Viking’s Blood isn’t a mead to be taken lightly. It boasts a deep and rich gold color that flirts with bronze, resembling a darker honey.
Unfortunately, the nose doesn’t even hint at the supposed honey flavor. Other than a vague impression of sweetness, it gives nothing away.
The first sip is a kick in the mouth; the sweetness is so prevalent and rich, that at first it’s a bit obnoxious. The honey of the mead is tastable, but the sweetness almost overpowers the distinct flavor of the honey. As you let the mead slide towards the back of your tongue, the sweetness all but disappears, and the flavor of straight-up alcohol seeps into your mouth. Other meads, such as Celestial Meads’ Desire, have a similar quality, but are typically much more muted and sophisticated.
The taste of alcohol lingers even after you have swallowed the mead, and it is at this point that a hint of the sweetness returns, as a muffled aftertaste. A few more sips of the Viking’s Blood acclimates your taste buds to the varying sensations it provides, but never quite allows you to recover from the initial sip.
Once you’re accustomed to the quick change in flavor qualities, and your mouth is partially numbed to the barrage of sweetness, the mead is quite delicious. Just don’t drink too much of it; Viking’s Blood contains 19% alcohol (which explains the nearly stifling flavor), and will leave you moderately buzzed, or downright tipsy, after a glass and a half (depending on your tolerance).
If you enjoy cavity-inducing sweetness, this mead is for you. If you enjoy the harsh flavor of muted rubbing alcohol, this mead is also for you.
If you aren’t a huge fan of either, try Desire instead for a more moderate mead-drinking experience.