Tis the season for bad sweaters, spiked soy egg nog, misteltoe, and 50’s era Christmas music that has yet to be bested.
It’s also time I bottled the cider-mead! It’s been bubbling in my kitchen for just under three months, and I think it’s time to let it age in smaller bottles.
I’ve sampled the goods and am pleased with the result. It’s clearly more mead than it is cider, but there is a very slight effervescence that is discernible in the first sips. Using my very scientific method of guessing based on other alcohol I’ve consumed, I’d place the ABV is on the higher end, at ~15-16%. It has very little alcohol taste. If you’re not careful and swallow several large gulps of it while siphoning it into bottles, the alcohol can sneak up on you. True story.
The taste is subtle, but nice. There are soft pear tones up front and it’s slightly crisp and fruity. The smell is similar to most other meads, but as it’s a homebrew and I only decanted once, there is a very slight wine-yeast smell. The full taste is clearly mead with a strong honey finish. It tastes almost like a pear-infused mead, and any hope of a pure cider are pretty far gone at this point.
These photos don’t quite do the color justice. It’s a very pretty opaque yellow that diffuses nicely in direct sun light. A few people have sampled it so far, and I’ve gotten positive results.
The lady who gave me the pears offered the following review:
Good – sweet but not too sweet. Clear pear flavor at first but a lot of honey taste in the body of the wine. A bit yeasty, but not in a bad way. Almost a little bit of bread and butter in the after taste, if anything. I’d give it 86/100.
For something I threw together in an afternoon, I’ll take it!
I’m going to play around with some other ideas, like priming some bottles to see if I can get a slightly carbonated effect. The pear flavors could make this into an excellent sparkling wine, but I don’t want to overpower the sweetness of the honey with too much of a carbonation bite. While it is drinkable and quite tasty at this point, it could probably benefit from a bit of aging, so I’ll definitely put a few bottles aside to see how they taste come spring.
I might try to do another mead (or actually a cider this time) for my next project. Any ideas?