bitter and sweet, coffee beans and chocolate coming through to greet the whiskey tones. As I said, not my favourite, but a phenomenal beer. At 12$ for a 750mL, beware of wooziness!

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Review: Mother’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Three Blind Mice

Gonna keep this short and sweet. Have had this bottle for a good while. The grown up version of the Springfield brewery’s popular and palatable brown ale. Pours a charred wood colour. Bourbon aging heavy on the nose. Also apparent in the beer. A balanced ale of hop and malt equality aged in bourbon barrels. Generic for the style, but satisfying. My biggest complaint is the sharp fizziness of it… It isn’t a creamy carbonation like a lot of barrel aged beers, but instead bears an acidity-fizz that takes away from an otherwise decent beer. The other minor thing is a heavy ethanol back end… But it is a big beer and had the job of following the last few I’ve reviewed!
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Review: Abita Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Abita is a brewery that has never remotely impressed me. Bought this based on relatively low price and the fact that it said ‘barrel-aged.’ I remained fairly skeptical though.
Pours black with a coffee colored, creamy head that dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma fairly potent.. Reminisce of bourbon, vanilla, and some deeper malt notes.
Drinks incredibly. Absolutely stellar…. Thick, creamy, and smooth. Early flavours of custard and cocoa/vanilla give way to the oak and bourbon that lingers throughout the coffee and hop finish. Absolutely awesome. A bit heavy on sweetness, but satisfying and rich. Very happy I bought this, and definitely excited to buy one (or two) more. I hope their brewmaster reads this and follows suit with a line of beer like this, as I was truly impressed.

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Review: Charleville Box of Chocolate

This Ste Genevieve winery and brewery is only an hour north of me. Once a year, around Valentine’s Day they release this chocolate Belgian Quad. Pours a deep brown with a very quickly dissipating head. The nose is sweet with dark chocolate and malt characters. First tastes are heavily malted with a semi sweet chocolate finish. Packs an abv punch. A real treat. Doesn’t age well, so enjoy it while it’s here!

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Review: Spaghetti Western Imperial Chocolate Coffee Stout

Sold through Prairie Artisan Ales and made by Italy’s Brewfist Ales. The gimmick here is that it is brewed with Spaghetti… Odd as it sounds. Paid $6.29 for this 11.2oz bottle.

Camera wasn’t working on my phone, but this beer pours black with a heavy head of lingering, mocha coloured carbonation. Pronounced espresso aroma. The flavour has nothing to do with spaghetti, but is instead a full and rich coffee stout. The flavour is  a better coffee taste than I’m used to in a beer, with hints of fine dark chocolate throughout. The bitterness on the back end is accompanied by a pleasant and lasting coffee taste. I enjoyed this beer at 55°F.

I’m rather impressed with this one. Very rich in flavor and satisfying. I hope my little craft store still has some of these, as I purchased this one back in October.