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Thread: Help me choose me very first mead.

  1. Default Help me choose me very first mead.

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to the site and new to mead. My interest of this beverage started because I am scandanavian heritage (Sweden, Norwegian)+(German). I know the health benefits of honey and it interested me that this alcoholic beverage is made from honey and is relatively a simple somewhat healthy concoction. I have never tasted Mead and was wondering if you could give me some good brands to start with. I am interested in the Viking era and movies such as the 13th warrior and books like eaters of the dead mention Mead. Who knows, maybe I will even try to make my own later on...

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Welcome A1B2C3CAL,

    I will jump right in here and say...White Winter Winery.

    Delicious Meads. You will love the label. Take a look on their website and see.

    Angus
    Chan fhíach cuírm gun a còmhradh

    A feast is no use without good talk.

  3. #3
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    Evergreen, CO (west of and above the Denver smog!)
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    I second Angus' endorsement of White Winter -- good stuff!

    However, depending on where you're located, you might have one or more local meaderies worth checking out, too. Where are you?
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  4. Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Thank you for the suggestions so far. Quick replies! I am located in the deep dark forest regions of the great white north known as Northern Minnesota. I don't think many people make mead around here but you never know we are mostly scandanavian in Minnesota!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Ahhh, as someone who lived for several years in eastern South Dakota, I know full well about that forest. We were envious of your trees ( ) and several folks I worked with owned cabins up in No. MN.

    Anyway, according to Dan McFeeley's list of operating meaderies there are a couple of folks making mead commercially in Minnesota. You can check out the list here: http://www.talisman.com/mead/meadery.html Dick Dunn maintains that website, BTW. One of those meaderies is in McGregor, and the other is nearer to Minneapolis. There's one by another name in McGregor listed on the Commercial Meadery page here on Gotmead. That may be the same one as in Dan's list, with a name change. I've never tried any of their meads, so I can't vouch for them one way or the other. So your best bet to guarantee that you try a good product as your intro to mead, is probably to look for a White Winter product at a local store, or to order some from them. Then, once you know if you like mead, you can head over to McGregor and sample some of the "local" product!
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  6. Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Some of the White Winter product looks very tastey. Blueberry and strawberry mmmmm! My wife will be happy. What am I to expect in the taste, basicly like a wine? Do most people drink it from wine glasses or something else? Is it meant to be sipped or to be chugged like a beer?! Sorry for all the questions...it really is interesting to me.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    The answer is, it depends. There are styles of mead that are more like beer, but the White Winter products are more similar to wine in character and alcohol level. So sip, rather than chug (at least at first)!
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    I can tell you that you can chug but sit down afterwords!
    You can sip but you need alot more to reach !

    Seriously I drink mine from a on the rocks type glass and a wine glass. Depends on my mood I suppose.

    Imagine your strawberries (which by the way is my favorite hombrew) with a honey flavor added to them and 16% alchohol added to the mixture. Take vanilla and cinnamon and add it too an apple and put some honey over it with a touch of 14% alchohol. You'll never go back!
    If I was a mead what flavor would I be?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Chris,

    You are lucky. White Winter is located just off the shores of Superior in the very north of WI. They have distributors in MN, so you should be able to get it if you look hard enough. They are wines, and should be drunk as such.

    My method....sip, sip again, drink, slurp, chug, fall down, lick spilt mead from floor. Wake up. Repeat.

    Angus
    Chan fhíach cuírm gun a còmhradh

    A feast is no use without good talk.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Very well put!

    If I was a mead what flavor would I be?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Welcome Christopher!

    Once you taste good mead, it is hard to stop. I say sip it - you want to pace yourself. Rabbit's Foot Meadery produces some delicious mead, but I don't know if you can get it MN. Honeywine.com would be a good place to to check also.

    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Mead is mead: not wine, not beer; however, it has characteristics more soundly related to wine, so I tend to treat it as such. You can find it Dry, Dessert, and any sweetness level in between, with or without fruit/spices... I've found the straight "show meads" can contain so many incredible sensations, sometimes fruit & spices are truly unneccessary. mmmmmm mead..... :drool:
    These guys know good stuff, so take their word for what to get. The only commercial stuff I've had was the well-known but incredibly mediocre stuff they sell at BevMo, so don't bother with them (unless you happened to be blessed with a store that sells more than the one mead! BTW, it's from CALI, and it ISN"T the Rabbit's Foot Meadery). The best mead I've had thus far has been my own, and that's not saying a whole heckuva lot.
    I keep trying to get to the Rabbit's Foot, since I keep reading good things about them, but every time I'm in the neighborhood (which was no less than 5 different times this week so far), either they are closed, or I'm not at liberty to spend cash. I'm hoping either tomorrow or next week will prove to be much more productive!

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you!

  13. Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Thank you all for taking the time to help me with my questions. White Winter Winery is close and the family and I might have to go take a looksy. I'm going to order a few bottles and give it a try straight away. I'll post my Virgin Mead tasting experience back here after I recieve the product!

    I was reading about what would be considered the healthiest form of alcoholic beverage and Mead was on the list next to wine, sake etc. Are there really only like 3 ingredients in Mead ...water, honey and yeast? and of course the flavorings you add.. Is it considered a 3.2% alcohol or do different brands have different percentages of alcohol in them?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    What I've noticed, looking around this site, is that pretty much ALL the recipes end up with well over 10%, and usually closer to 14%.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you!

  15. Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Wow no wonder the norse were always laughing around the fires and in the longhouses!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.


    3-4% alcohol? Sounds like a day mead, something light that you drink almost like a session beer.
    Bees stole my signature file!

  17. Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Well I took the leap and ordered my very first three bottles of Mead. I took some of your guys advice and decided to try the White Winter Winery label. To start things off I ordered a bottle of Sweet Mead I guess this is close to what they drank in the old days. Second I went for a bottle of Black Harbor the black currant with honey and grape sounds delicious. Thirdly I tried the Acer with maple syrup and honey. I can't wait to recieve them and try it for the first time.

  18. Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    the flavor of honey dissipates prettty quickly when you ferment all the sugars out so its pretty much standard practice to take a yeast to its tolerance so you can use as much honey as possible to get the most flavor into the mead. the down side is that the alcohol takes a while to mellow out and let the honey flavor through. low alcohol meads have less honey and in turn less honey flavor in them. most meads need some aing period to make them taste better becauue of this.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    Selection of yeast can be a method of maintaining some of the honey character as part of the fermentation. Check out the yeast table on the main site to determine what yeast would match better with the ingredients, and which will highlight the varietal characteristic. This way, you can perhaps use less honey, thus acheive a lower %ABV, but still keep that flavor that the honey provides.

    Angus
    Chan fhíach cuírm gun a còmhradh

    A feast is no use without good talk.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Help me choose me very first mead.

    This is the site I use:

    http://www.cfhb.org/mead/yeast_strains.htm#D-47
    If I was a mead what flavor would I be?

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