View Full Version : A dry mead can be more then just less sweet

02-11-2007, 12:57 PM
At meadfest I listened in on the dry mead seminar. There were 4 different meadaries represented and they talked about dry meads and their place in the mead industry. They all agreed that dry mead is a great way to bring more of the wine drinkers into trying mead.... yet I was very disappointed in the dry meads at meadfest. For whatever reason it seems to be that a dry mead is one that has less sweetness and thats all.

A dry grape wine has less sweetness but doesnt sacrafice on mouthfeel and flavor. There are other aspects of a dry wine that replaces the taste of the sweetness. The dry meads that I tasted were pretty much just less sweet. To me it ended up being water with a little honey flavor. With everything available to a mead maker in acids, oak flavoring and especially spices that wine makers cant really get into it would seem that a dry mead can have a nice complex flavor.

Has anyone else tried dry meads and what were your thoughts?

02-11-2007, 06:54 PM
For me, it is not the dry/sweet, but the flavour/tannin/honey miracle that happens around the 2 to 3 year mark, that turns it into ambrosia.

But not totally dry, just off-dry. The honey complexity makes it appear much sweeter than it actually is.

If it is totally dry, (no experience, but) my guess is that it probably takes closer to 5 years for the mead to *really* hit its stride (if there is tannin in it).

02-11-2007, 09:20 PM

did you try any of the dry mels? I am thinking of the Spruce Mtn dry berry mead. It was quite good. Nice nose, good mouthfeel, and a nice astringency.

I also got a sneak preview of the berry blend dry mel from the brothers Eric and Woody. He said their brewing partner has been working on it for 6 or 7 years. It was really good and had a very full mouthfeel.

I have been pondering a dry pyment. I wonder if it would give a sort of a transition drink to open the wine market.

That is one of the things that I notice with the dry meads is they can be thin.

My plan was to sample all the dry meads at the IMF. What actally happened was something completely else.



02-12-2007, 09:52 AM
Leonora: Yes I did try the spruce mountain one. I did like it and it was one of the few dry ones that had some character to it. They served it at the food pairing seminar successfully with some cheeses.

I agree that most of the other dries were ... thin. Thats the best word for it.

The consensus in the dry mead seminar by the 4 meadaries was that they are in business to sell mead and need to make what people want. Yet the question of why arent there more pyments which seems like a good link to bring wine interest to mead was answered with "I dont want to add honey to a good wine and I dont want to add grapes to a good mead." I really enjoyed Redstone's pinot noir pyment and there was a white pyment by the meadary that had the bourbon mead that was very good too.

JamesP: Perhaps this is an aging issue that meadaries and winearies cannot get over because it would require a lot more storage plus it would require them postponing sales that they really need to keep going.

02-12-2007, 11:44 AM
Hey folks,
By the way it was nice to meet you at the fest.

I was interested to hear that some meaderies are done with fermentation and in the bottle a month or so after fermentation starts. I was wondering why can't meaderies let the mead age like wineries? Yes it is a space requirement, but why not? I think the dry meads would benefit with age.

02-12-2007, 02:11 PM
Good point Yabodie. I think it was Rabbits Foot that does that and they make more of the 6% cysers and 6%meads. Mead isnt beer so brewing for a month and canning/bottling for instant sale wont work. Its closer to wine in the aging respect. Liquor stores are carrying 2005 wines as the main vintage year. Thats 2 years. Would one of the home mead makers ferment something in October and expect it to do well in the IMF contest? It would almost seem like something is either forgotten or something forces people to make mead differently commerically because I noticed the same thing Yabodie.

02-13-2007, 02:22 AM
I would have to guess that it's a capital thing. Small wineries probably can't afford to put the wine down in a cellar for 2 years any more than small meaderies can. But there aren't any big meaderies, so everything has to be sold soon to keep the cash flow coming. At least until these places are established and have the not only the space but the money to let things age (in barrels! mmmm) for awhile before bottling/distribution. Maybe they'll let us buy futures. :cheers: