Mead is one of those drinks that sticks out to you once you have tried it. Like any other alcoholic drink, it has its lovers and haters, but for the most part, lovers. Its history is something you should admire. But what stands out more than its history is its taste. If someone gave you a mead without telling you it was mead, you would know it was different from all the other alcoholic drinks because of its distinct taste.
Of course, the taste of mead will depend on various factors, including which company produced the mead, but the typical taste you should expect is a sweet, honey flavor. Some would compare it to a sweet wine with a texture commonly found in sherry. Whatever the case is, mead is a quality drink with a large fanbase. At first, the taste may not appeal to some, but over time, it will catch on and be other drinks in your panel.
Below we will speak on mead and its many characteristics.
The history of mead
Mead is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks in human history, as its first documentation goes back more than a thousand years. First surfacing in Africa, it quickly traveled to Europe and other parts of the world. It quickly took on this cult status, with many people believing it was a drink God drank. They thought it was sent from the heavens as dew and collected by bees, which people would then collect the honey and make the mead.
So it was trendy for a long time until the world became more urbanized, and beekeeping and gathering honey became more of a thing you would see the rich people of any nation conduct. However, thanks to some prominent period-piece TV shows (Game of Thrones, The Vikings, etc.), mead has found a new light and audience and has been steadily increasing in popularity again.
What is mead made of?
Looking at the intro, you will see that mead has this honey-life flavor, so it should come as no surprise that you use honey in making mead. The process of making mead involves mixing water with honey, and the next step would be to ferment these ingredients with or with yeast. To include yeast comes down to the producer. Natural flavoring could be added to the mead, but this would come down to the producer again.
Mead vs. beer vs. wine
There are many battlegrounds in the world of alcohol. Some people drink wine, and they hate the taste of beer. Some people drink mead but hate the taste of wine. It’s rare to find someone who likes all three or a mixture. You either like none of them or like one of them and not like the others.
This, in the end, all comes down to taste; while they may all taste the same in some regards, they are vastly different in others. When you look at mead, as we have mentioned in this article, it has a sweet, honey taste. When you look at beer, you commonly find a crisp, malty, or bitter taste. Then finally, wine has a sweetly rich, fruity flavor.
These are all incredibly different-tasting alcoholic beverages, so you can see why the battle lines get vigorously defended. If you like the sweet taste of mead, you will most likely not like the bitter taste of beer; it just does not mix. The best thing to do is to sip each of these beverages and decide which works better for you. You may walk into it thinking you like one and walk away realizing you like the other.
Can you age mead, and does it affect the taste?
Mead can be stored and aged similarly to wine. Some people age mead for sport, but others are looking to change the flavor of the mead of the time. Aging will cause the mead flavor to smooth out, but the alcohol content will determine the future taste and how long you will need to age the mead. If the alcoholic content is very high, you will need to age the mead longer for the change in flavor to occur.
Storing mead is similar to that of wine as well. Simply find a nice cool, dry place to keep it, like an attic or a basement, and keep it closed throughout the process. The unfortunate part about aging mead is there is no guarantee you will like the future taste or not, but again, some people do it as a sport and may look to sell the product off later on.
Is mead bad for you?
With mead being an alcoholic drink, the natural conclusion for some people when they look at this question would be yes, but there are nuances. It is not inherently bad to drink alcohol; taking a few drinks here and there throughout the week is not dangerous.
However, it becomes a problem for those who overdrink, not only because of the impairment it causes to your way of thinking and motor skills but also the extra calories it can add.
Regarding positive health benefits, some ideas have been floated around about the potential health benefits of mead. However, these are still in their early research stages and have not yielded any credible evidence.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.