I recently took a family trip to Ireland. Before going, I asked my twitter followers if anyone knew of irish meaderies I could visit. I got one response that pointed me in the right direction. @PJRDoc tweeted:
“@meadist the word is they’ve been making Mead at the Bunratty Castle outside Shannon for 100s of years! Maybe we can taste some together”
…It just so happened to be my father, who had separately mentioned my blog and the trip to Ireland and his patient who ended up knowing about Bunratty. Go figure.
We ended up stopping there late in the day on our way back from a long sight-seeing trip so we didn’t get to see the facility, but I was able to have a taste and get a bottle at the gift shop.
Bunratty Mead is a traditional wine, produced from an ancient Irish recipe of pure honey, fruit of the vine and natural herbs. It’s a medium sweet wine, with a wide taste appeal, and suitable for all important occasions. As the drink of the ancient Celts, Mead derives much of its appeal through Irish Folklore, which is legendary of this mystical drink with strong attachments to Ireland.
It pours still with a deep, dark amber color. The aroma is quite reminiscent of cough syrup – medicinal and strong alcohol notes. It also has notes of spiced rum with a slight hint of honey sweetness. It sips rather thick – coating the mouth like the cough syrup it smells like. The taste is medicinal as well with some spicy, fruit flavors throughout apple and white grape in particular. It has a sharp, spicy alcohol finish that lingers on the back of the tongue. It reminds me a bit of ice cider.
I wouldn’t recommend drinking this by itself, but it might make a good warm cocktail or mulled winter libation. I’ll see if I can work something up as the weather gets colder.