Profile: Blue Dog Sparkling Mead

5.9 abv
Made by Blue Dog Mead, Eugene, Oregon

bdog mead

Profiled by Ken Carman for

Beer-Profile1-258x300Beer judges judge mead. This type of entry is one of the reasons it is not a favorite table to be on, competition time.

Applish nose with an effervescent bubble tingle. Not much else.

Clarity good with bubbles rising. Head foams up fast with pinpoint bubbles. Goes away faste. Almost clear with a slight yellow tinge.

Light, smooth, yet tingle, on the palette, with bubble tingle. Slight dry sense but sweet lingers too.  Sparkling.

We must ask: “Where’s the honey?” I would call this semi-sweet bordering on sweet.  You have a slight apple-ish taste, but the honey sense is missing.

Carbonated apple water. Can does list “apple,” though promo material I read does not. Vanilla? Not really. They really need to be a little more forward as to the vanilla and the honey: both in recipe and telling the consumer. And they need to be more forward as to apple in telling the consumer, but either less in the recipe, or no more, depending on how a revised recipe balances out. This is not balanced, in my opinion.

Balance would be great, for a lightly carbonated, very light, apple fermented product. Not cider, really. How many clear, light on the palate, watery, very thin apple ciders have you had? Yup, too many out there and, for me, too many thin, watery, very clear meads.

Bear in mind,this is a commercial example, yet honey is gone, apple too high… in fact when would that kind of “balance” EVER appropriate in a Mead? Seems they could do better than this.

Welcome to the new PGA rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.” This mead was rated…


Brettanomyces, a Funky Yeast, Makes Flavorful Beers

Chad Yakobson, 28, founder of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, checking on the progress of his beer in his Denver warehouse.
Chad Yakobson, 28, founder of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, checking on the progress of his beer in his Denver warehouse. Picture from article lined to, and by Benjamin Rasmussen for The New York Times

Written by Daniel Fromson for The New York Times

A creature is lurking here in Chad Yakobson’s warehouse, inside the oak barrels where he ages most of his beers. Its name is Brettanomyces, and it’s a cousin of the domesticated yeasts that humans have brewed with for thousands of years. Often called wild yeast — a reference to its natural habitat (fruit skins) and to its volatile temperament — “Brett,” as it is widely known, can lead to unpredictable fermentations and gushing beer bottles, aromas politely described as funky, and fear. Most brewers work hard to keep it out of their tanks by sterilizing every piece of equipment.

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