Owen Ogletree gathered fellow beer lovers Sachin Patel, Ian Meents, Ashton Smith, Dean Graves, The Beer Wench, Mark Hall and Lizz Berstein to sample and comment on ten different meads. Meads are a type of wine made from fermented honey, and they offer a surprising range of aroma and flavor components...
Offering a deep amber, bourbon-like color, this mead provides hints of cereal, spicy rye, honeycomb, alcohol, golden raisins and toast with butter and honey. With a rich, honey flavor with hints of cinnamon, sherry and apricot jam, this selection comes across as warming but not extremely complex.
This local mead contains a hint of CO2 sparkle and is a bit reminiscent of a light sparkling wine in the aroma. Notes of cane syrup, muscat grapes, demi-sec champagne and slight spices give way to a somewhat bitter, but pleasant, finish. Color is golden, and the mead is quite clear.
This mead pours a deep ruby red color with aromas of Pinot grapes, butter and grape jam on toast. Sweet red wine notes on the palate lead into an overall character of mixed berries, jam, red currants and pomegranate.
The nose picks up French vanilla, clove, plastic, higher alcohols and light solvents. Flavor notes of nori seaweed and phenolic honey produce a unique profile in this clear, light straw colored mead.
This mead offers deep, dark amber/copper hues that are almost brown. Aroma and flavor tones of oak, wood, brown sugar, sorghum, vanilla, sweet port, dark cherries, nuts and papaya make for an extremely complex, satisfying dessert mead.
There's a definite hoppy note and resiny hop profile to this slightly earthy, medium-sweet mead with flavors of floral hops, kiwi, light tropical fruit and mild hop bitterness. Quite quaff-able and refreshing. It sports a pale straw color with a hint of fizz.
Slight sour cherries and hops highlight the rustic fruit wine character of this mead, along with notes of strawberries and a clean, lactic acidity. Hops come through more in the aroma than the flavor in this dark red honey wine.
This mead is packed with flavors of honey, vanilla, oak, alcohol, butter, clove, nutmeg, biscuit crust, rum and clover flowers. The appearance is clear, golden and attractive, and the overall impressive seems like a vanilla butter cookie dipped in honey.
Mango, black pepper, cantaloupe, peppercorns and honeysuckle nuances highlight the lingering, pleasant pepper zing of this light golden mead with just a hint of carbonation. Also look for notes of blood orange zest and pine turpentine.
Notes of clove, ozone, sulfur and fruit mingle in the earthy aroma. Flavors of sangria, blackberries, gunpowder and rose hips are balanced by hints of black cherries, smoke and light citrus. This warming mead offers ruby/garnet hues and is brilliantly clear.