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To those according to their mead

Artesano “Essence” Mead (Vermont) – Intense dried honey, golden fig, and even a little bit of pleasant bitterness and vibrant finishing intensity. I’ve been somewhat disappointed with other meads from this producer, but this one is stellar. (6/12)

The mead for speed

Artesano Mead (Vermont) – 500 ml. Very floral. I know that, by definition, all mead is more or less floral, but this is really flowery, as if the bees got pollinated wind of a warehouse clearance sale on microgametophytes. It’s good, but I think it might be of more use doled out in very small amounts, or perhaps used in cooking. (10/10)

Nicoll Kidman

Nicoll Dry Wildflower Mead (Maine) – Yeah, it’s mead. Dry-ish honey in drinkable form. And then? Nothing. The problem is less this beverage than my tastes; once one has delved into single-source meads, the blends seem…well, boring. So that’s my bad. I can recommend it for those whose palates haven’t been ruined by, um, varietal bottlings. (6/10)

The meading of life

[label]Picassic Pond Hálfsætt Traditional Mead (New Hampshire) – Strikingly transparent, with raw honey front and center. It’s not like eating honey itself, but it seems devoid of mitigation or trickery along the way to getting an alcoholic version of same. Terrific. (5/08)

Picassic Pond Elderberry Melomel (New Hampshire) – The flavor’s OK, sort of a tarted-up version of honey with black fruit notes and a little surplus acidity, but the smell is fetid and atrocious. (5/08)

Picassic Pond Pumpkin Spice Mead (New Hampshire) – Not bad, but the obscuring spice (which is more anonymous than pumpkin-y) mostly just serves to fatten the mead rather than add anything of true complexity. (6/08)


[bees]Honey Gardens “Traditional” Mead (Vermont) – I don’t have a firm handle on how to talk about mead quality. This is less overtly sweet than some, showing more honeycomb than honey (raw honey, beeswax), with a mown hay and vegetal underpinning. It’s an easy drink, though without much of a finish. It tastes, to my palate, not unlike a cheap Layon, such as one might find from a cooperative, and it might be fun to serve it blind. I’d buy it again, though without enthusiasm; I guess that’s as close as I’m going to come to a qualitative assessment. (3/08)

Sweet Melissa

Honey Gardens “Melissa” Sparkling Mead (Vermont) – Very cloudy, yeasty, slightly bitter, and volatile. There’s very little honey here, but rather a whole lot of pollen and a good deal of acrid, desiccating difficulty. I don’t like this at all. (3/08)