THE BROTHERS DRAKE of Columbus, Ohio make a broad array of meads from the traditional (water, honey, yeast—done) to paw paw-infused melomels and chocolate dessert concoctions. Basic or bedazzled, all their recipes are committed to a fundamental purity and utilize local ingredients wherever possible. Wild Ohio might be considered their ‘house blend’, representing their general approach to mead-making and serving as a baseline for further variation. As such it’s not the most memorable of recipes, but since it’s only sold in the meadery’s hometown chances are it was never intended to be a world-beater. Still it remains a worthy “mission statement” and about as solid a standard mead as one might hope to find in the American Midwest. Based on unboiled wildflower honey, it’s an almost entirely transparent pale yellow with an aroma a delicate blend of light honey, florals, and a bit of vanilla alongside a touch of tangy yeast. The flavor is modestly sweet with an off-medium body that a slight prickle of effervescence carries through to a slightly warming finish. The 13% ABV is quite well incorporated and the mouthfeel remains soft and pliant throughout. Despite its name Wild Ohio is tastefully restrained from start to finish. For better or for worse.
Served: 750 Bottle