Two years in the making, this blend of a mead made with locally sourced bush honey and two 50l batches of barrel-aged strong ale was described by one of The Crafty Pint's friends on first tasting as "beyond beer". It's a recreation of a medieval style called a braggot. And, at 14.3 percent ABV, the Ugly Duckling is still in its infancy and will mature "for decades", according to its maker.
Even now, it's wonderfully multi-layered: viscous, uncarbonated and golden, it boasts a lightly wooded aroma with hints of calvados and toffee apple. Honey, oak, spiced rumkopf fruit and sweet alcohol combine in a slightly tart palate with a dry finish. A digestif with which to surprise your guests.