This week, we sat down and interviewed Ricky the Meadmaker, senior brewer Nate Palm and artist Autumn Dufresne about the next in our New Year, New Mead campaign. Here's a look at the second in our Ancient Collection, Heggir.
What are the tasting notes for Heggir?
Color - Garnet
Aroma - Like when you hand a cherry to a toddler who’s been rolling around in wildflowers all morning, and she smooshes it in her hand before eating it*
Flavor - Earthy fruit with a cocoa powder finish followed by a cherry and honey that stays with you
Closest Comparison - A country cherry wine
*Please check your toddler for ticks if she engages in this exact activity.
Early sketches of the Heggir label from Autumn, October 2020This is our second feature from the Ancient Collection. How did you come up with the recipe for Heggir and what makes it such an important feature in that collection?
Nate: I wanted to have a dark smoky caramelized cherry mead in the line up. Since we are doing ancient style meads, I wanted to have a Viking’s Blood style mead which is traditionally a heavy cherry mead. The feeling I always wanted behind it was one when you are sitting on a leather couch, by the fire, sipping out of a tulip glass with the snow falling outside.”Can you tell us about the name?
Ricky: No idea how we discovered this since no one on the staff speaks Old Norse, and our normal Old Norse dictionary doesn’t have an entry for it, but Heggr is the word for Cherry Tree!
How has Heggir changed since its first brewing?
Nate: We figured out how to do a more fully fermented style which gives the brew more of a kick and a lighter mouthfeel, while still having a ton of flavor.
As the Ancient collection evolves, so will the flavor profile, as we are always trying to make the best product possible.
Can you tell us about the label design?
Autumn: As I had mentioned when we recently discussed the Vanir label, the Ancient Collection were being released as a trio, so I was working on all three labels, collectively, and designed them so they tied together visually as well as thematically.
Of the three Ancients, Heggir was actually the easiest label to conceptualize, because the name literally just translates to cherry orchard, so boom, there was an instant visual, as opposed to the other two named for a specific deity or pantheon with a wide mythology and any array of different directions to go as far as possible references or symbology. For Heggir, there was no need to brainstorm exactly how to best connect the name into a visual concept, a mental image was already there to roll with.
All three original Ancient Collection Meads
I spent some time studying several different photos of cherry trees and cherry blossoms to use for references before making my initial pencil sketches. Once penciled, we all collaborated on what to add or change, and after we agreed on a penciled draft that looked good, I did a more polished final draft, inked it, and then handed it over to be scanned in for the final step toward becoming a label, such as digitally adding the text and the little accent "pop" of color on the blossoms which was personally done by our very own CEO, Kelly. (And again as a nod to how the 3 labels tie together, a few roots and branches from the central tree of Vanir can be seen creeping into the edge of the orchard on Heggir's label, just as a few of Heggir's cherry blossoms drift into the periphery of the other.)