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Reviews of Everything Nice

Lion City Meadery Spiced Mead, 5.5% ABV

Spiced Mead, 5.5% ABV — Review

The Spiced Mead pays homage to the masala chai (chai tea), an all-too-familiar drink. Spice like cinnamon, cloves and star anise were roasted, before being added whole and fermented with the same eucalyptus honey blend in the previous meads.

The idea came about from Sanjay’s lineage, but also from an anecdote while he was at The Single Cask. Sanjay and one of the owners of Single Cask were having drams from a not-too-inspiring bottle of whisky, and thought how they could improve it (with a bit of fun). The initial experiment was infusing the whisky with dried fruits, too sweet. The next iteration of the experiment was throwing in cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and star anise, and after some balancing, yielded a much better drink than before.

An example of a masala spice blend.

Hence, the spice mead was conceptualised - only without using the dried fruits. What sets apart this mead from the other two is that it underwent a three step fermentation process, compared to the Classic Mead and Hibiscus Blueberry Mead that only involved primary and secondary (two-step) fermentation.

Read our full deep-dive on Lion City Meadery here! 

Nose: I instantly get chai latte on the nose. More of the cinnamon and star anise opens up the more you let the aromas develop in the glass, with very similar sharpy, funky fruit aromas from the Classic mead. However, it leans toward a green mango aroma that has been tossed with freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

Palate: Equally light on effervescence as the Classic mead. From the spice blend, I distinctively taste the star anise and cloves a lot more, and the cinnamon less, which brings out a sweeter perception to the mead. There’s also an interesting mace-like flavour in the mead as well, that adds a freshness to the mead alongside pear.


 

Finish: There’s a mild but perceptible astringency - imagine dabbing ground nutmeg on your tongue or chewing on a piece of mace and letting it sit: that zappy, slightly numbing yet bittering astringency. There is also quite a warming sensation from masala chai, particularly the ones you get from cinnamon and ginger.

My Rating

😏🎭

If Classic Mead was the minimalist approach, the Spice Mead is the maximalist approach. The masala spice plays off well with the pome fruit aromas well, and I think of desserts served in fusion food restaurants. Masala spice sprinkled over vanilla ice cream? Poached pears? Just because you didn’t have to, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t - and I appreciate the spice mead for that reason. The smug alter ego of the Classic Mead.

 

@vernoncelli