I liked mead.
I wanted to try more.
Wife said she was curious to try, so next time I went to the store the goal was an introduction for her and further exploration for me. With that in mind I bought one of the same, the Redstone Meadery’s Traditional Mountain Honey Wine. I also bought one of their Juniper varieties. Finally, something totally different, a Chaucer’s Mead.
I picked Chaucer’s merely because it was not-Redstone. But I thought the addition of a packet of mulling spices was a cool thing so hey, why not.
The first thing I wanted to try was the Chaucer’s. I open the bottle and smell. Certainly smelled like sweet wonderful honey. Then I tasted it. The taste was wonderful to me, yes, better than the Redstone (to my palate, anyways). What’s the difference? Well, Chaucer’s tasted and had a mouthfeel that was almost exactly like honey. The Redstone of course smells like honey, but the taste is different. It’s like the Redstone has a honey with a “bite” to it. The closest analogy I can think of is say how Barq’s root beer has “bite” compared to say Mug root bear. But that’s not even really a fair nor accurate comparison, but I know of no other way to convey this by just typing. Mouthfeel as well, with the Chaucer’s feeling “thicker”, more of that glycerin-like honey-ness. But certainly, Chaucer’s isn’t pure honey. I liken it to saying it’s like drinking honey that has some white wine in it. It’s really amazing how honey-like the Chaucer’s is, by comparison to the Redstone, and I thought that was pretty honey-like.
Of course, since I had a bottle of the Redstone Traditional, I cracked it open for some side-by-side comparison to get the above “analysis” down. The Redstone is OK, but my palate prefers Chaucer’s.
So with that, the Redstone Juniper… well, the Juniper added an interesting twist to it. I’m not sure if I liked it or not. Hard to say, because I think I was more mentally caught up on the “Redstone vs. Chaucer” difference. That which made Redstone Redstone stood out more to me and I think I focused more on that than the Juniper. Still, I finished the bottle so it must not have been horrible. 😉
As for the mulling spices. I tried it. I’m not sure I like it, but I’m not sure I gave it a fair shake. I heated up a cup of the Chaucer’s mead in the microwave, then let one of the bags steep for a few minutes. Mind you, their instructions are to use one “tea” bag for half the bottle and two for the whole bottle. So I may have overdone it. Or, maybe I don’t like hot mead. Next time I should heat it up and then try drinking “plain” mead warm. See how that fits me. As well, make it properly according to the directions. Finally, after letting the spices steep, chill the mulled mead back down to say in the 40º range and see how that tastes. Of course, trying other spice mixes could be something to consider as well. I mean, who knows how long this might have been sitting on the shelf and if those spices lost some oomph.
Wife’s take? She doesn’t like it. She thinks it’s neat, but since she doesn’t like eating raw honey, it’s not surprising she doesn’t like this. But she does think it’s cool and even went back to try some again. In fact, she joked that she needs to start eating more raw honey to see if she can acquire more of a taste for it. My take on that? She thinks it’s cool and is willing to continue trying it… so long as it’s closer to the Chaucer’s than the Redstone.
Anyways, this is fun. It’s wonderful to explore new things and expand your horizons.