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Old 08-24-2012, 01:44 PM   #1
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Default Judging Mead

Hi all,

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!


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Old 08-25-2012, 07:58 AM   #2
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The commercial meads I've tasted here have all been cloyingly sweet, measuring in the 1.035-1.040 range when tested, putting them squarely in the "dessert" mead bracket.

You mention your limited experience with meads, so I'd have thought that you could only grade them on how you "enjoyed" them, giving marks accordingly. As long as you backed up your finding, with explanations as to why you graded them like you did and explained any "proper/general" faults you found (slight metallic taste suggesting excessive sulphites etc, stuff like that), then I'd have thought given the circumstances, that'd have been the best judgement that could have been allowed for.......
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

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