What Does Mead Taste Like? – 3 Ingredients Affect It

So you’re sitting there going, “what does mead taste like?” Imagine a glass of fine scotch. Now imagine that you’ve allowed the scotch to ferment along with some honey and water. That’s mead — so, what does mead taste like?

What Is Mead?

Mead is a fermented beverage made from honey, water, and yeast. It was originally created as a way to preserve excess honey. Mead has been around for at least 5,000 years and has been produced in almost every part of the world. Although mead was once the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world, it is now largely forgotten except by connoisseurs.

Mead is often confused with beer, but there are some differences between the two drinks. Beer is made from grains such as malted barley or wheat combined with water and yeast. Mead is made from honey and water mixed with yeast. The yeast converts sugars from the honey into alcohol during fermentation.

Mead’s History

Mead’s history is a fascinating story of innovation, ingenuity and adventure. It began in the early 1800s when John Wilkinson, a British inventor and industrialist, developed a process for making a sweetened wine-based drink using honey instead of sugar.

Wilkinson was an innovator who had already patented a number of inventions including an improved steam engine governor and an early version of a machine that would become known as the typewriter. He also invented processes for making cheap steel from iron ore, which led to him being knighted by Queen Victoria for his contributions to the industrial revolution in Britain.

Wilkinson recognized the value in making the production of mead easier – at least if he could make it taste better than the homemade variety. So he began experimenting with different types of honey and ways to infuse it into water so that it would ferment naturally. After years of trial and error, Wilkinson hit upon a method that worked well enough that he decided to build his own factory to produce his new alcoholic drink called mead.

So you have the basic information about mead, continue reading the article to know “What Does Mead Taste Like?”.

What Are The Ingredients In Mead?

What Does Mead Taste Like - What are the ingredients in mead

Mead is a honey-based wine, and it can be made with different ingredients:

Honey: This is the main ingredient in mead. The type of honey you use will determine the flavor profile of your mead.

Yeast: A source of fermentation to convert sugar into alcohol.

Water: Use spring water, if possible, to get the best flavor from your mead.

Other ingredients: Some meads are flavored with fruits, spices or herbs like lavender or rosemary. Others may be carbonated with champagne yeast, which makes them taste like sparkling wine.

What Does Mead Taste Like?

Mead doesn’t taste like any other alcoholic beverage. In fact, it doesn’t taste like anything else at all. It’s sweet and rich, with a complex flavor profile that can vary depending on which ingredients you use to make it.

Mead Tastes Sweet

Mead is naturally sweet because it’s made from honey. However, some meads are drier than others and can be enjoyed by those who don’t like their wines very sweet.

Mead Has A Hint Of Fruitiness

Some meads are made with fruit juice or fruit-based flavorings added during the fermentation process. These will have more pronounced flavors than dryer meads, which tend to be less fruity. But even dry meads can have subtle hints of fruitiness that make them more complex than other wines or liquors.

Mead is made by fermenting honey with water, yeast and other ingredients. The result is a sweet beverage that ranges from dry to sweet in style and can be made in a variety of flavors and colors.

So you have the answer to the question “What Does Mead Taste Like?”, but what makes them, let’s find out more.

What Affects Mead’s Flavor?

What Does Mead Taste Like - What Affects Mead's Flavor


Yeast is what turns your sweet liquid into alcohol and CO2. Different yeasts give different flavors to your mead. For example, if you use champagne yeast, it will give your mead a sparkling flavor that mimics champagne. Other types of yeast give different flavors too. You can also add spices or fruit to change the flavor of your mead as well.


Adding fruit to your mead gives it an extra kick and makes it taste better too! Fruit adds naturally occurring sugars and acids which help balance out the sweetness of the honey. You can use any type of fruit or berries in your mead so long as they are clean and washed properly before adding them to your batch!

Adding fruit to your mead can greatly affect its flavor and color. Try experimenting with different types of fruits to see what works best for you! Some common additions include apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, raspberries and strawberries.


Spices are another way to add flavor to your mead without having to add any additional ingredients like fruit or yeast! Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or allspice will give you unique flavors when added in small amounts during fermentation.

You can also spice up your mead by adding herbs or spices like ginger or cinnamon during fermentation or aging processes (or both).

The Process of Aging

The process of aging to make mead is a bit different than wine. The reason for this is that you want to ferment your mead at the right temperature and keep it there for as long as possible. This may mean that you need more than one carboy to age your mead, because you will want to add more water to one carboy while letting the other one rest.

If you have a large enough house or garage, then storing all of your mead in one place would be ideal. You will need a temperature control unit for this though. When making mead, there are two main stages: primary fermentation and secondary fermentation. During both stages, there are some things that you can do to improve the flavor and quality of your mead.

Primary fermentation is when all of your ingredients are mixed together and yeast begins to eat up the sugars in your honey mixture. This stage lasts about 3-4 weeks and during this time, it’s important to keep everything at room temperature (65-75 degrees Fahrenheit). If it gets too hot or too cold during this time period, then you risk ruining all of your hard work!

Once primary fermentation has finished, you can begin secondary fermentation by transferring the mead from its primary fermenter into a carboy or other secondary container with an airlock or bung hole. Secondary fermentation allows excess carbon dioxide gas produced during primary fermentation to escape without oxidizing your mead. Secondary fermentation also allows additional flavor compounds produced during primary fermentation to develop further in flavor complexity. It is not uncommon for secondary fermentation to take place 1-2 months after primary fermentation finishes.

Once all carbon dioxide has been allowed to escape through your airlock or bung hole, you can cork or cap your mead and store it at room temperature until you plan on drinking it!

There are some important considerations when aging mead.

  • The first is temperature. The warmer it is, the faster the mead will age, but if it’s too hot, your mead can get infected with bacteria or yeast that can spoil it. So make sure to keep your mead somewhere between 60-70 degrees F (15-21 degrees C).
  • The second consideration is oxygen exposure. The more oxygen that gets into your mead, the faster it will age. So make sure you’re not opening your bottles or jugs too often (especially if they’re sealed with corks). If you need to sample some of your mead during aging, try using a wine thief (or a sanitized turkey baster) to take small amounts out at a time instead of opening up the whole container every few months!

Now that you know “What Does Mead Taste Like?” and how to create it, let’s learn more about how to store mead.

How to Properly Store Mead

Mead is similar to wine in that it requires proper storage to keep its flavor and quality. If you keep your mead properly, it can last for years. Here are some tips for storing mead:

Store your bottles upright in a cool, dark place away from heat and light sources. The ideal temperature range for storing mead is between 50°F and 60°F (10°C – 15°C). At this temperature range, it will last longer than if it were stored at higher or lower temperatures. Anything above 75°F (23°C) will cause your mead to spoil quickly, while anything below 50°F (10°C) will slow down fermentation and cause an incomplete alcohol content in your brew by killing off yeast cells prematurely.

Keep your wine out of direct sunlight as much as possible — especially ultraviolet rays — because sunlight can cause oxidation and affect the taste of your brew significantly enough.

We have given you the answer to the question “What Does Mead Taste Like?” and how to create and preserve mead, let’s see how to evaluate mead in detail.

The Mead Tasting Methodology

What Does Mead Taste Like - The Mead Tasting Methodology


The color of the mead is an important factor in its overall character. A good mead should be clear and bright, not cloudy or murky. Cloudiness can result from a variety of causes, including tannin content and natural yeasts and bacteria present in the honey. Cloudiness may also be caused by a lack of filtration during bottling, which allows yeast cells to pass through the bottle neck into the bottle. The carbonation level should be appropriate for the style being judged; some judges will prefer that meads with lower carbonation levels be allowed to sit longer before judging. Carbonation levels can vary based on bottling techniques or if they were bottled while still fermenting (carbon dioxide is produced during fermentation).


The aroma is one of the most important senses when judging mead. Aroma should be assessed prior to tasting so that it can influence sensory perceptions during tasting. The aroma should be evaluated using all five sense modalities: sight (when applicable), hearing (when applicable), touch, taste and smell. The intensity of each aroma should be noted; this will help provide context when evaluating other characteristics such as flavor intensity or sweetness level.


The flavor of a mead is very dependent on the honey used, as well as its source. Many different types of honey are used in mead making, including clover honey, orange blossom honey and buckwheat honey. Flavors can range from sweet and mild to spicy and complex.


The mouthfeel of a mead is determined by the alcohol content, residual sugar content and carbonation level. Some meads have a high alcohol content, while others are low in alcohol but sweet. The residual sugar level determines how dry or sweet the mead is. Carbonation levels affect how bubbly or flat the beverage tastes on your palate.

After Taste

The after taste will usually be influenced by any residual sugar present in the mead. Depending on the residual sugar level, this can range from being pleasant up to being cloyingly sweet. Some people like their honey strong and sweet; others prefer it more subtle and dryer.

Above we have answered the question “What Does Mead Taste Like?” with a detailed assessment of the taste of mead, let’s see the alcohol content of the mead.

Alcohol Content in Mead

The alcohol content of mead depends on how much honey you use, how long you ferment the mead and how many times you rack it (transfer it to new containers).

The alcohol content of mead depends on the style of mead being made, but it typically ranges from 6% to 18%.

FAQs about What Does Mead Taste Like

Is Mead More Like Beer or Wine?

The answer is both. The mead-making process is similar to that of wine, but with a lot more variables. Unlike wine, which is made from grapes, mead is made from honey, water and yeast, which are like beer.

Is Mead Really Sweet?

Yes, mead is sweet.

Mead is made from fermenting honey and water with yeast. The amount of sugar in the honey determines how sweet the mead will be.

Is Drinking Mead Healthy?

In general, mead is considered to be a healthy drink. It contains nutrients like B vitamins and potassium as well as antioxidants. However, like any other alcoholic beverage, there are some health risks associated with consuming too much mead.


Our big takeaway? It’s not so different from any other drink. What Does Mead Taste Like? Mead tastes like what you add to it – it can be sweet, fruity, and flavorful or full-bodied and smooth. There’s a reason it’s been around for millennia, and we’re excited to see what new and creative things the mead community will produce in the coming years. Cheers!