Hydromelix Classic Mead (Chouchen)
This mead (hydromel in French) is known in Brittany as a Chouchen, which is a mead specific to the region, traditionally made with buckwheat honey for a stronger flavour.
Produced by Liqueurs Fisselier, this is the “classic” pure honey where their other offerings normally have a fruit flavouring.
The bottle says to drink it chilled, but I read that after pouring a glass so I have tasted it both at room temperature and chilled. It is apparently drunk as an apéritif (French for apéritif).
This one is very much a honey colour: a deep orange-yellow colour.
Much like the colour, the aroma is simply that of honey. Many meads do not achieve a true honey aroma, so it is impressive to experience a robust retention of the pure sight and smell of honey itself in the fermentation process.
The initial taste is a surprise: not nearly as strong as the aroma would suggest, but then the flavours build up for a strong aftertaste. The sweetness has hints of caramel such that it reminds of Moniack Mead or maybe even Lyme Bay Traditional Mead, but there is additional complexity.
The additional flavours are similar to the deep sweetness of apple juice, which fits the original tradition of making Chouchen with apples or cider. I believe this mead is made purely with honey however.