Well I have some bad news. Although, it does mean that today’s tasting notes will be a little different. The bottle of mead I just opened is tainted. I have not had this happen before, we have had several bottles from this batch and the rest were all fine.
I knew there was an issue with this one right away, though. The cork was overly wet and crumbled a bit as I tried to remove it. This is bad news and I hope that it has not happened to most of this batch, as it is very important to Amy and I.
The aroma is less changed than the flavor. It may be slightly musty, but it mostly just gives the impression that it is older than the mead actually is. There is still some honey aroma and juicy, citrusy notes. It was made with orange blossom honey.
As soon as I take a sip, though, things get a lot worse. It feels very thin and tastes… well pretty plain and bland. Swallowing the mead is when things go from worse to worser. The aftertaste is awful. Musty, alcoholic seltzer water is how I would describe it. There is no honey left.
This is disheartening, but the timing is pretty good. We are only about a month away from bottling our Second Anniversary mead. I’m going to have to do some research to figure out how to prevent this from happening again, and just hope that most of this batch has not fallen to a similar fate.
Here is how I remember the mead: it is very dry and maybe a little bit lifeless, but certainly not unpleasant. The orange blossom honey definitely comes through, but the extreme dryness keeps it from becoming overly characterful.
I will try to post an update when I figure out what has actually happened here and I’ll definitely do another set of tasting notes with an untainted bottle, assuming this is an isolated incident, at some point.