Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mason Dixon Line Mead Tasting

Jeff recently posted that our Mason Dixon Line Mead won a gold medal at the 2013 Ocean State Homebrew competition.  He had mentioned to me that he brought it to a recent homebrewing club meeting and that it was really well received.  Jeff encouraged me to open a bottle and give it a try, something I had not done for quite some time.  After it won gold, I figured the least I could do was to enjoy a glass and post some tasting notes.

Upon opening the bottle of Mason Dixon Line Mead, there is a clear hissing sound, demonstrating evident carbonation.  This is confirmed by medium sized bubbles racing up the sides of the glass when the mead is poured.  The mead appears brilliantly clear pale straw color.  It carries a delicate floral scent along the lines of honeysuckle, though not nearly as strong.  A light honey aroma is also present, especially as the mead warms. I did not detect any of the medicinal aroma that I recall from the mead shortly after bottling, more than two years ago.

The mead's flavors are delicate, much like the aroma.  The initial flavor perception is floral and smooth.  This fades to a slightly herbal or spice-like character, perhaps something warming like cinnamon  though this could be related to the alcohol strength.  The end of the taste is slightly sweet on the tongue, though it fades rather quickly.  There is also a lasting alcohol warmth in the back of the throat that is rather pleasant   The carbonation level is light and provides a mild mouthfeel.

Overall, I would say Jeff is correct.  The Mason Dixon Line mead has completely turned around.  It lacks its former medicinal and abrasive flavor characteristics.  It is enjoyable to drink now and has a positive character all its own, supplemented by the back story of where the honey was sourced.  In many ways, I am glad that I did not like it at first, so I still have a decent stock to age for years to come.  Congrats to the mead for winning gold!

Photo credit: The mead appears with a picture drawn by my daughter, who nicely granted the rights so that it could appear on this blog.



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