I am looking for some feedback here because I'm thinking I may have done a bad thing.
I recently judged a smaller homebrew competition (bjcp sanctioned though) and there was nobody to judge the 5 mead entries, so I volunteered. I have only ever had two commercial mead examples (dry and semi-sweet), and found them to be quite pleasant and very characteristic of white wine. As a matter of fact, I would put them up against any white wine. I am a fan!
The problem! The 5 meads I judged were sweet. I have had late harvest wine and ice wine; however, never had sweet mead. The mead was cloyingly sweet and very much like syrup. One person in particular made 3 fruit meads. One was a Pyment and I found it to be very much like Port; however, really really sweet without the tannins and high alcohol balance of a Port. The other two were just sweetness overpowering any nuance or delicate flavor and/or aroma that may exist.
I was honest in my scoring and said they were cloyingly sweet and, I think, angered the fruit mead person in particular...
Am I totally off-base here? Since I have no real knowledge of these styles, because I'm basing my impression off sweet wine I have had in the past. Is fruit mead supposed to be cloyingly sweet or is over the top sweetness a flaw?
I appreciate your input!