We still like mead which is more or less wine made from honey instead of grapes. I’d been thinking we should give Redstone Mountain Mead another try for a couple of reasons.
A.) Now that the Mead we’re making ourselves has aged a bit, I’m really struck by how much difference time has made to each batch and how different each batch is. I couldn’t help but wonder if the bitterness from the April 13, 2011 batch might not have aged out. The honey has me more more curious too as honey can vary quite a bit from batch to batch even within the same variety.
B.) I think I’m starting to get a feel for the taste of real Mead, not just bottles labeled “Mead” that contain a host of other flavoring agents to appeal to the masses with fruity, tart, candy-like flavors. The Redstone Mountain Mead from April 13, 2011 was probably the closest to real Mead of what I purchased at Total Wine in the past.*
C.) Mead is generally yummy.
D.) The colbalt blue bottles are beautiful and we can reuse each one we empty. It’s a tough job to empty them, but somebody’s got to do it. (See #C. above.)
I’d been wanting to give Redstone Mountain Mead another chance since the April 13, 2011 batch was somewhat bitter and wasn’t what we were hoping for at the time. The more I learn about Mead the more I realize how many different factors can affect the flavor causing bitterness or off-tastes. Redstone bottles are dated — each batch, unique. We might get more of the same or not. Only one way to know for sure … Next we purchased the August 15, 2011 bottle and we were really impressed this time.
August 15, 2011 was delightful with a pleasant, distinct honeycomb taste. Sweet without being sickeningly so. The bitter aftertaste of the April 13 batch was absent. While Aug 15 didn’t have the deep, dark taste of Fox Hill, Special Reserve, it was overall just a really yummy classic Mead taste with enough depth to make it interesting. Pleasant all around with no funny tastes and none of that bitterness. The color was a more golden than white wine, but not at all brown.
I went back to Total Wine hoping to get a bit more and actually found a November batch instead. I’m guessing there are a few other folks out there who found the August batch appealing.
I’m going to check around for more August, but in the meantime I purchased a November bottle as well as a Redstone Black Raspberry Nectar. We’ll try those next. Black Raspberry Nectar is something we hadn’t seen at Total Wine before, and according to the Redstone website, it’s their most popular mead. It’s a melomel which means it’s made from honey and fruit. It’s carbonated and at only 8% alcohol content I expect it to taste fairly mild and perhaps a little wine-cooler-ish. I’m hoping it has more depth and natural flavor than coolers.
We recently went to a SodaStream House Party and that has me wondering more about carbonation. I don’t think I want my mead to be carbonated, but with fruity flavors it could work. I like cider or cysers carbonated. I’m guessing a SodaStream wouldn’t work well for this kind of beverage, though, I might do a little research.
*Chaucer’s Mead, while yummy, tastes a little too consistent to be just plain classic mead. I think there’s got to be more processing going on for the consistency of taste and aroma. What we’ve had over the years is much like it’s always been. Don’t get me wrong, still yummy with a distinct honey flavor and aroma, but not the depth and unique character of an unprocessed, unadulterated mead.