Hmm. It's hard for me to imagine honey fermenting...
do you mean added to a fermenting grain?
Nope. Any sugar will ferment down with the right ingredients. Honey is just sugar after all. Just like the grapes have stuff added to them to make them ferment versus rotting or drying and preserving, so too does mead.
There ARE wines that have honey added to them and called 'mead', but they aren't true meads. Chaucers is an example of a company that does that. They had honey into the second fermentation or something like that, making a cheaper product but useful in its own right.
Meadery of the Rockies, Red stone meadery, etc. are decent cheap brands. Oliver Winery is the cheapest I've seen for decent quality, and you can order online and get direct shipping if you live in a state that allows it. Approximate $6-7 a bottle, and the quality is not so bad. I think they make some short-cuts in the brewing process too, but the product is much smoother and nicer than Chaucer's.
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If you just don't like the bitter, the hops, then you can get good beers with less IBUs (International Bittering Units) to get started. But mostly, beer, like all things, really, is an acquired taste. I find that people who don't like beer, but drink it for social reasons (?) tend to get Stella, hefeweisens like Boulevard, or white beers like Hoegaarden.
Oh, and I've made mead in the past, everywhere between sweet and dry and crisp. I prefer dry/crisp meads.
Can you really "taste" the difference between one or the other?
I don't find much attraction in the lighter, especially more mainstream style you mention, and though bitterness in itself doesn't bother me, the flavor of hops specifically does if it's too obvious. I am fond of the darkest beers like porters and stouts (the taste for these takes a little longer to develop), and brown ales. If you don't know the differences yet, you're in for a big surprise if you try.
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