So, I was all set to give up on mead making. Then I recently bottled a raspberry melomel I made last summer. It was actually decent. It would not win any awards I am sure but it was drinkable if not tasty. My wife really enjoyed it. Sadly there were only 2 gallons...
However, all the other batches I made last summer have the same issues I have had for the last 3 years I have tried to make meads. They have a wintergreen sort of aroma (in the past I identified it with the old waxed lips) and a bitterness that may be from hot alcohol. Even after a year of bulk aging.
I have tried all the methods out there. Using different nutrient schedules and aerating, keeping the temp under control and constant, keeping them topped up while aging... Yes proper sanitation! I have read many posts on different forums, Ken Schramms book (though I do not own it), and tried recipes out of books. I have used generally champagne/wine yeasts. Mostly Lalvin.
I suspect that if it were not for the tannic nature of the raspberries I would probably taste the same problems with that melomel. The only common theme on all these meads was the honey. I always used a local clover honey. No idea of the source really. It is repacked from bulk at my local food coop. It was relatively inexpensive ($4 a lb. vs. $8 for a "brand" name honey)
Is it perhaps this honey that is giving me issues? Would trying to order some honey (and maybe a "kit") from somewhere like Northern Brewer give me better results? Or am I just mead challenged? It pisses me off to no end when I read mead is the easiest fermented beverage to make! I make damn good beer. Why can't I make even decent mead?