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View Full Version : Effects of Aging "No-Age" Meads



GrantLee63
05-27-2006, 11:46 AM
Just curious ..... Will either bulk - or bottle - aging a 5 gallon batch of either JAO -or- Joe's No-Age Sweet Mead for 6 months to a year, have any noticeable effects on the overall flavor characteristics of these quick meads? What about oaking?

I realize that both of these are meant to be drank as soon as they are cleared, but I'm wondering if aging them for any length of time will make them better?

Thanks - GrantLee63

lostnbronx
05-27-2006, 12:17 PM
Ancient Joe himself says that both of these get smoother and more integrated with time. I kept a few bottles of my own JAO for 7-8 months; it had had fermentation problems due to high heat during the first two weeks. By the last few bottles all signs of this were gone, and the mead was quite pleasant.

Like most any other mead, Joe's quick creations will improve noticeably with time.

-David

Dan McFeeley
05-27-2006, 12:56 PM
It might be hard to call this one. Joe's "CW Quick Mead" is based on Chuck Wettergreen's basic approach to meadmaking, i.e., all natural, making good use of honey blends, etc. Something I noticed about Chuck's meads, especially the traditional, is that they were eminently drinkable right away, and didn't seem to improve greatly with aging. My guess was that his meads were intended to ferment relatively quickly, with little strain on the yeast, and that once they were finished out they were quite good, with not much more room for improvement.

I should mention a traditional mead Chuck had made which he dubbed "Odin's Own." It truly was. Chuck didn't tell me precisely how he had crafted this mead but oh, it was wonderfully complex, all kinds of notes of chocolate, vanilla, heather, ect., etc. He had also aged it two years, and apparently to great effect. I tried this mead at the 2001 International Mead Fest, and have never forgotten the experience. Oddly, Chuck entered this mead in the Mazer Cup and it was marked down as "too complex." ??? I can't figure that one out.

Some of the aging factors associated with wines are tannins and alcohol level (Oskaar may have some more clarifying comments here). A good mead will have neglible tannin levels, and if the alcohol level is moderate, about wine strength, and there are no off flavors to age out, there may not be much room for improvement in a basic traditional mead, assuming it fermented well from start to finish.

Oskaar has commented on choice of honey blends and how they can affect middle palate, finish, etc, and in this case, aging may play an important role, depending on the type of varietal honeys chosen for the blend.

Anyone else have any comments on this?

Jmattioli
05-27-2006, 11:10 PM
Hi All,
On the no age CW Mead, it is usually gone before ageing but I did manage to try out a bottle recently that was over a year old and as pointed out by Dan the improvement is very minor. No real need to age for improvement if done exactly according to recipe. The low alcohol content and balance with out the heavy use of nutients and the K1V make for a smooth drink with no age.
Now my English Mead is a different story. It is heavy in acids and alcohol and finally after a couple years turned very pleasing.
Cheers and good brewing,
Joe