What Does Mead Taste Like?

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The Irish peasants, Greek philosophers, ancient Chinese emperors, and Vikings had one common thing. All of them enjoyed honey wine, or rather mead. It is among the earliest alcoholic drinks that are still used today for its flavor. So, what does mead taste like?

What Does Mead Taste Like?

Generally, mead has a wide range of nuances, flavors, and aftertastes. The perfect answer to what mead tastes like is that standard mead has a medium sweet wine taste, with a sherry texture and a distinct honey tone. However, I will first discuss what mead does not taste to answer the above question perfectly.

Bottle of mead

First, the mead made today cannot taste like the one produced by the ancient Romans. Its taste is relatively better than the ancient one. This is because of the high-quality yeasts used in the mead recipes. These yeasts were not available in the past. Consequently, mead made of poor quality products and techniques will not taste good.

Besides, always taste the honey before making the mead as it determines the final taste. In addition, you must use good water, preferably rainwater. You must not use tap water lest you will compromise the final taste of your mead. Your mead will undoubtedly taste good if you use high-quality ingredients and techniques.

What Affects the Taste of the Mead?

However, the taste is influenced by the taste and maturation process of the ingredients. Thus, the final flavor of your mead will depend on how long you leave it to age. If you want your mead to be sweet, consider aging it for two years.

A two-year mead will have a fresh floral taste with honey hints and low alcohol content. The mead might even develop a sparkling taste during the second fermentation. As the aging period of the mead passes by, it will become drier. Thus, you may consider storing it a little longer if you like it dry.

How to Taste Mead

Mead tasting is not complicated; it is done just like you would taste any drink. However, it would help if you considered the following factors to maximize the tasting experience. You will undoubtedly develop and refine your preferences if you pay attention to these factors.

As you sample different meads, you will notice how particular features come out enjoyable.


Mead is available in different shades of yellow, pale, dark, and light amber. The racking and filtration process you use affects the clarity of the mead, just like in a beer. Thus, pay close attention to the visible features of the mead to easily predict the final taste.

Honey being mixed to make mead


The scent of the mead significantly impacts its taste. Take time to smell the mead before tasting it with your tongue to open up your palate to a wide range of subtle flavors, some of which are hard to notice.


Give your mead enough time to reveal itself if you want to enjoy its full range of flavors. Allow it to rest for some moments on your tongue before taking it down. Please pay attention to how its tastes change when moving from your mouth’s front to the back. You are likely to enjoy a different flavor in every sip.


Light meads usually quickly glide through the mouth. On the other hand, thick meads tend to develop a velvety quality. Generally, most light meads are less viscous though others will give you unexpected consistencies and flavors.

What You Should Know About Meads

Meads are made using a different fermentation process as beer and wine. 

  1. Its high sugar concentration pushes it for a second or third fermentation while in storage, unlike wines and beers, which go for a single fermentation round. The other fermentation processes are necessary for enhancing the final taste of the mead.
  2. Mead can come in different colors due to the honey used and the maturation process. A residue might be deposited at the bottom of the bottles during maturation, but this does not affect the final product.
  3. You need to check on your mead periodically. Despite being simple, the process of producing it is quite delicate; thus, it should be treated with special care.

Mead Nutritional Benefits

Mead was a popularly enjoyed drink in the past. The ancient Greeks believed that mead enhanced good health and vitality. Besides nourishing your health, drinking mead also has a good feeling for your stomach. Its honey tone makes it a perfect substitute for beer and wine.

Various types of mead bottles

In addition, its alcohol content significantly benefits both the body and brain. According to health experts, drinking mead can help combat tension, insomnia, excitability, anxiety, hyperactivity disorder, restlessness, and attention deficit. Below are the reasons behind the nutritional benefits of mead.

  • Gluten-Free Brew: Meads do not have gluten because they are not brewed using grains. For this reason, they offer a practical option for people who are allergic to gluten
  • Natural Ingredients: Besides being very healthy, raw honey is the best natural sweetener. One thing with meads is that they are back sweetened using natural honey but not refined sugar, like beers and wines. Thus, they are ideal for those seeking to avoid white sugar without letting go of a drink!
  • No Sulfites Used: Some people usually develop headaches after drinking wine. This is because most wines use sulfites as preservatives. Meads do not need to be preserved using sulfites since natural honey is a natural preservative too. For this reason, meads can be ideal if you suffer a headache after taking down a few glasses of wine


Why Is Mead Very Expensive?

First, mead is expensive because its production requires organic honey, which is generally expensive and hard to find. Second, mead is not as popular as beer and whiskey. Thus, there are fewer large-scale brewers producing mead which lowers its supply.

Can Mead Get You Drunk?

Yes, mead can get you knocked off. Its ABV can sometimes be pretty high, which will get you tipsy after taking one or two glasses. However, most spirits are stronger than any average mead.

Is Mead Stronger Than Beer?

Most meads are strong compared to an American beer’s ABV. However, you can still find low ABV meads considering their ABV ranges from 3.5% to 18%. Besides, you can still have a distilled mead that is much stronger than beer or whiskey.


Generally, it can be quite to tell how mead specifically tastes since its taste is affected by several factors like the type of honey, fruits used for flavoring, type of water, and the aging period. However, the taste of a standard mead should be medium-sweet wine taste, sherry-textured, with a distinct honey tone.