[DMV - Frederick, MD] Orchid Cellar Meadery and Winery - Mead Tasting Review

Our visit to Orchid Cellar Meadery and Winery was a fun first experience with mead--some of us had had mead before, but not a tasting.

The tasting at Orchid Cellar includes five meads and one wine.

This is the 2014 Petit Verdot. As far as wines go, it was fine. According to the tasting notes it is "spicy" with "a sage and lilac finish." It provided a nice starting point so we could taste the difference between wine and mead. During a second visit, this wine was replaced with a 2012 Merlot. The Merlot was better than the Petit Verdot. It is described as "light and fresh with flavors of roasted cherries and a touch of French oak."
The first mead was Maeve, "crisp and zesty with lemon and Madagascar vanilla." Described as a sparkling mead, it was light and refreshing.
The next, Melusine, was also a sparkling mead. It is fruity-er than the Maeve because it has apple cider in addition to honey. Between the two sparkling meads, I preferred Melusine.
Archer provided us with our first classic mead. Archer has cinnamon, clove, and juniper which give it a winter taste. I really enjoyed this one. According to the person doing out tasting, it is good mulled. I would definitely drink this one again!
Our second classic mead was Monk, which is "long-aged" with rose petals, giving it a floral taste that isn't overpowering. Monk is lighter than Archer. I liked Monk a little better than Archer, but they are both distinct flavors that I could drink on different occasions and be satisfied.
The final mead we tasted was Hunter, a spicy mead. It is flavored with chile peppers, giving it a different profile than the other five drinks. I enjoyed the addition of the spice. The peppers don't burn, but rather add warmth and depth.

I took a look around the shop. You can purchase bottles of all the meads and wines.

There are some food available for purchase, too, to enjoy with your tasting.

They make some super cute gift baskets (which are a pretty good deal, I'd say).

Some of the flavors are also made into very tempting scented candles.

I also really liked that other small businesses in Frederick are also featured in the shop, so you can try some artisanal products and support local businesses.

The venue is beautiful!

Marissa visited a second time with one of her friends. Below is a recounting of her second visit :)

During my second visit, in addition to the Merlot, we tried the Medusa, a sparkling mead, the Mazer Red, a mead/wine hybrid, and the Lumberjack, a classic mead. The Mazer Red was good, and would be a solid choice if you like wine and are unsure about your feelings on mead. The Medusa was my least favorite of the sparkling meads. It is flavored with grapefruit and "Medusa" hops, which gives it notes of some light beers. The Lumberjack is described as "crisp and floral with apple cider and honey." It is another solid classic option. On a scale of spice to floral in regards to the classic meads I've tried at Orchid Cellar, Archer is spice, Lumberjack is the middle, and Monk is floral. Each delicious in its own regard and perfect for different occasions.

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