Well, we're a little over a week into the experiment with quick meads, and I have a moment or two to spare, so I thought I'd give an update on where things are.
I had done two supposed "quick meads;" one a pyment, the other a traditional. The pyment (done from this recipe) started at a gravity reading of 1.109; as of about 6pm today, it was at 0.999 (!). It's not cleared at all, but fermentation does appear to be nearly over. Flavor-wise, it tastes like your typical concord grape juice; granted, at a calculated 14-1/2% ABV, it'll be quite sneaky... I'm probably going to rack it onto stabilizers and a little more juice & honey in an hour or so, but I may wait until tomorrow.
The traditional, done from another similar recipe, started at about 1.101, and has made it down to 1.038 today. The two are sitting side-by-side, and are the same temperature; I've even given the traditional a little more nutrient, yet it's still going much more slowly. Just goes to show how much wine yeasts like grape juice, I suppose... This one is a little more "typical" tasting--nice honey notes; the buckwheat used (I'll track down the recipe and link to it next time) gives it a lovely depth--and will be quite nice, once it ferments its way down to where it should be--I'd like about 1.010 or so, but even a little lower would be nice. I can always back-sweeten, after all. The original recipe had it go from 1.100 to 1.020 in 2 weeks; I'll let it go, and see where it is come Monday. Should be about right, unless the yeast decides to hang up completely.
Here is a picture of how they looked when starting; adding one of how they look now would serve no purpose, as they haven't substantively changed: