Honeyrun Blackberry Honeywine – No Vintage Date noted on bottle
Color is ruby red with tinges of purple when held to a white light, and white background. The color is consistent and fades to a magenta color at the edges of the glass. The mead is clear to brilliant with no visible particles or haze. This is a semi-leggy looking mead and coats the glass fairly well when swirled. The legs are transparent as they drip down the side of the glass rather than the color of the honeywine. The cork is medium to low quality and agglomerated with solid end caps.
Aroma and Flavor:
There is a strong fruit juice nose with hints of pepper, leather, cedar and black fruit. There is a noticeable unfermented honey character in the nose, and subtle hints of fermented fruit and a floral character. There is a pronounced vinous character in the nose, and this overpowers any mead character. NOTE: The bottle label indicates that this is honeywine with Blackberry Juice added. On the Honeyrun website the label they have posted indicates that there is a mixture of Blackberry Wine 25% and Honeywine 75%. Reflecting on my initial impressions I’m wondering about the term “Blackberry Juice” and whether or not they mean “Blackberry Wine.” My gut says that this is the same recipe as before and that the change was to reflect a different marketing strategy. Just a guess though. It is reminiscent however, of the Chaucer’s Raspberry Mead which is a mixture of Raspberry Wine and Mead.
This brand does not have the faults and disjointed character of the Chaucer’s product, but it does have some similar characteristics. I get the impression from the flavor and the unfermented honey taste that the mead portion of this mixture has been fermented to dryness and back-sweetened. There is a pronounced fruit character on the fore along with the unfermented honey flavor on the attack. It is crisp with a lot of promise but does not deliver the anticipated complexity as it develops in the mouth and does not exhibit tremendous structure or complexity. I don’t get any oak character on the palate. This is still a bit immature and there are some pungent vegetable flavors along the sides of the tongue.
This mead starts out with good potential, but the lack of oak and immature character leave one with the impression of a one dimensional product without much overall zip. I think some additional aging, and some time in oak would do wonders for this honeywine. The alcohol is listed at 12% and is balanced well with the overall end product. I would guess that this would last about 2-5 years max before it turns the corner and fades.
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