Although this is the Umeå Beer Club, I think it’s interesting to include something completely different now and again. It keeps things fresh and I like being to surprise the people who attend the tastings. I have had a few ciders in the tastings already, and in February I even had a whiskey, but I have never had a mead in the selection. Mead is a drink made from fermenting honey that is usually sweet, thick bodied and generally rather strong. As the theme of this tasting was products with a high alcohol content, I thought this would be the perfect time to slip one into the nights range. The selection of mead available on the Swedish market today isn’t very broad but I had heard that Mjödner produced well crafted mead so I went for one of their products. I went for the Embla mead as Embla was (as legend goes) the first woman created by the gods in Norse mythology and as this was the first mead we would try, it seemed to fit well.
Straight away it was clear that this mead shared very few characteristics with beer. It was almost clear in colour with maybe a faint hue of pale yellow. The body was very thick, and clung to the sides of the glass when swirled. There was no head or carbonation noticed at all. The smell bought back all the aromas of christmas, with a of red apple, cinnamon, cloves, honey, orange present. It was basically like a clear and cold mulled wine or glögg. The honey sweetness naturally came through in the taste, along with a lot of sweet, juicy apple and spices. It felt almost slightly medicinal. There was a slight warmth in the aftertaste that was nice but the alcohol in general was so well hidden that it practically vanished.
I must say I haven’t tried as many meads as I would have liked to in my time but I feel I should really track down some more. This one was very different to the sort of thing I usually drink but it extremely pleasant. I could see this as a great alternative to a nice cool cider in the summer. As long as you have a bit of a sweet tooth, then I think you should give this a go.