About Traditional Mead

About Traditional Mead
Traditional meads should incorporate only honey as a fermentable ingredient, along with water and of course yeast. They can range in character from dry to semi-sweet to sweet, and may be sparkling or still. While not necessarily “traditional”, they may also be fortified and/or barrel-aged. Whether the honey used is a single varietal or a mixture, it is important for a successful traditional mead to evidence the floral nature of the honey; indeed, it should be the defining characteristic. Some acidity is often desired to balance sweetness, but this is not necessary. Lighter versions may be analogous to white wines of corresponding sweetness/dryness, but should present distinctly honeyed emphasis.

Top Picks for Traditional Mead

Honeywood  White Clover Mead
94 points
$12
Best Buy
Bright yellow straw color. Fruity aromas and flavors of peach cobbler, dried apricot, and golden raisin -gooseberry chutney with a velvety, tangy, off-dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, intricate, long finish with notes of honeyed spiced apple and orange and creme brulee finish. A satiny, elegant dessert style mead that drinks like a Beerenauslese.
94 points $12 Best Buy
Honeywood  Mead
93 points
$12
Best Buy
Dull straw color. Tropical, interesting aromas of papaya and lychee, honey roasted grapes, sweet pepper-olive relish, and honeyed greek yogurt with a full body and a sleek, complex, medium-long ginep, golden raisin compote, and lime marmalade finish. An intriguing dessert mead that drinks a lot like a fine beerenauslese.
93 points $12 Best Buy
Martin Brothers  Wildflower Sweet Mead
93 points
$25
Bright gold color. Aromas and flavors of baked apple and pineapple, delicate mint and wintergreen, and dried honey with a silky, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long finish with impressions of apple and peach sauce, pineapple slices, and lychee finish. A vibrant, refreshing mead that will appealing to gewurztraminer fans.
Awards: 2017 Best Traditional Mead
Honey Grail  Boudicas Uprising Sparkling Mead
93 points
$4.69
Best Buy
Minutely hazy straw color. Floral aromas and flavors of wintermint, almond-anise cookie, bubblegum dust, and edible flowers with a supple, crisp, petillant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, elegant, medium-long finish manifesting notes of cream soda, orange chiffon, and chalk finish. A crisp, sparkling mead with a snappy finish.
93 points $4.69 Best Buy
St. Ambrose  Star Thistle Mead
93 points
$11
Best Buy
Brilliant yellow straw color. Earthy aromas and flavors of green tree bark and resin, lemon pith and seeds, rose hips, and toasty bbq woods with a soft, tangy, petillant, sweet-and-sour light-to-medium body and a tingling, delightful, snappy finish with suggestions of honeyed lime and pear, leaves and thistles, and peppercorn finish. A somewhat woody mead for the table.
93 points $11 Best Buy
Black Willow Winery  Odins Nectar
92 points
$17.95
Best Buy
Brilliant light gold color. Aromas and flavors of suede, dried fruits, caramelized nuts, and hint of soy with a supple, bright, fruity medium body and a smooth, distinctive, long finish conveying notes of wheat grass, minted apples and nectarine, and pepper finish. A very expressive dessert-style mead that drinks a bit like a Sherry.
92 points $17.95 Best Buy
St. Ambrose 2014 Oak Barrel Reserve Mead
92 points
$24
Brilliant straw green color. Complex, woody aromas and flavors of thistle, grain husk, toasted herbs, and asian spices with a supple, lively, dryish full body and an interesting, medium-length finish revealing accents of mango tea, roasted chestnuts, cedar, and beach grass finish. A nice barrel influence mead.
Sky River Meadery NV Solas Mead
91 points
$26
Yellow straw color. Fruity, attractive, tropical, confected aromas and flavors of coconut papaya compote, frosted pineapple cake, and candied cherries with a supple, bright, off-dry medium body and an even, subtle, medium-long finish that exhibits notes of coconut milk, rum raisin cake, and nougat finish. A delicious and fun off-dry mead that is sure to please.
HoneyMaker  Semi-Sweet Mead
91 points
$19
Clear golden straw color. Savory aromas and flavors of spiced dried peach, honeycomb, cornichon and nut oil, and cedar pencil with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long finish with shades of raisin compote, spiced nuts, and brown butter finish. A delightfully nutty, savory mead that will shine at the table.
Martin Brothers  Lucerne Blossom Mead
91 points
$26
Brilliant yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of baked lemon and pear, bamboo shoot, and melted wax with a silky, vibrant, off-dry medium body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-long finish manifesting notes of pineapple yogurt, candied orange zest, wintergreen and alfalfa, and baked raisins finish. A savory, appetizing mead.