Judges at the 2014 Mazer Cup (the Oscars of mead) awarded this 15% melomel made with Arizona wildflower honey and mangos a silver medal. They must have enjoyed its blend of tangy mango, vanilla, marshmallow and pear flavors delivered in a package that’s fruit-forward but not too sugary.
Meridian Hive Rhapsody
One of just a few meaderies packaging their products in cans, Austin’s Meridian Hive crafts this mead with blackberries. Its flavor is uncomplicated—two parts rich, sugary blackberry jam; one part floral orange blossom honey—and at a manageable 6.5% ABV, it’s refreshingly sodalike and suitable for drinking right out of the aluminum.
Meridian Hive Haven
Ripe peaches inhabit this mead that sparkles almost as brightly as the gold medal it won at the 2015 Mazer Cup, but it’s the minty top layer, courtesy of an addition of ginger, that keeps us coming back for sip after sip. The finish is dry and mostly clean, though fruit tartness lingers between exhales of orange blossom honey.
Blueberries, black cherries and black currants weave notes of fruit leather, port and balsamic vinegar into this New Hampshire mead’s aroma, but more impressive is the warm, sticky clover honey that holds its own. Each swallow brings everything together in a synthesis of marzipan and blueberry pie.
B. Nektar Cherry Chipotle
Like a sip of cabernet after a puff of a good cigar, this fruit- and pepper-infused mead pits jammy grape, dark cherry and plum notes against subtle smokiness. Warmth reminiscent of glowing embers lingers long after the swallow, though whether it’s from the capsaicin or the 14% ABV is hard to tell.
Redstone Sunshine Nectar
Redstone’s Nectar line up includes meads made with boysenberries, watermelon and even hops. Sunshine Nectar gets its fruit flavor from apricots; subtle almond, chamomile, cinnamon and mint mingle before the tartness intensifies the sparkling melomel’s Champagne-like finish.