M4C. Experimental Mead

An Experimental Mead is a mead that does not fit into any other mead subcategory. This could apply to meads that blend multiple mead subcategories (unless the combination fits elsewhere, such as Melomel or Fruit and Spice Mead). Any experimental mead using additional sources of fermentables (e.g., maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, or agave nectar), additional ingredients (e.g., liquors, smoke, etc.), alternative processes (e.g., icing), fermentation with non-traditional yeasts (e.g., Brettanomyces, Belgian lambic or ale, etc.), or other unusual ingredient, process, or technique would also be appropriate in this category. Oak-aging does not necessarily force a mead into the Experimental Mead style unless the barrel has another characteristic (such as bourbon) in addition to the wood. No mead can be “out of style” for this category unless it fits into another existing mead category.

Overall Impression

This mead should exhibit the character of all of the ingredients in varying degrees, and should show a good blending or balance between the various flavor elements. Whatever ingredients are included, the result should be identifiable as a honey-based fermented beverage.

Aroma / Appearance / Flavor / Mouthfeel

generally follow the standard descriptions, yet note that all the characteristics may vary. Since a wide range of entries are possible, note that the characteristics may reflect combinations of the respective elements of the various sub-categories used in this style. Refer to Category M1 for a detailed description of the character of dry, semi-sweet and sweet mead. If the entered mead is a combination of other existing mead categories, refer to the constituent categories for a detailed description of the character of the component styles.

Entry Instructions

See Introduction to Mead Guidelines for entry requirements. Entrants MUST specify carbonation level, strength, and sweetness. Entrants MAY specify honey varieties. Entrants MUST specify the special nature of the mead, whether it is a combination of existing styles, an experimental mead, or some other creation. Any special ingredients that impart an identifiable character MAY be declared.

Commercial Examples

Moonlight Utopian, Hanssens/Lurgashall Mead the Gueuze, White Winter Cherry Bracket, Mountain Meadows Trickster’s Treat Agave Mead.