View Full Version : Is it just me?

07-13-2016, 09:14 PM
Or do any of you fellow honey coniseurs get this description also? So I'm doing the strawberry mead tonight & I break out 2 gallons of California black button sage honey I'd been saving for just this moment. My wife, son & daughter walk thru & I excitedly say "try this!!" The sad reply from each is "tastes like honey". Huh? Really? That's it? I get that reply with black locust, orange, basswood,wildflower..blah ..blah ..blah. They may notice when compared side by side with clover a difference but that's it. Neadertals, I'm surrounded by neandertals. So I've poured a tall glass of black cap mead & I'm heading to the porch

07-13-2016, 10:43 PM
Nope. Check my rant on this thread:

Yesterday I said I wouldn't mind making the opening drink for my own wedding. My sister said no-way because your stuff is always strong. And by strong she meant dry because it's the same thing they say if they taste my dry, clean-fermented cider at 4% abv. Well damnit I'll add tons of sweetness and get compliments if I actually liked sweet mead. The stories are endless...

07-14-2016, 10:06 AM

Me too, guys. Me too. Although, truth be told, I'm still working on my palate when it come to tasting the raw honey. I can get the major notes, but picking up the delicate flavors in the background is difficult for me in the face of the huge sugar content.

07-14-2016, 11:05 AM
I sorta get where you're coming from. I'm the same away about all the "florally" descriptors. With all that sugar, I might get the main overtone and a little something extra...but that's about it. I can certainly tell the difference between wildflower and orange blossom or clover and lime blossom. But my palate is just not sensitive enough to detect all that other stuff.

My friends are basically the same way. They didn't realize how much honey varied in flavor, they just thought it was a marketing gimmick, but they are like me. Yeah, it's different, but just in some major way. None of those fine subtleties come through for them either; mainly it's just a "I can taste the orange" or "that's richer and more molasses flavored than this lighter honey".

07-14-2016, 11:42 AM
I'd love to do a mead testing but my batch sizes are too small. I have at best one type of mead bottled and ready for consumption at any one time. :/

07-15-2016, 11:20 AM
I've done several honey tastings with friends and family. This is a difficult thing to get people to appreciate. I find it very helpful to give them small batches of the honey, perhaps in very small plastic individual serving cups that you can get at restaurant supply stores. This way they each have their own cup with a lid on it that they can keep warm with their hand which volatizes the aromatic qualities of honey. Then what I do is move on to describing to the people who are tasting the honeys the fact that honey will at first assault them with all of the characters that they generally expect. Sweetness. Sugary-ness. Similarity to molasses or Karo syrup in texture. But then I asked them to look past all of that and try to figure out whether they can pick up on anything else. I asked them to imagine that I have mixed a small amount of some other flavor into the honey, and try to guess what flavor that is. That tends to really get them to do some exploration. And amazingly once someone offers an idea of what they think they smell or taste, the rest of the group usually starts identifying with that and helping to refine what's being smelled or tasted.

And I also have them really spend a lot of time examining the aromas of the honeys before I allow them to start tasting. This really I think causes them to open up their minds and their senses to the layers of complexity that are there.

Doing this before a mead tasting really helps to increase the appreciation for what mead is, and it also softens the palate first. It gives somebody who's expecting something very sweet a taste of something sweet and then by comparison the mead which they expected to be sweet is far less so.

Anyway I hope this helps. Best of luck!

07-15-2016, 04:20 PM
Something else that REALLY helps is that honey tasting wheel you can get from the UC Davis Honey and Pollination program.