Traditional meads are made from water, honey and yeast. They range from dry to semi-sweet. Dry meads capture all the true flavours of honey, while the sweeter versions allows to enjoy natural honey flavours and aromas.
Mead has wide variety of styles – from dry to sweet, also it can be still, carbonated of naturally sparkling. Its final flavor depends on additives used such as juices, fruits, spices or hops. Mead organoleptic as well as taste qualities widely depends on honey style and from which flowers honeybees collects it. Because honey is the only source of organic flavorants and sugar, its composition clearly sets limits on the final quality of the mead. Mead’s alcohol content ranges from 8% ABV to 20% ABV.
Types of mead:
Bochets meads are made from caramelized honey which gives a drink its complexity, most common for sweet meads.
Sack Meads are very sweet traditional meads, often aged for extended periods. They can have the character and complexity of a port or sherry wine, or the sweetness and fruitiness of a late harvest grape varietal.
Melomels are meads made by adding some fruits. Depending on the process and fruits used, these can be very fruity, aromatic and sweet, or dry with just a hint of fruit essence.
Metheglins are meads made with herbs and spices. Such mead pre-dates even wine made from grapes. Most common spices used to produce metheglins mead are clove, cinnamon, ginger, juniper, as well as herbs such as mint, levander, rosemary or sage.
Pyment is a fermented blend of honey and grape juice – probably an ancestor of our grape wines. White and red versions of this mead are available. Type of grapes used gives a certain characteristic to the mead. It can vary from dry to sweet.
Cyser is mead made with apples, taste is determined by the type of apples used. The addition of honey allows more variation in sweetness, alcohol content, and shelf life.
Braggot is mead made from malted grains and honey, hops are use quite ofter too. It can be thought of as a beer/mead hybrid, and probably predates all-grain beers in origin. Today‘s mead makers can produce from sweet “barleywine-style” braggots, to light, hoppy brews of braggot mead.
Sparkling Mead is produced by adding a small amount of honey or sugar just before bottling. This causes a small secondary ferment while in the bottle that will elevate the pressure and sweetness.