Mead can take a long time to get really good, but it shouldn't be awful at any time. The baker's yeast it the obvious issue with this recipe, but I would expect phenolic and bubblegum off-flavors more than acrid. When you say "acrid", could it also be described as vinegary? If yes, then that is a definite sign of infection, and next time you need to do a better job of keeping fruit flies away.
There are other issues you might want to look at for your next try.
Apple juice and honey vary tremendously in quality and flavor. It is worth spending extra to get better tasting ingredients. And always make sure they are free of preservatives.
If you do splurge for better ingredients, heating will destroy some of that character, plus it will set the pectin in the apple juice, leading to cloudiness later on. Read up on "no heat" methods of mead making.