I had my first mead just two weeks ago. A family friend brought a bottle to St. Patrick’s Day and I was intrigued. Is it wine? Beer? It’s sweet, but it’s brewed, sort of wheat beery, but more complex…
It’s honey hooch?
Not familiar with the style? According to wikipedia, mead is:
“an alcoholic beverage that is produced by fermenting a solution ofhoney and water. It may also be produced by brewing a solution of water and honey with grain mash, which is strained before or after fermentation. Depending on local traditions and specific recipes, it may be flavored with spices, fruit, or hops (which produce a bitter, beer-like flavor). The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV to 18%. It may be still, carbonated or naturally sparkling, and it may be dry, semi-sweet or sweet.”
The bottle I shared was complex and syrupy and surprisingly good. How had I never had this stuff before? Made with only honey, jasmine, champagne yeast, and water, this was solid stuff! Read more into the history of the style and you learn that the term “honeymoon” cane from this stuff.
With my self-imposed “only drinking on race days” plan in effect, I carefully selected a bottle from my booze purveyor with the expectation of enjoying the heck out a nice spring day with a bottle of relaxing intoxicants.
I’m generally a fan of Chatoe Rogue (or is it Rogue Farms? Can’t tell nowadays.) They make my favorite Black IPA of all time, but fell miserably flat when they launched their stomach-wrenching Chocolate Banana and Peanut Butter Ale last year. I was excited to see they put out a mead and snatched up the 22oz for $7. This mead is brewed with two types of honey, one of which is “estate” to the brewery. Very cool.
You can read the rest of the review, but I’ll cut to the chase. Boooring. Flat. Un-inspired. This tastes like what the French would politely call jus de chausette.
Pours a nice light honey color that resembles a carbonation-free champagne. No head whatsoever made it possible to see some yeasty floaters dancing around the top.
Some honey, light cider and floral aromas.
Definitely jasmine, but all together pretty boring and flavorless. Definitely not as syruppy (not texture, but flavor) as the other mead I tried (and failed to get the name of!), this was a bit dry at times, and also carried the unique distinction of having a fresh urine smell at others.
Half way through the bottle it got a bit more alcoholy, but nothing drastic.
This wasn’t a bad drink, it was just boring and uninspired. If it were $10, I’d be madder than hell, but for $7, what the heck. Yeah, I’d drink it again, but I would not pay for it again.