For reasons that escape me, the Little Woman and I decided to test the Digby Mead last night. It was about time, of course, seeing how it’s been sealed up in the basement for these last few weeks. It also gave us an opportunity (or excuse, your choice) to taste-test our mixed berry mead, which pre-dates the Digby mead by a good three months. The berry mead was, pretty much as expected. I’ve made it before, and as a result, I pretty much knew how it’d taste – and I wasn’t disappointed. And since the real issue is the Digby mixture, I’ll focus more on that.
Let’s start with the extra portion, that bottle that measured nearly a liter: It was nothing more that tepid honey-water. I really thought that I could salvage it, but clearly the makeshift carboy I created did not do the trick. For reasons that I don’t understand, there was no oxidation and as such, no maturation. The contents of the bottle are no different from when I first mixed them. I was going to pour it out, but I thought it would be a nice visual (non-sampling) example of a period beverage.
If you recall, once I’d made the Digby mead, I realized that I’d made a critical mistake: I’d added too much water. The excess is indeed noticeable, and it gave my sample – a glorified sip – a rather dubious taste. The Little Woman pretty much felt the same way, but she added that the mix of spices was a good one. As she put it: This would be decent for those who wanted alcohol but didn’t want the wallop that mead or medium alcohols might have. I’m wondering if perhaps some mild heat might help the situation; maybe boil off some of the excess water, but I doubt it. As-is, I’ve got a legitimate 17th century beverage; it’s fine in that regard. I’m wondering, however, if another attempt – done more accurately this time – is warranted and might produce something a bit tastier. We’ll see; any further research will have to wait until after the holiday season, methinks.