New Year, New Mead: Psychopomp

This week, we sat down and interviewed Ricky the Meadmaker about the fourth in our New Year, New Mead campaign, taking a look at Havoc's own Psychopomp.

What are some tasting notes for Psychopomp?

Color - Ruby Red

Aroma - Cinnamon, Pie Cherries, Wild Plums

Flavor - Bittersweet Cherries and toasted oak

Closest Comparison - Kriek

Tell us where the inspiration for Psychopomp came from please

Cherry meads are super popular amongst homebrewers, probably because of Wikinger-Blut (see below). We had played around with a few different fruit meads, but when we got the opportunity to get actual fermentation cherry juice, we couldn’t pass it up!

In 2015, we made a double-strength version of Psychopomp which we called Psychopompous, and we dressed up the Psychopomp Raven for the part:
new year new mead: psychopomp

The Psychopomp logo is probably my personal favorite of all our flagship meads. Can you tell us where it came from?

Psychopomps are beings that bring those from the land of the living to the land of the dead. They come in many forms, from Peter Pan to Angels to Valkyries to… ravens! When Original Erik came across the word “psychopomp” in a book, the whole idea jumped into his mind all at once.

Can you give us some mythological background on the name?

The Psychopomp Raven is a reference to Huginn and Muninn, the ravens of Odin which travel the earth bringing him news. That said, ravens appear in numerous mythologies as psychopomps. For more on that, you can check out the amazing piece written by historian Catherine Curzon. 

New Year, New Mead: Psychopomp

Original concept art by Erik Benepe for what would become Psychopomp, October 2014

Has Psychopomp changed at all over the years?

We’ve played around with yeast strains and fermentation temperatures over the years, slowly dialing it up to get fruity esters and phenols that you just can’t pull out of the fruit at lower temperatures. This is a brewing technique that we learned by doing a deep dive into Belgian fruit beers.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know about Psychopomp?

We were originally thinking of calling Psychopomp “Viking’s Blood” after a German style of mead brewed with cherries called Wikinger-Blut (literally, Viking Blood). Turns out there’s also a popular hibiscus mead from Dansk Mjod called Viking Blood, so we decided we needed a different name.

new year new mead: psychopomp

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