View Full Version : Dry, Medium or Sweet?? Which is your favorite?

09-03-2006, 10:41 PM
Hey everyone,

I have tried a few dry, semi sweet and sweet meads now and I must say I prefer the sweet over everything else. The sweet seems to have more flavor, complexity, mouth feel and aroma. And I guess it just fits better with the idea of what I think Mead should be.

Have I just not tried a good enough Dry mead to be able to really appreciate it? I do love white wines. From what I have heard a well aged Dry seems to be considered the ultimate by mead connoisseurs.

To me, a Dry Mead is like a nice Chardonnay with honey flavor and aroma and is something that can be guzzled by the glassful. While a Sweet Mead is something to be savored and sipped (just my inexperienced opinion of course).

What was most mead traditionally in past history? Sweet? Semi Sweet? I'm guessing the Dry mead thing is relatively new.

Everyone please chime in. I really want to know the general opinion on this. Thanks!

09-04-2006, 02:33 AM
In general I prefer my meads DRY. However in some cases I like to see some residual sweetness. For example: I've made several straight buckwheat meads, from bone dry to cloyingly sweet. The ones I liked best where the sweet ones...

Little Mick
09-04-2006, 03:14 AM
I have tried several home made batches, Chaucers (yuck) and some from Rabbit's Foot Meadery. I prefer a mild mead, not to dry not too sweet.

Mead can easily be too sweet for my palate. The worst example of sweet mead I can think of would be Chaucers. Not to offend anyone on the board but IMO they create swill that is NOT a good representation of mead. Again not looking to pick a fight about this but I went with my parents on a wine-tasting day in Santa Cruz, Ca. We stopped by Borgetto Winery where they make and sell Chaucers. It put them off mead altogether. It's going to take some doing to get them to try my home brew.

By the way any of you guys in California I heartily reccomend a day of tasting along the coast.

However RFM's sweet mead was delicious. I picked up some of their pear mel, dry and sweet and some of their cyser If only we had decided to stop their instead! All were great but my favorite was the sweet. My buddy could not get enough of the pear, which I would classify as dry.

So my rambling point is: no one's opinion should affect what tastes good to you. Hell, yuou would not believe some of the things they eat around the world.

Muirghein Tarot
09-04-2006, 06:59 AM
My own tastes run to the medium sweet range. I'm not much for dry anything, be it mead, wine, or champagne. How ever there are two more categories that you didn't list.

Desert, the mead that will make your dentist go "what the hell have you been putting in your mouth?" A little too sweet for my liking but some favor it after heavy meals.

Sack, which is basically a desert mead with enough alcohol to knock a Viking on his ass. I have had some that was good. I've had some that was not so good. The best was four years old, so maybe sacks need to age a long time to become excellent.

On the whole I think my favorite mead would be in a glass. However if no glasses are to be had straight out the bottle is fine to.


09-04-2006, 11:52 AM
I'm with M.Tarot on this one, I'm not for Dry anything either. My first Mead was a sack mead, and it was excellent at 6 months, probably a fluke because I made a lot of mistakes, but they came together in just the right ways that even veteran meadmakers were impressed.

Right now I seem to be leaning to the semi-sweet range.


09-04-2006, 11:57 AM
Ditto Tarot and Wrath ....

09-04-2006, 01:03 PM
Mark another for sweet.......


09-04-2006, 06:02 PM
Medium to sweet. I lean towards the sweet.

Unlike the other posts I do like chaucers to some degree. Defenitly not my favorite, and something I no longer buy. But not something I completely dislike. For a really sweet commercial mead. Honeywood, if I remember correctly, makes a mead so sweet it makes my teeth hurt when I drink it. I really didn't care for it and thought it was totally overdone. Needless to say I have steered away from any of their other variaties

09-05-2006, 03:11 PM
Semi-Sweet for me.

However, I do have plans to make a couple different dry meads in the next few months so that may change!!

09-05-2006, 06:40 PM
Another vote for sweet.

After all, what is the point of mead if you don't know you are drinking honey ;)

09-05-2006, 08:09 PM
A vote for semi-sweet rather than sweet, especially if it has tannin or it will age 2 or more years.

And definitely NOT dry if using eucalyptus honey :tongue3:

09-05-2006, 10:20 PM
I like semi-sweet (1.01 s.g. or so).

I had one of my early meads go to .998 and it was odd to drink something that smelled & tasted like honey but wasn't sweet.


09-06-2006, 10:45 PM
Tend to enjoy sweet more than a dry mead but have been brewing semisweet and dry batches the last few times. Trying to get better with hitting my target final gravity. Opened the last bottle of my first born for my birthday last week. It was a 2 year old peach/pear sack mead which took my breath away with it's depth of flavor. Have two batches of lemon mead bottled up, both are tart and sweet at the same time. Looking forward to them after some aging, they should mellow quite nicely.

Dan McFeeley
09-07-2006, 01:13 AM
I prefer dry, with some residual sugar, although I've made some medium sweet meads that turned out quite well.

I think it's a judgment call sometimes -- a touch of just the right amount of sweetness can pique the flavor, depending on what you're making.

09-07-2006, 10:56 AM
I like them all. But I must admit to a fondness for aged dry meads....

Dan McFeeley
09-07-2006, 01:05 PM
I like them all. But I must admit to a fondness for aged dry meads....

Ohhh, yes. And aged in oak.

For Harry Potter fans, Albus Dumbledore seemed to have a special fondness for this kind of mead.

09-07-2006, 01:10 PM
Moderately sweet for me, meads or wines...

The first dry thing I have ever enjoyed was the Sloppy Seconds wine I stumbled into...

David Baldwin
09-07-2006, 04:54 PM
I have to say that I enjoy them all - and I'm not generally fond of dry wines.

I do prefer the range from off-dry to semi sweet. My all time favorite would probably be considered a sweet - aged in oak barrel and bottle for 25 years... sigh...


09-07-2006, 10:13 PM
In mead I perfer medium leaning towards dry. Although with wine i am all about the sweet.