But first, a mead!
Surprisingly enough, mead has really taken off recently in the Sunshine State. Has it been around for years? Of course, but it has really gotten big recently.
One locale that has embraced the goodness of honey wine is, interestingly enough, Miami. I did not expect the Magic City to support something like this, but here we are; two meaderies in.
The first is Beat Culture, started as a brewery but whose co-founder Alan Espino has branched off into “all things fermentable.” Not just beer and mead, but even sake and hot sauce. Yes, hot sauce. Don’t worry, I’m getting a bottle the next time I’m down there.
The other is Ceiba, where Sean McClain and his co-founders are making a variety of meads, with ciders and country wines (re: non-grape wine). They don’t have a tap room yet, but their facility is in the newer Bird Road Arts District just off the Palmetto Expressway and home to both Lincoln’s Beard and Unseen Creatures.
Since Beat Culture and Ceiba recently collaborated on a mead, it was probably an easy jump to name this after Ceiba’s fledgling operation Off The Palmetto (Mead, 14% ABV).
What it doesn’t do is name the star of the show. Sure, locally sourced honey from The Native Guy provides for a great classic Mead (which I will review later), but it’s guanabana that comes out swinging.
Also known as soursop, the guanabana fruit is a giant spiky green fruit, almost as if Lady Gaga’s production team was tasked with jazzing up the Super Bowl. There’s all sorts of good flavors of apple, pineapple, banana, even some soured flavors that give the guanabana its other name.
When it came time for the mead, they aged it on oak and blended it with guanabana wine, adding in a bit more guanabana for good measure. There’s an interesting aroma to the mead, more sour than sweet. It’s definitely from the guanabana, which has a sort of milky aroma to it. Maybe milk mixed with citrus, almost to where it’s being allowed to curdle.
The flavor of the mead belongs to the guanabana. It’s smooth, and there’s the undeniable meaty punch of the guanabana that comes in strong and plays around, with an interesting mouthfeel that almost lands like ramune soda and oak.
After a while, the guanabana gives way to the honey, finally giving the mead it’s classic notes. There’s a massive sweetness and a delectable finish of The Native Guy’s honey at the end, chased with the ever present ghost of the guanabana.
It’s a great mead and a refreshing change to the constant array of beers that I review on the blog. Of course, now I need to try more Beat Culture meads, more Ceiba meads, some Native Guy honey, and the list just keeps growing.
But at least I know where to find one of the meaderies.
Drink Florida Craft,
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