Making more enemies than friends
A Review of Evil Genius (IPA-Style Mead) by B. Nektar Meadery
Posted on 9/10/2013 by Chops
There are times when even reputable companies deserve sighs of disappointment. I hate that I have to come down on the B. Nektar Meadery, especially since they are true pioneers in their field. I completely support their business model of crafting new and exciting meads (honey wines). However, there is a very big difference between bridging styles and just capitalizing on style recognition. I huffed and shook my head when I came across Evil Genius, an IPA-Style Mead. Yeah, you read that right. Hey, I'm all for wacky hybrids and props if you can somehow pull it off. But, the IPA beer style is so well recognized and so un-mead in flavor that I can't help but look at this beverage as nothing more than a marketing ploy. You might as well say ''IPA-Style Cola'' or ''IPA-Style Milk''. It just doesn't make any damn sense. But to be fair, it is a B. Nektar product, so I have to at least give it a chance.

In the glass, Evil Genius has a faint opalescent coloration with yellow tinting, much like a thin white wine. It comes with a sudsy white head that dissipates very quickly. On the nose, this mead smells much like a good Chardonnay with a mild nip of spice. You get the general impression that this mead is going to be sweet and tangy. But based on intro alone, I had absolutely no idea where the ''IPA'' character was hiding.

That first sip, wow what a strange beverage. You quickly learn that the ''IPA'' note is nothing more than a faint hop-like bitterness up front that quickly disappears into the sweet honey wine middle ground. The mead itself is pretty standard with notes of honey, a crisp tingle of citrus, and the body of a nice white wine. I also found a touch of grass and a peach-like fruitiness. The mead finishes crisp, light, and exits with a tangy sweet aftertaste.

Overall, B. Nektar's Evil Genius IPA-Style Mead is a tasty and unoffensive mead. I understand what they were trying to do, i.e. see what a hop character would add to mead. It's an interesting concept and I would have totally bought this product as a ''Hoppy Mead''. But, hops are a beer thing, and IPAs are the hoppiest of beers. Comparatively, the hop profile here is easily bested by a bland pilsner. So to slap the ''IPA'' designation on this mead is pretty insulting to be honest. I get it, you want to attract beer fans. But the thing is, you already do with delicious concoctions like your Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser. We love that shit and we drink it often. But, I implore you to sit down with something like a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA before releasing something like Evil Genius. Hop heads are an incredulous bunch and I guarantee that the Evil Genius making more enemies than friends.

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Evil Genius (IPA-Style Mead) by B. Nektar Meadery
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