I had never tasted mead before. It’s a beverage that never really crossed my mind, until the good guys at Next Door Cellars gave me a bottle of Smoothbeard Sparkling Mead to try and review.
Mead to me was something from the Viking Age; fermented honey, water and spices, and the ancestor of all fermented drinks.
I tried not to have any expectations, but the thought of a strong honey flavour was keeping the mead at bay. I thought I would get a big mouthful of sweet runny honey. I was cautious to say the least, especially since I was told this drink would challenge me.
So, it was a warm night, I was thirsty, and the mead was chilled in the fridge. I cracked it open, poured it and took my first sip. Then a sip became a swig, and a swig became a gulp…
I was blown away by how dry and thirst quenching the Smoothbeard Sparkling Mead was. At first I thought, it couldn’t be mead, could it? I could taste honey, but without all the sweetness. It’s odd, because I relate ‘honey’ and ‘very sweet’, but this had little of that. I was clearly wrong about this mead. It started like a cider, but with a welcoming honey aftertaste. More, it was incredibly palatable. A very pleasant, smooth, adult beverage. I’m certainly going to get some of these little honeys for the fridge.
A ‘must try’ if you’re after something a little different. Perfect for spring and summer.