I'm interested in making a mead but, I've never tasted one before. What's a good commercial mead that I can get a single and sample to see if I really want to try my hand at mead brewing? Thanks for the feedback.
ehhh, the few commercial meads I've sampled did no justice to the real, carefully handcrafted mead.
your best bet is to start with a small batch...just one or two gallons. that keeps the costs down.
choose a sweeter mead recipe (like MOAM in my recipe list) as these take less time to age and become drinkable, while dry meads or those with dark honey tend to take at least 12 months to reach peak flavor and smoothness.
Redstone, as I've said before somewhere else, tries to turn their meads around almost as quickly as beer. They say that the filtering process they put it through makes it more stable, therefore it can be drinkable within a month or two from primary fermentation. I've had a few of their meads, (approx 12 - 15 bucks a bottle, a little pricey), and found that the traditional meads they have, 12% or more, need aging. It tastes like a very clean, filtered version of a young homebrew mead. What they call their "nectars", or essentially low alcohol meads around 8-9%, are highly carbonated and are quite drinkable early.
My advice is to get a 12% traditional mead, stick it in your cellar for a few years, and get a Nectar at the same time, crack it as soon as you get it, and enjoy
I'm going to go to the Rabbits Foot meadery website right now and order their special 3 pack so I can try theirs. I've heard between Rabbits Foot and Redstone, they are the two big up and comers in the mead world. Hopefully there will be more
I didnt see any 3 pack there on the Rabbit foots website. I would like to try mead as I have been reading about it here on the forum. Is it all so expensive though? freakin 50 bucks for a 12 oz bottle.
I'm drinking some of the Redstone "traditional" mead right now. I have to say, that it's pretty good- a nice honey aroma and flavor. I've had Chaucer's mead before too, and it wasn't nearly as good as this stuff.
Of course, no other mead is as good as the first one I had was, which was a hombrewed spiced sweet mead Now THAT was good mead...
My only experience with commercial mead was uninspiring. However I have several meads in progress and several more planned. Most are showing much more promise even if they are young.
You can make a 1gal batch of mead for less than you can purchase a bottle. So that would be my recommendation for what mead to try. I did Joe's Grape Mead, a traditional mead, a cyser and a spiced mead.
In their young state the grape is too grapey.
The cyser is wonderful.
The traditional is very good
The spiced has too much cloves but shows promise.
Make a couple your self to see where your tastes are.
Gotmead.com is an excellent resource in addition to this site.
Basically (This is what I did) everyone is saying...TRY IT!
I made a basic Mead...Honey+water6+yeast. It's GREAT...and not even close to done.
I have 2 batches of JOAM going...one with a safale-05 that I salvaged form a Fat Tire Clone..and one original with Bread Yeast. All of these are in 1 gallon milk jugs or big "Sorority" wine jugs. You know...$4.00 for a gallon of red. Great bottles though.
I agree with everyone else here....I've never been wowed by a commercial...but what I've tasted of mine...GREAT!
Give it a shot. If you hate it, what'r you out...like $9.00 a gallon?
I have tasted many meads. The best mead I ever had was Moniack mead from Scotland. It was made from caramelized heather honey.
Sorry I lost my tasting notes on the meads, but from memory the best ones were from Poland, Germany and other European countries. I had found only 2 or 3 drinkable meads from the US and the rest went straight down the drain after one sip.
Now, this was back in 1994 through 1997, and have not kept up with mead since then and things may have changed.