Zombies Take Manhattan

Maker: B. Nektar, Ferndale, Michigan, USAZ take M

Style: Imperial Apple Mead with cherries added and finished in rye whiskey barrels.

Purchased for:$14/500 ml

ABV: 12%

Appearance: Gold with a reddish tinge.

Nose: Spicy and fruity. Caramel apples, marachino cherries, a bit of curry.

On the palate: Medium bodied and fizzy. More caramel apple but with a little oak, butterscotch and cherries jubilee.

Finish: Semi-sweet and quick fading. A slightly tannic flavor lingers in the mouth though.

Parting words: I’m sick to death of zombies. I never found them all that interesting or scary in the first place but now that they’re everywhere I find them irritating too. What does that have to do with this review? Nothing, I just needed to say it.

The Zombie Killer Cyser with cherry added was one of the first of these 500 ml, horror themed meads from B. Nektar that I enjoyed. Zombies Take Manhattan is a higher ABV, barrel finished version of that product. I’m not sure where the “Manhattan” element in the name comes from and I’m too lazy to do any research on it right now, but I suspect it may be finished in Tuthilltown Manhattan Rye barrels.

As you can see from the “style” category above, they did a hell of a lot of stuff to this zombie. It pays off. It has all the good things barrel aging a mead or beer can bring, but without some of the weird, bitter flavors that sometimes plague barrel finished meads.

The price is high, but you get half a liter and it’s higher ABV so it’s all good. This is an excellent product. Zombies Take Manhattan is recommended.

Black Fang

Maker: B. Nektar, Ferndale, Michigan, USABlack Fang

Style: Mead with blackberry, clove and orange peel

ABV: 6%

Appearance: Dark burgundy. Not much effervescence after the pour.

Nose: Wild blackberry, sandalwood, hint of honey and citrus.

On the palate: More lively than expected. Medium sweet and spicy. The blackberry is front and center, but the clove slowly builds in strength until it takes over my whole mouth. The orange peel is a background balancing note.

Finish: Tart berries with an orange peel body guard with the clove doing the same slow sneak attack thing it does on the palate. Like a vampire. Or something.

Parting words: This is the second of B. Nektar’s horror-themed fruited & spiced meads I’ve tasted. The first one was mango and black pepper(with an Evil Dead tie-in. I love that flavor combo but the mead I did not love. It was good, sure, but the pepper didn’t come through and the mango only came trough enough to offset the bitterness of the honey. Not much different than their Orange Blossom mead. I was disappointed.

This is a much more successful product. Nosferatu (one of my favorite horror films) is the cover star this time. The label blurb is chock-full of cheesy vampire jokes (“CAUTION: Keep away from sunlight. Product will not sparkle in sunlight”) but the bottle is full of tasty. One of the things I admire about B. Nektar is their willingness to try just about anything. Not every experiment works but you never know if something will work unless you try, right? Black Fang (at about $8 for 500 ml) is recommended.