November 2011 Archives
"Like their better known cousin the Leprechaun, Clurichauns are mischievous, Celtic fairies who enjoy playing practical jokes. Clurichauns (Kloo'-ra-kahns) live in wine cellars and are avid drinkers. Treat him well and a Clurichaun will use magical powers to guard your cellar, prevent casks from leaking, and keep the contents from going bad. A favorite Clurichaun pastime is riding sheep bareback on moonlit nights. These wee folk know how to party."So there you have it, having a few Clurichauns around is bound to be a good plan. Black Clu is good, the label is designed by a local, and the mead/melomel hopped concoction is created locally by Bardic Wells Meadery, a pretty much one man operation that produces meads only available in Michigan.
As meads go, I do like this. The hop addition is almost undetectable, the cherries really complement what small nuance is present. My only criticism is that it has a bit of 'cardboardiness' that meads tend to have. Nothing to over the top like most commercial meads I have had, but more than I would want, since I find it to be a very undesirable characteristic. To really cast judgment I will need to sample more of his meads, to see if it's a result of the stone fruit, or something else.
In the end the very best meads and melomels I have had, are my own. My buddy Jay makes a decent one as well. My favorite was the Blueberry Melomel that I last year. Meads can have some really off smells, normally the flavors are decent, but sometimes they smell like fingernail polish, body odor, or cardboard. My guess is that fermentation temps have a lot to do with this.The better ones, like Black Clu have a honey aroma that dominates the nose.
This Black Clu really grows on you. At first I wasn't crazy about it, but it keeps getting better with each glass. It's the best commercial mead I have had. Well worth purchasing.
I want to make another attempt at this brew being a bit more careful with my mash temps and sparging. I might also save some out that has no bourbon, coffee, oak, or vanilla to be able to compare the two.
19 Lbs American Two Row Malt
2.5 Lbs Munich Malt
1.00 Lb Carmel/Crystal Malt (120 L)
½ Lb Carmel/Crystal Malt (40 L)
½ Lb Chocolate Malt
1 Lb Oatmeal
½ Lb. Black Patent Malt (Debittered)
¼ Lb Roasted Barley
3 oz Cascade (2 leaf, 1 pellets)
2 oz Willamette (Finishing)
1 Teaspoon Yeast Nutrient
1 Teaspoon Irish Moss
Cultured American Ale Yeast
Seven Vanilla Beans, Oak Chips, and Coffee beans in spirits pitched into secondary.
Makers Mark Bourbon at Kegging