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View Full Version : Poll: What would you most like to see from commercial meaderies?



YogiBearMead726
10-08-2012, 12:53 PM
I'm interested in what others in our community want to see from the commercial operations. This is mainly for my own edification, but I hope others will find it interesting as well.

If you pick other, I'd be curious to know what you'd like to see meaderies producing, and if applicable why.

veritas
10-08-2012, 01:01 PM
I'm interested in what others in our community want to see from the commercial operations. This is mainly for my own edification, but I hope others will find it interesting as well.

If you pick other, I'd be curious to know what you'd like to see meaderies producing, and if applicable why.


Wow I am excited to see and try anything especially anything new. Anytime I swing by the old liquor store and they have a new mead I make a point to pick them up and try them.

Mars Colonist
10-08-2012, 01:48 PM
So looking at the poll results....

Is it me, or do dry meads take forever to come together? I would think meaderies cant afford to hold a dry batch in inventory long enough to release it when it tastes good.

Ive had a number of commercial dry meads that I have no idea how old they were at the time of purchase (TTB wont let you label vintage) and i didnt care for any of them (even though the meadery got good reviews). Either I dont like dry mead (I do like dry bold red wine), or I dont even begin to like them til they are at least 1.5 yrs old (my own as an example) and they are more integrated and the honey comes back. That said, wine people (think they) want dry mead, but a dry mead doesnt have the same body a dry wine has.

Have I just had bad examples of commercial dry mead?

YogiBearMead726
10-08-2012, 03:04 PM
So looking at the poll results....

Is it me, or do dry meads take forever to come together? I would think meaderies cant afford to hold a dry batch in inventory long enough to release it when it tastes good.

Ive had a number of commercial dry meads that I have no idea how old they were at the time of purchase (TTB wont let you label vintage) and i didnt care for any of them (even though the meadery got good reviews). Either I dont like dry mead (I do like dry bold red wine), or I dont even begin to like them til they are at least 1.5 yrs old (my own as an example) and they are more integrated and the honey comes back. That said, wine people (think they) want dry mead, but a dry mead doesnt have the same body a dry wine has.

Have I just had bad examples of commercial dry mead?

I think you have a good point. The main issue with dry meads is the aging required, and thus tied up capital before the mead is ready. I just wish some meaderies were willing to make the investment in barrel aging programs. And I'm with you...I've yet to have a good example of dry mead.

Also, didn't know about the TTB regulation on vintages. I wonder why that might be? If all the honey used was collected during one year, one would think labeling the resulting mead with a vintage would be allowed. Especially since the same hives in the same area will produce slightly different honey year to year based on the local conditions (similar to what might be expected of the same vineyard year to year).

Bob1016
10-08-2012, 04:10 PM
In the old beer brewing days they used to sell stock/strong ales right after they cleared and expected you to age them for a few months. Maybe a meadery could age a dry mead for 1 year (or 6 months) and recommend additional aging to cut the cost of storage? I would be willing to age it if it is a good mead; just like you would buy a good Bordeaux and not dream of opening it for a while. I think instant gratification is the big problem here.
How can the prevent you from putting a vintage on it? Can't you just put "Spring 2010" on the label and then register a new label next season/year?

TheAlchemist
10-08-2012, 04:48 PM
There is no paucity of sweet and semi-sweet mead available commercially. I think it's what "the populace" expects from a commercial mead, so that's what we get.

I'd like to see more dry meads.

BBBF
10-08-2012, 04:49 PM
I'm one of the people that voted dry. Really, I prefer more of an off dry/not quite semi-sweet. It's a thin line. The last couple meads I've sampled were good, but much too sweet for me.

And I would have voted for Other: Braggots, but I'm aware of the limitations on what a meadery can produce.

skunkboy
10-08-2012, 07:07 PM
I would be nice if more labels had more info like dates and style or sweetness level.

I like the fact that I can look at the bottle of redstone I have in the basement and see that a date of 2006 and get an idea of how old it is :)

Leeham991
10-08-2012, 10:06 PM
A bottling date would be really nice. Even bad wines have bottling dates. Even Echo Falls has bottling dates. But no mead ever seems to have that information, despite it being more important for mead than it is for wines. In fact the only thing I can think of where the bottling date is more important than mead is Whiskey, where knowing when it was bottled is pretty much all you need to know to know what you're getting.


I checked semi-sweet meads because I'm pretty sure I've never had a really dry mead, but I have had the Traditional and the West Country meads from Lyme Bay, and I much prefer the much drier Traditional over the sweeter West Country.

YogiBearMead726
10-09-2012, 01:47 PM
This is all great feedback! I think it is a bit too late to edit the poll, but I thought of two other, perhaps missed, styles of mead; session/low ABV meads and sparkling mead.

Any thoughts on those two?

Mars Colonist
10-09-2012, 03:11 PM
The problem with sparkling is the excise taxes (US). It's something like $2.40 a gallon just for federal taxes, then you have state excise on top of that (another $1.40/gallon) :eek: Kind of cuts into the bottom line.

Also, for session meads, to be considered "wine", min ABV is 7%; under that it is under FDA approval.

That given, I would think a lot of people would be interested in both session and carbonated/sparkling... just are they will to pay for it :)

Bob1016
10-09-2012, 03:18 PM
I would love to see a 6-8%abv mead with maltodextrin added for body, that is also sparkling. That would beat any pilsner on a hot summer day!

Mars Colonist
10-09-2012, 03:36 PM
Im not certain you could use maltodextrin.

It can be derived from any starch, but typically from corn or wheat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltodextrin), and Title 27, 24.200 (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=506cf0c03546efff958847134c5527d3&rgn=div5&view=text&node=27:1.0.1.1.19&idno=27#27:1.0.1.1.19.6.343.5) specifically says, "Since grain, cereal, malt, or molasses are not suitable materials for the production of agricultural wine, these materials may not be received on bonded wine premises."

Looks to be the same reason you cant do a braggot (in the US) in a bonded winery.

Bob1016
10-09-2012, 06:14 PM
Chapitolization (not sure if that is spelled right?)! Adding sugar to dilute the acidity in wines is done with corn sugar is it not? I know it can be done at home with cane sugar, but if I owned a big winery I would use corn sugar because of the price.
I think the issue is adding grains, not cereal products. I guarantee that there are cereal products in some of the additive used in the wine industry. Besides, it a dumb law anyway. :p

Bob1016
10-09-2012, 06:19 PM
Just re-read the section you quoted. I love how "hops may be used in the production of honey wine", but heaven forbid a vermouth is wanted, or you want to add hops to a Chardonnay (not as weird as it sounds), and the gates of hell will open if you add grains to a wine/mead!:rolleyes:

skunkboy
10-09-2012, 08:10 PM
Sparking mead can be quiet nice. BNektar is making some. Even if the taxes are higher people are probably willing to pay more, like for champange/sparkingwine...

YogiBearMead726
10-10-2012, 12:09 AM
Sparking mead can be quiet nice. BNektar is making some. Even if the taxes are higher people are probably willing to pay more, like for champange/sparkingwine...

Searching through the commercial meaderies listed on the website, I found this place (http://www.heidrunmeadery.com) just north of me. Seems like they harvest/contract their own honey, and have pretty reasonable prices. I'd love to make mimosas with brut mead... :)

I think a trip for a tour/tasting is in order once they are open to the public.

Chevette Girl
10-10-2012, 01:48 PM
This is all great feedback! I think it is a bit too late to edit the poll, but I thought of two other, perhaps missed, styles of mead; session/low ABV meads and sparkling mead.

Any thoughts on those two?

Dang, I didn't think to add them but I'd have checked hydromel and sparkling if they'd been on the list.

GDP
10-11-2012, 09:16 AM
The only commercial meadery that I like so far is B Nektar. All others taste too much like wine or just taste funny. Or are too dry for me. I prefer semi-sweet to sweet.

Leeham991
10-11-2012, 12:04 PM
The only commercial meadery that I like so far is B Nektar. All others taste too much like wine or just taste funny. Or are too dry for me. I prefer semi-sweet to sweet.

I noticed that a lot of 'meads' sold around are actually white wine flavoured with honey. I've heard they're nice but personally I've avoided these like the plague xD

kudapucat
10-11-2012, 05:41 PM
Over here it's all about instant gratification. The average life of a bottle from sale to opening is less than 3 hours!
Many of our bottle shops sell (at suitably inflated prices) older vintages for that reason.
As for mead, we can only buy Maxwell's Swill... :-(

I entered a dry peach mel that was 1.5 years old and rather nice, into pre-evaluation for the local wine guild competition.
It was judged to be pretty good, bronze/silver, except, that I should be prepared that most judges expect mead is a sweet brew, so lacking sweetness may lose it points.

Grrr.

YogiBearMead726
10-11-2012, 05:44 PM
I entered a dry peach mel that was 1.5 years old and rather nice, into pre-evaluation for the local wine guild competition.
It was judged to be pretty good, bronze/silver, except, that I should be prepared that most judges expect mead is a sweet brew, so lacking sweetness may lose it points.

Grrr.

This is exactly why I make mead...to change people's perception of what mead "should taste like". It isn't wine, and deserves to be judged on its own merits. Have you gotten any score cards back yet?

kudapucat
10-11-2012, 07:49 PM
it was just pre-evaluation, the comp is in November

mrperq
10-12-2012, 06:32 AM
I noticed that a lot of 'meads' sold around are actually white wine flavoured with honey.

Mead is quit hard to find around here. I only found some in a
apiary supply grossery i visited when honey-hunting. It was
actually quit tasty, but no honey-aroma at all. Acutally I dont
think it tatsted that much different from a montbazillac, to the
point I believe was simply grape wine, possibly slightly
backsweetened with honey.

I dont really know yet what I'm looking for in a mead, but its
most definately not grape wine. I think most of what I really
want depends on occasion, weather and mood, simular to wine and
beer.

GDP
10-12-2012, 08:06 AM
Mead is quit hard to find around here. I only found some in a
apiary supply grossery i visited when honey-hunting. It was
actually quit tasty, but no honey-aroma at all. Acutally I dont
think it tatsted that much different from a montbazillac, to the
point I believe was simply grape wine, possibly slightly
backsweetened with honey.

I dont really know yet what I'm looking for in a mead, but its
most definately not grape wine. I think most of what I really
want depends on occasion, weather and mood, simular to wine and
beer.

I was in the same boat as you, in trying to find that right mead but not knowing what it is. I believe I finally found my brand/styles that I like and its just right for me. Not too sweet and not wine-like. I had to go through about 4-5 other different brands and about 8 different styles/flavors of mead to find it.