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keepitlow
11-30-2009, 10:47 AM
Do you think some meaderies make too many freaky varieties of mead? The kind flavored with all sort of other things than honey?

The flavors they add can mask a poor mead. Seems that they should try to perfect some nice sipping mead for a start.

wayneb
11-30-2009, 11:43 AM
keepitlow, I moved your post over here from the Newbees area, since that part of the forum is really meant for folks new to mead to ask technical questions. Over here at the Hive, we're pretty much open to any and all questions/comments/critiques from all comers, provided they're not rude or offensive.

Anyway, to get to your question, IMHO your observations are valid. I'd like to see all commercial meaderies demonstrate their "stuff" by making and marketing one or more traditional meads where they can't hide poor skills or technique behind fruit or herbal flavorings. But, market pressures being what they are I can understand why some meaderies make what they believe their customers want, and nothing else. Supply always follows demand, especially in these challenging economic times.

Medsen Fey
11-30-2009, 11:44 AM
Do you think some meaderies make too many freaky varieties of mead?
....Seems that they should try to perfect some nice sipping mead for a start.

Uh, I think how many different meads a commercial operation wants to produce is a decision for them to make based on their market. If they feel they can produce something that will be purchased while making them a profit, then far be it from me to discourage them. If they are wrong, it will fail and they will be financially punished for their mistake and I don't have to give it a second thought.

I for one like to have some variety available. Not every mead needs to be heavy, sweet and for sipping. We had some dry mango melomel with the Thanksgiving bird that was a very nice "table wine" and then had some dessert mead (sour orange melomel) later. I like traditional meads, but I also really like meads with other things in them, so I'm glad to see plenty of options out there.

Medsen

AToE
11-30-2009, 01:37 PM
I wish every meadery would at least offer one dry traditional mead (haven't found very many yet), and also that they would list the sweetness level of their meads. Those are my only two complaints that I can apply in a blanket statement to all the meaderies I've looked at so far. Considering I have to order almost any mead I'll want to try online, not having some kind of sweetness indicator is an instant deal-breaker for me. (A good example here is B Nektar - I would have ordered bottles from them long ago, but there is no info whatsoever I can find on their website that says how sweet each mead is)

Supply and demand though, if no one wants dry traditionals I'm certainly not going to fault meaderies for not making them. And, if everyone wants to buy spiced meads, and melomels, that's what producers will make.

Smarrikåka
11-30-2009, 01:52 PM
AToE you should take a look at Heidrun Meadery, unless of course you don't like bubbly stuff. all their meads are sparkling dry traditionals from different types of honey.

wildoates
11-30-2009, 01:57 PM
One good thing about mead that even if it doesn't sell like you hope, it keeps for a long time, usually getting better all the time. That way you build up quite a list of meads in your cellar over time.

AToE
11-30-2009, 02:09 PM
AToE you should take a look at Heidrun Meadery, unless of course you don't like bubbly stuff. all their meads are sparkling dry traditionals from different types of honey.

Thanks for the heads up, they really do have some great variety. I generally drink still wine, but I'd be willing to try sparkling mead (haven't had before). Decent pricing too.

And hey, if I decide I'd prefer a still mead I can just decant it a few hours before serving! Should take care of any bubbles.:)

Smarrikåka
11-30-2009, 03:29 PM
And hey, if I decide I'd prefer a still mead I can just decant it a few hours before serving! Should take care of any bubbles.:)

True :) Though, it does lose a slight bit of quality in those hours.

Heidrun is probably my favourite meadery for a lot of reasons.

AToE
11-30-2009, 03:33 PM
True :) Though, it does lose a slight bit of quality in those hours.

Heidrun is probably my favourite meadery for a lot of reasons.

I would think a traditional would be more than fine breathing for a few hours? Looking at some of Oskaar's posts that time in the decanter might even improve it.

Smarrikåka
11-30-2009, 03:41 PM
Well, their recent meads are quite powerful on the pressure, so it takes more like a full day for all the bubbles to go out, if the bottle is kept open. In a more open space it might be faster, but then the level of oxidaztion is also increased. That said though, I have drank them still, and they taste fine that way. I'm just usually a little iffy about suggesting it.

akueck
11-30-2009, 07:18 PM
A good example here is B Nektar - I would have ordered bottles from them long ago, but there is no info whatsoever I can find on their website that says how sweet each mead is.

The B Nektar bottles I just bought have a fun little "slider" which indicates the sweetness level. Can't recall now if that info was on the website or not....

I would love to see more dry styles as well. But I am probably not the average mead consumer that most meaderies are targeting, so I understand why the market might look the way it does right now. It's still growing though, so it's only a matter of time.

As far as weird meads, well that is a trend right now too. If you look at craft beer, many breweries are going out and doing crazy things. You have to make a name for yourself, so just making a "plain" beer or mead is not enough to make people remember you, even if it does highlight more traditional skills. Hook'em on the wacky stuff, then get them to try your variation on a dry OB traditional.

AToE
11-30-2009, 07:26 PM
The B Nektar bottles I just bought have a fun little "slider" which indicates the sweetness level. Can't recall now if that info was on the website or not....


That's a good idea, but I'm pretty sure there's no info at all on their website, or in the descriptions in online stores. Maybe I'll just email them and see if they have any dry/off dry meads.

Ideally I think wine and mead should list the FG somewhere on the bottle, but I guess I'm really asking for too much!

Smarrikåka
12-01-2009, 12:23 AM
Ideally I think wine and mead should list the FG somewhere on the bottle, but I guess I'm really asking for too much!

I think that's too much a technical term for the average drinker. Something like RSBV (Residual sugar by volume), would be more useful. Lab tests to determine this is neccessary anyway. The same goes for acid content.

akueck
12-01-2009, 02:35 AM
I've seen dessert wines that list things like OG (in Brix), residual sugar, etc. I've also seen winemakers put all sorts of stuff on their labels, like OG (in Brix), TA, the weather that year, how they trimmed the vines, the yield (tons per acre), etc. Kind of neat! These are small producers though.

AToE
12-01-2009, 01:27 PM
I think that's too much a technical term for the average drinker. Something like RSBV (Residual sugar by volume), would be more useful. Lab tests to determine this is neccessary anyway. The same goes for acid content.

Certainly wouldn't mean anything to the average person, but RSBV means nothing to me!

Honestly though, I'd settle for any kind of indication of sweetness on the bottle. Especially for pink wines, as I love a good dry/off dry rose, but it seems like the majority of the ones on the shelves are sweet, and no indication which is which.

I'm not sure if I've seen sweetness indicated in any way on more than 1 or 2 bottles, ever.

AToE
12-01-2009, 01:28 PM
I've seen dessert wines that list things like OG (in Brix), residual sugar, etc. I've also seen winemakers put all sorts of stuff on their labels, like OG (in Brix), TA, the weather that year, how they trimmed the vines, the yield (tons per acre), etc. Kind of neat! These are small producers though.

I've notice one US brewer, Rogue, who labels their beer with all the weird beer measurements that I don't know anything about, like IBU etc. They also list all the specific malts, hops, yeast, and water in their ingredients.

May not mean much to most people (or me...) but I find it to be a very nice touch.