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.
Sir, you might want to remove this from the “recipe” section. Otherwise, keep up the good work ;).
Thanks for the comment Herwin – All fixed!
Hey man. I’ve been thinking about starting a meadery in Ireland for a while now. I think mead would have a market here, especially with tourists, as it ties in with our ancient heritage that the country is known for.
I’ve only done a small few experiments with recipes so far. I made an Apple and BlackBerry cyser which wasn’t as nice as I’d hoped, and a spiced chai and vanilla metheglin (oak aged for one year) that was absolutely phenomenal.
Any other ideas for recipes? I’d like to use local Irish ingredients, hence why I went with blackberries and apples (all picked locally).
Any thoughts on starting a micro meadery? Should I start by selling at local markets?
I definitely think there’s a market for good mead in Ireland. When I visited, I was extremely surprised that there wasn’t really any readily available.
I think an Irish Whiskey Barrel aged cyser would be phenomenal or maybe a braggot with smokey peat.
This is a great time to be starting a meadery – start testing out your product with others and get people behind the project via social media. If you’re serious about it and begin the process, feel free to write up some stories about the process and I would be happy to post them on my site.
Hello Meadist and other readers,
I note this post was back in 2015 with your visit to Ireland.
We are Kinsale Mead Co and we have recently opened the doors of our new Meadery here in Kinsale, Co. Cork and our goal is to provide Ireland with a premium Mead made traditionally and with great care
We currently have two Meads for sale;
1). Atlantic Dry Mead—> This is a delicious traditional mead, made from raw Spanish orange blossom honey and local Innishannon water, fermented and matured to finish at 12% with lovely citrus aroma and long lingering hint of honey with almost no sweetness. We wonder if over time the salty air from the wild atlantic will add its own unique flavours to our mead.
2). Wild Red Mead—>This is a refreshing melomel made from spanish forest honey blend, blackcurrants and cherries to create an amazingly enticing drink with beautiful colour, zesty fruity flavour, tempered with the hint of honey. Wild Red is in honour of Kinsale’s famous red headed pirate Anne Bonny who was born close to the high cliffs by the Old Head.
Our Mead is available across Ireland in the following stores; https://www.kinsalemeadco.ie/stockists/
Our Mead can also be ordered directly from our website and shipped internationally at an extra cost.
If anyone has any questions we will try to reply as fast as possible or you can contact us directly and find out more through our website: http://www.kinsalemeadco.ie/
In the meadtime ?
All the best,
Kinsale Mead Co.
Thanks for the note. It’s a shame you weren’t around when I visited Ireland. Would’ve been great to try your mead!
I strongly disagree with this opninion. My husband and I found this mead in Ireland and it has become one of our favorites. It’s much sweeter than other meads and the aftertaste is of pure honey. All of our friends love this as well, and we started buying it by the case once we got back to the states. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as we all do!
This has become my favorite thing to pick up and sip on. So good just the way it is. I don’t even pour it in a glass. Thank you from Texas!
I have a small ceramic jug of Bunratty Mead which my wife purchased in Ireland in 1990. It has never been opened and still has a paper seal which reads Bunratty Fine Drinks on the crown over what I suppose is a cork and on either side Bunratty Mead and & Liqueur Co. Ltd. A short historical note would be appreciated as I am approximately 17% Irish according to my DNA results and proud of it. Many thanks,Bob.
So it is this looking for a bottle of Castle bunratty and the stone flagging for the Irish Mead I traveled through the country and nowhere in the United States have I’ve been able to find the stone flagging for the 700ml bottle of Irish Mead particularly standing out is the burgundy red with cloth lace wax seal which fully be an inspiration being able to get one of these bottles to the United States if anyone could help me that would be greatly appreciated
Oh my God I would love to have that I would drink the whole thing in one sitting
I love bunratty meat it was usually costing around $16 a bottle here now because of