At long last, the product review is in! As I mentioned in my anniversary and travel-themed post, Nick and I transported our bottle of Fat Friar’s Classic Mead to Virginia to enjoy during our vacation.
After speaking with Sean Bailey and sharing my thoughts on his meadery, Fat Friar’s, I was both excited and oddly apprehensive about trying mead for the first time. I had no idea what to expect – and it certainly wasn’t what I anticipated anyway.
When I uncorked the bottle, I paused to smell the mead – as Sean said it would, it smelled very much of honey – sweet and fresh – with a hint of apple, at least to my nose.
From the first sip, I realized this beverage was very different from any I’d had before. I was prepared for that, since Sean had recommended giving it several sips and a bit of time for evaluation. It really can’t be fairly compared to a white wine, but it’s nearly impossible not to use that as a point of reference.
It’s important to note that while the mead smells strongly of honey, the flavor itself is much more subtle. I could certainly taste honey, but it’s lighter and blends with fruit tones like apple and pear. In this mead, Fat Friar’s aims for a semi-dry finish, so it isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, which I appreciated.
I suppose in terms of how light it is, you could compare it to a Riesling, but the comparisons end there. It has a crisp flavor, but none of the tartness that some white wines show. It seems like it would pair well with light, spicy dishes – like a white fish with Cajun seasoning, for example.
I’m looking forward to trying the other mead I have on hand, made by Maine Mead Works. I’ll be sure to contrast and compare for you all, as I continue my mead education! If you’re feeling inspired this Saturday, perhaps you’ll make the drive to Fat Friar’s, or Maine Mead Works, or any of Maine’s other meaderies, wineries, microbreweries, or distilleries (whew!), and support Maine’s local beverage businesses!