Has anyone out there ever tried aging brackett, a.k.a. - braggot? I have, and let me tell you, it was an utter failure.
Brackett/braggot is a beverage that is reputed to have originated in medieval times and is either mead made with malt or beer made with honey. Either way you're getting fermentable sugars from a mix of honey and malt. But I suppose you can just add finished mead to finished ale and have brackett too. How much beer should you taste in a brackett? How much mead? Everything I've found to read on the subject leans towards bracket being an art rather than a science. Does it taste like mead and beer simultaneously? If so, then you've got a brackett.
I recently opened a bottle of HoneyMoon, a brackett from the Viking Brewing Company which is now Valkyrie Brewing Company
. If you look at the old Viking website
, it says that HoneyMoon "Ages well for years". Perhaps two years. My bottle was purchased in 2009, I believe, and I figured that I'd try aging a 10% A.B.V. wine-like brew/brew-like wine. Tempus fugit and here we are seven or so years later.
HoneyMoon poured a lovely light gold – even if the photograph doesn't portray this. It was quite clear. I didn't get much of a head when I poured it into my glass. But there was no small number of bubbles in the elixir. Are fresh bracketts effervescent? Meads comes bubbly and non-bubbly so you'd think brackett could very well be stillish. I think the last time I had a fresh brackett outside of The Great Taste was about 11 years ago when I had some from White Winter Winery
so I remain unsure.
The brackett definitely had a mead-like smell – that dry honey scent – but the aroma also had a rather prominent vinous smell too. There really wasn't anything beery here.
Taking my first sip, I didn't have high hopes. The brackett had a light body and I caught a little carbonation as well as some really nice honey taste. However, that vinous quality was here in spades. It tasted a lot like vermouth to me. As my HoneyMoon warmed up, it took on a strong boozy heat - 10% may have been on the low side – and a pronounced astringent flavor.
The finish had what must have been the very last remnants of hop flavor with a faint grassiness just barely perceptible and more of that vermouth flavor. My glass had no lacing.
Well, my little aging experiment was a failure and you can blame it on me. (We're just sugar mice in the rain.) I should have consumed this bottle years ago. Live and learn. This just means that I need more
bracketts to make up for my failing.
Labels: Brackett, Braggot, Viking Brewing Company