ClubGonzo’s Calluna Majoris

Mead, 11.7% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Calluna Majoris, mead batch 32.

Looks a bit like liquid heather honey, doesn’t it?

A single honey mead with plain heather honey, and no crazy additions. That’s a new one!

It pours a clear, pale golden body, nothing extraordinary there either.

The aroma is strong and sweet, with recognisable notes of pure heather honey. I guess it smells exactly what you would expect a mead to smell, if you’ve never tried a mead before. It’s very simple, but clean and tempting.

The flavour isn’t any more adventurous than the aroma, this is as basic and down to earth as a mead can be. It’s heavy sweet, but not cloying.

Conclusion: a mead for traditional Norwegian heather honey lovers.

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:   13/20
Ratebeer score: 3.3/5.0
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ClubGonzo’s Absolutely Bananas

Mead, 11.5% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Absolutely Bananas, mead batch 30.

Not the usual golden colour, instead is pale amber.

The previous banana mead from ClubGonzo did not impress me at all, let’s see if this one is any better.

It pours a pale amber body that is crystal clear.

The strong aroma reminds me of the dreaded Norwegian banana spread “Banos”, i.e. overly sweet and overripe bananas mixed with sugar. The honey is also quite apparent, giving the mead an even sweeter first impression.

There is a surprisingly solid intensity in the flavour as well, and it’s actually not that hard to pinpoint the banana. I had assumed that there was hardly any discernible banana left, since this melomel is getting really old. I won’t claim that it’s aged well, but it’s not bad in any way (as was the case with the Melonmel that I had a few days ago). The taste is heavy sweet, and the texture is sirupy and thick.

Conclusion: a bit too old, sweet and faint, but still possible to drink. 

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      5/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    10/20
Ratebeer score: 2.8/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Clean Cocos

Mead, 11.7% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Clean Cocos, mead batch 31.

Kliiin kokos (kokos… kokos…)

Coconut is a Good Thing. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a coconut beer that is not delicious, and the one mead with added coconut that I’ve tasted so far was the best mead I’ve ever had.

In the glass it’s clear and golden.

The aroma is strong, with a quite light and sharp-ish honey quality. The coconut is not very obvious, but detectable.

The coconut is more present in the flavour that in the aroma, and it plays well with the honey.

Despite being very sweet, it’s actually quite refreshing, due to an interesting light acidity in the finish. Is that the coconut speaking? Or has the brewer put in some citrus zest into this mead without saying so on the label?

Conclusion:  nope, I still haven’t had a coconut brew that I didn’t like. 

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.3/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Pineapple Delight

Mead, 12% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Pineapple Delight, mead batch 29.

Seen from above the Pineapple Delight looks a bit like a pineapple cut in half, right?

Tropical fruits are winners in beers, so why not in a mead?

The colour of this brew is deep golden, and the body is clear.

Strong aroma of honey and sweet, overripe pineapples, with a touch of acidity and fruity spiciness.

The flavour is also strong and it has the same notes found in the aroma. The overripeness is a bit pronounced and the sweetness is rather heavy, but the pineapple acidity prevents the brew from becoming cloying. A highly drinkable mead.

Conclusion: tasty sweet and sour. Maybe mix in some deep fried pork in the next batch?

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    13/20
Ratebeer score: 3.3/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Chocolicious

Mead, 12.7% ABV.

 

ClubGonzo’s Chocolicious, mead batch 26.

Look at that colour!

Yay! Finally! A mead with cocoa beans!

It pours a clear, lovely, deep amber body.

The nose is dominated by strong and dry cocoa. I have to swirl the contents to bring out the sweet honey notes, that of course backs the cocoa brilliantly.

The very strong flavour is packed with cocoa, chocolate pudding, caramel, coffee and sweet honey. The alcohol is well integrated. Lovely!

It’s a sweet brew for sure, but the cocoa beans bring a dryness in the finish.

Conclusion: everything gets better with chocolate.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 5/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.5/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Golden Leaf

Mead, 14.7% ABV.

Pale golden body.

ClubGonzo’s Golden Leaf, mead batch 25.

A single honey mead, this time with honey from linden trees.

In the glass the Golden Leaf looks light golden (duh!), with a hardly noticeable touch of green.

The aroma is strong with a very unusual honey profile –I’ve definitely never tasted linden tree honey before. It’s floral, spicy and citric, with some herbal hints.

The strong flavour follows the same unusual path, with menthol coming in as a new contribution. Also hints of wet hay. The taste is sweet, but there is also spiciness, dryness and some acidity to back it up. It has a bit lighter body than many meads.

Conclusion: a spicy and “crisp” single honey mead that stands out from the crowd. 

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:   12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.4/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Monsoon

Mead, 11% ABV.


Sometimes meads get too sweet without anything to back up the sweetness (take for instance the Sugar Honey). The Monsoon, on the other hand, has plenty of potentially crispy additions!

This one looks paler than most meads, but the clear and light golden colour still looks good.

The aroma jumps out of the glass, and delivers a collection of refreshing notes in addition to the mandatory sweet honey. I get lime, lemon and hints of galangal.

In the mouth this is like drinking a spicy version of Repsils Triple Action Honey & Lemon coughing drops, which happens to be one of my favourite candies-that-do-not-help-when-you-have-a-cold-but-they-taste-good-so-what-the-hell. Honey and lemon is always a brilliant pairing, and the spiciness further increases the drinkability of this fun mead.

The taste is very sweet, but in the finish it is backed up by citric dryness and the spices.

Conclusion: a delicious mead with a nice mix of spices.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    15/20
Ratebeer score: 3.7/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Sugar Honey

Mead, 13.8% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Sugar Honey, mead batch no 22.

Yes, this is a mead, not an imperial stout.

If you find most meads a bit too sweet; this one is probably not for you.

The Sugar Honey is clear and has a deep brown colour, far darker than most other meads I’ve tried.

Strong aroma of maple syrup, brown sugar, burnt sugar, sweet caramel, dark caramel, honey and alcohol. This smells like some potent stuff!

The strong flavour is as dark and complex as the aroma. It’s violently sweet brew, but both the quite high ABV and the dark and burnt notes is balancing the sugar overdose to some extent.

The texture is really syrupy and thick.

Conclusion: a highly complex and incredibly sweet mead. Definitely a sipper. 

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.3/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Sweet Hot Smoke

Mead, 12.5% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Sweet Hot Smoke, mead batch 21.

Holy smokes!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a total chilli sissy. So let’s see if I can handle a mead with chipotle!

It looks like very many other meads, i.e. clear and golden. This one is a bit darker than many, though.

The chipotle is very present in the strong aroma, this is a very smoky brew! It actually feels quite peaty. Is this a whisky with honey? How special!

The flav… *cough* flavo… aargh… ouch… is… well, let’s put it this way: the name of this mead is extraordinarily fitting! It is very hot indeed, and the heat is absolutely caused by smoked chillies. Lots of smoke, lots of heat and a nice honey sweet background. Acidity might be an efficient way of balancing sweetness in meads, and this brew shows that chilli heat is definitely another.

 

After a few sips I’m adjusting to the heat, and the Sweet Hot Smoke actually turns out to be quite drinkable.

Conclusion: a crazy creation that is a bit too hot for my delicate palate, but highly entertaining and tasty.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:   13/20
Ratebeer score: 3.3/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Pina Meada

Mead, 12.4% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Pina Meada, mead batch 20.

Liquid gold.

Allright, a piña colada mead! That sounds… interesting!

It pours a nice-looking, clear, deep golden body.

The aroma is strong and initially I don’t pick up much else than the regular honey. After a while, though, subtle notes of coconut and spicy pineapple start to emerge.

The coconut is much more present in the flavour, it has almost the same intensity as the honey. The pineapple is in the background, together with a touch of rum. This is a quite heavy sweet brew, but the pineapple brings a light and balancing acidity.

Conclusion: a fun mix!

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:   13/20
Ratebeer score: 3.4/5.0