Ended up splitting this one 3 ways back in November, 1 gallon on top of raspberries and blackberries, 1 gallon with star anise, and the rest without any additives.
At time of racking in November the taste was interesting, similar to Listerine, which from what I have read is not abnormal. I bottled the straight mead in April and the taste had improved substantially. The star anise methlegin was bottled in early May and had a pleasant licorice aroma, taste was good but still needs to sit. Bottled the mixed berry melomel tonight and holy cow!, what a surprise, the SWMBO even like this one right out of the fermenter.
I'm glad I split the original three ways for my first batch. I'll definitely be making the mixed berry mead again shortly and in a larger quantity, will see how the others age over time.