Tastings was founded in 1981 with the goal of producing fair, impartial wine reviews for consumers. Since then, they have expanded to included beer and spirits. More recently, they have ventured into the world of mead!
For their “2016 World Mead Challenge” included 42 Meads from US and Canada origin that were rated on a 100-point scale and judged by professionals using their blind tasting methodology that was created in partnership with Cornell University in 1981. The tasting resulted in 17 Gold, 17 Silver, and 8 Bronze Medals.
World Mead Championships Best 10 Meads
Honeywood, White Clover Mead
Bright yellow straw color. Fruity aromas and flavors of peach cobbler, dried apricot, and golden raisin -gooseberry chutney with a velvety, tangy, off-dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, intricate, long honeyed spiced apple and orange and creme brulee finish. A satiny, elegant dessert style mead that drinks like a Beerenauslese.
Honey Grail, Boudica’s Uprising Sparkling Mead
Minutely hazy straw color. Floral aromas and flavors of wintermint, almond-anise cookie, bubblegum dust, and edible flowers with a supple, crisp, petillant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, elegant, medium-long cream soda, orange chiffon, and chalk finish. A crisp, sparkling mead with a snappy finish.
St. Ambrose, Black Madonna Draft Style Mead
Pale salmon orange color. Savory aromas and flavors of blackberry vinaigrette on mesclun, reduced lime, and delicate herbs with a supple, racy, petillant, sweet-and-sour light-to-medium body and an effortless, spiced melon and citrus, mint leaf, and earth finish. A flavor and balanced sour mead with a mouthwatering appeal.
Brilliant bright gold color. Spicy aromas and flavors of apple tart and parchment baked lemon with a supple, tangy, spritzy, off-dry medium body and a captivating, long lime curd, sweet spiced mango, and chalk finish. A fun, spicy apple pie like mead that eschews cloying sweetness for vibrant acidity and light carbonation.
Pale sunburst amber color. Spicy, fruity aromas and flavors of ginger beer and sour cherry preserves with a supple, tangy, effervescent, fruity medium body and a sleek, complex, medium-long green apples, spiced nuts, fresh ginger, and pepper finish. A fun fruity, gingery spiced mead with great flavor and balance.
St. Ambrose, Star Thistle Mead
Brilliant yellow straw color. Earthy aromas and flavors of green tree bark and resin, lemon pith and seeds, rose hips, and toasty bbq woods with a soft, tangy, petillant, sweet-and-sour light-to-medium body and a tingling, delightful, breezy honeyed lime and pear, leaves and thistles, and peppercorn finish. A somewhat woody mead for the table.
Yellow straw color. Spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of fresh ginger and nuts with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, off-dry medium body and a tingling, intriguing, medium-length honeyed lemon, hint of chili pepper, and spiced apple finish. A deliciously spicy ginger and very drinkable ginger flavored sparkling mead
Black Willow Winery, Odin’s Nectar
Brilliant light gold color. Aromas and flavors of suede, dried fruits, caramelized nuts, and hint of soy with a supple, bright, fruity medium body and a smooth, distinctive, long wheat grass, minted apples and nectarine, and pepper finish. A very expressive dessert-style mead that drinks a bit like a Sherry.
St. Ambrose, 2014 Oak Barrel Reserve Mead
Brilliant straw green color. Complex, woody aromas and flavors of thistle, grain husk, toasted herbs, and Asian spices with a supple, lively, dryish body and an interesting, medium-length mango tea, roasted chestnuts, cedar, and beach grass finish. A nice barrel influence mead.
Valley Vineyards, Honey Mead
Brilliant gold color. Fruity aromas and flavors of honey baked apple and pear tart and spiced melon with a supple, tangy, fruity sweet medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length spicy peach nectar, sultana, and nuts finish. A delicious dessert mead with great fruitiness and acidity reminiscent of a late harvest dessert wine.