Wandering Bard Meadery in Greenville, South Carolina hosted the tasting class led by meadmaker Brian Daughhetee.
Purpose of the class was to gain a greater appreciation for Mead, to understand the evaluation process of Mead, all while sampling a variety of different Meads, and a discussion of what foods will pair with Mead.
Traditional Mead is simply Honey, Yeast, and Water.
Session Mead is with twice as much water. Therefore generally lower in alcohol and often with carbonation.
A Cider is of course fermented of raw Apple cider (juice). Ciders generally ferment to 4-6% ABV.
A Cyser is produced by fermenting blended Honey and raw Apple Cider.
Our tasting included 5 Sessions, 2 Ciders, and 2 Cysers.
We started with Meadings Greeting, a tea infused Session, and then an Oaked blueberry Session called February Stars.
Next we tasted Reply Hazy Try Again, a New England IPA styled Session.
Last two Sessions were Bear & The Bard, and Dreki Skald. Both are fruit infused carbonated Sessions.
Next we tasted two ciders, a semi-sweet French style and a semi-dry English style.
Our tasting finished with two Cysers. A semi-sweet Caramel Apple Cyser and the semi-dry Strawberry Distinction.
We organize wine competitions, so it’s a real treat for Jenni and I to actually have the opportunity to evaluate and score a tasting. So yeah, no wonder this was the part of the class we most enjoyed. I am a certified Cider judge and just completed my WSET level 2.
Scoring on a 20 pint scale, considering appearance, aroma, taste, and overall impression.
How did we score our tastings? The semi-dry Caramel Apple Cyser we both scored at a gold medal level.
Jenni scored the Meadings Greetings very high and I scored the Reply Hazy IPA style at a gold medal level. Averaging the two scores will squarely earn these two a silver medal. We likewise both scored the French Humor semi-sweet cider at a Silver medal level.
We both agree though, all which we tasted were good. Not a one in the bunch did we just not like.
Mead, like beer and wine are distinctly personable. Different individuals will certainly enjoy different flavors and styles.
Precisely why Wandering Bard Meadery has 18 different taps of their award winning Mead!
Class cost is $20 each. Check their website and social media for upcoming classes.
A class syllabus is handed out which includes a lot of educational information.
All class participants were offered a 15% discount on any purchases after completion of the class.
We look forward to attending future classes. Learning and drinking, a win win right!
Cheers to Mead Sessions, Ciders, and Cysers!