Will This 15-year-old Mead Kill Me?

9:45 p.m.
Mead. “Honey wine”. Drink of the gods and go-to slaker of Renaissance Festival thirsts.

I hold in my hand* a bottle of said beverage, brewed by same hand. The last time I despoiled a kitchen to produce beer was a year or two after graduating from college, meaning that this particular bottle is probably at least 15 years old.

It is chilled. I have a mug. I am going to open and drink it. Right now. I was never the most fastidious brewer.

It could very well kill me.

9:51 p.m. In the event that it does, I’ve left a note telling Mrs. Storm to hit the “Publish” button on this post before she calls the coroner, so rest assured this is a LIVE SITUATION, PEOPLE.

10:10 p.m. Melodramatic? A touch, yes. More than likely it’ll taste like a fermented tire, I’ll go *blech* like a Don Martin cartoon character, and possibly amuse the cats by throwing up in front of THEM for a change.

There is no time for wondering, for I am already opening the mead!

  • It made a very promising little *hsss!* as I opened the bottle
  • Smells spicy and sweet, unlike any tire I have personally ever purchased or come in contact with. There is a slight moldy smell, but it’s from the exterior of the bottle, which I will clean off now…done!
  • No sign of mold inside the bottle, only the dark and mysterious homebrew

Okay; I’m upgrading my status from “potentially dead” to “pre-drunk”. Pouring out the contents…

  • Deep amber. Dregs cloud it temporarily, but it quickly clears.
  • No more notes. MUST TRY IT….

[sipping…sipping more…a gulp…another sip…]

10:15 p.m. Not entirely unpleasant! It has the consistency of nearly-flat root beer, but that’s not a bad thing…there’s a slight pine-cone-in-the-mud aftertaste to go along with the fruity, spicy main body.

10:16 p.m. I’ve downed nearly half of it; still not dead. Or drunk. The cats have left the room, seeking more certain entertainment.

10:23 p.m. It’s getting tastier. It only now occurs to me that it doesn’t taste much like honey.

10:24 p.m. First belch…followed by two more.

10:26 p.m. Mead is 3/4 down. Head feeling a bit swimmy. Cats have returned.

10:31 p.m. And it’s gone! I feel no ill effects–only a mild and pleasant buzz. Once again, the cats have left the room.

10.35 p.m. I can’t get Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way” out of my head–the cool guitar bridge part that has the second best flange effect ever. And the best? That’s right: The Eagles’ “Life In the Fast Lane” at the 3:38 mark.

10:38 p.m. Belch. Possibly caused by the carbonation. Cats have returned. I’ve decided to purchase Peggle.

10:46 p.m. Peggle is now registered on my MacBook Pro. I have urinated. I stared into the bowl more than a well person should, and belched. It feels like a fir tree is uncurling its roots in my stomach, tendrils seeking anchorage. I will play Peggle.

10:50 p.m. I don’t trust that unicorn. I have a headache.

10:58 p.m. Hunger was disguised as nausea disguised as hunger. Gonna grab a snack. Craving a roast turkey leg. No, strike that; it’s nausea after all.

11:02 p.m. Nothing in the fridge looked appetizing, especially not the cottage cheese. Am eating a slice of bread. Cats have returned.

11:07 p.m. Bread isn’t working. Gonna eat a bunch of TJ’s Chocolate Orange Sticks. Should either settle things down or bring things to a conclusion. Cats are still here.

11:20 p.m. Headache is worse. Walked to the bathroom, just to check to see how the toilet bowl was doing. It’s fine, thanks. Cats have given up and joined Mrs. Storm upstairs. And woozish as I feel, I think if I haven’t thrown up and/or or died by now, I’m not going to. So I leave you with these final thoughts:

  • That was a stupid thing to do
  • If I didn’t have a cast iron stomach, I would have booted the mead up a while ago
  • I’m not going to be very pleasant to be around tomorrow
  • I have another 20 bottles or so of this stuff, which will be disposed of ASAP
  • I love ’em, but my cats can be real assholes sometimes

Thank you and good night.


*yes, I typed that phrase out with one hand while holding the mead with the other.


  1. Posted April 11, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Storm. Some of your ideas are terrible. That note to Mrs. Storm was one of the most darling things ever, though.

    Hope you feel better tomorrow.

  2. Posted April 12, 2011 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Waitwaitwait! If you throw it out you will never be able to use it as a punishment for losing a bet or as a dare! Also? Yay! WordPress! (And your note to Mrs. Storm really is adorable)

  3. Darrell
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    I would have gone for at least three before coming to the conclusion that the mead was BAD. I’d ask you to bring some if you were coming to L.A. anytime soon, but alas, it is not in the cards. Take gas-x.

  4. Fisher kel Tath
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Sure that was mead? Kinda dark for a mead…

  5. Posted April 12, 2011 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    That’s pretty dark for a mead! What did you use in it? (Yeah, I’m a homebrewer ;))

  6. Posted April 12, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    My memory is a little fuzzy on exactly what I used to brew it, but I’m pretty sure it was mostly dark amber honey. But now that I think of it, I may have used some malt extract as well.

    Either way, it was pretty terrible.


  7. Posted April 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Any chance you’ll try to make another batch? If properly made and fermented for the right amount of time, StorMead should be a tasty beverage! (I usually drink Chaucer’s or Sky River mead, myself)

    I agree with Darrell. You should give the remaining bottles to evildoers who have done you (or Paul) wrong over the years. It’s like a Trojan Horse for headaches and a heightened interest in pisspots!

  8. jms
    Posted December 31, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I just opened a bottle of sparkling mead I bottled in 1992, and it was quite fantastic. Mead is supposed to get better and better as it gets older and older. Assuming it was properly made to begin with.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *