Carroll’s Mead comes from Proud Country Cellars in Washingtonville, New York. It is a straight-forward, still, sweet honey wine with no frills and 8% abv. It came in a 750 ml bottle with bold, old-style text and a coat of arms on the label, with a little history on the back:
From an ancient family recipe… This was the special celebratory Mead of old served at weddings and homecoming feasts, given to honor the knight (warrior) upon his triumphant return. This Mead is sweet in style. According to legend, Sweet Mead was served to eliminate the bitter tase of battle. The “Blazon” on the front label is from the “Coat of Arms” of Carroll family of Ireland.
I like a little more of a description about the mead on the label. This bottle, like the mead was basic and fairly nondescript.
Clear golden appearance. Hints of apple in the nose, with slight acidic urine aroma. It tastes sweet, but not overly so. Has delicate flavors of apple and grape. It’s fairly light on the tongue given its sweetness, and finishes smooth. Overall, not much going on with this mead. It’s drinkable, but i probably won’t be getting it again.
Wow, Paul Meadist comments and scoring in my option were pretty harsh. I fell in love with Carroll’s Mead the first time I enlighten my teast buds. Branding score, hum simple is powerful and cludder is a waste time. The Carroll’s Mead speaks for itself. You don’t need a cluddered up label to sell a wine. The most beautiful/cluddered labeled wine that I have ever had was the worst wine I’ve ever had.
Thanks for adding your feedback Allen. I’m glad you have a differing opinion from me on this mead. I welcome everyone else to go out and try it and provide their feedback as well.
As for branding – I completely agree with you about simple uncluttered design. Every element (or lack there of) should have a purpose and ultimately drive toward a better experience for the consumer. The minimal nature is hardly the reason why I scored it so low on branding.
Good branding should be timeless – In order to expand the audience for mead and grow the industry as a whole, mead needs to shed the renaissance fair stereotype. This label does nothing for that cause. Yes, mead has a long history that is a big part of its identity, so go ahead, embrace that past. But mead has a present and future as well – to continue to be relevant the design should be relevant throughout.
Good branding should be memorable – Given 3 different coat of arms (coats of arm?) could somebody pick out Carrolls immediately? I doubt it. What about the gothic text, is that unique to Carroll’s Mead? If I wrote something else out in that text, would you immediately think Carroll’s Mead? If I give you three M’s could you pick out the McDonalds M? I bet you could.
Good branding should be versatile – Is Carroll’s Mead the name of this particular mead, or the company that makes it? What if Proud Country Cellars wants to come out with another type of mead. Perhaps a nice Melomel – how would anyone know its from the same company? Building brand awareness in any industry, especially the alcohol industry is super important, so a company logo or wordmark should be developed that can be used across many different types of media at all different scales. Try scaling down the current Carroll’s Mead logo for a website or the end of a cork.
All-in-all, good branding will not only help Proud Country Cellars but the entire mead industry as well. This is why I put it in my rating system.
Thanks again for joining in the conversation!
I agree Allen! This was a wonderful Mead with a splendid flavor and very memorable label.
Branding score is way too low. Carroll’s Meade was the Offical Mead for the NYRF for over a decade. If you got mead at the New York Renn Faire it was Carroll’s pure and simple. If you don’t think that makes for good branding I’m sorry. But being the offical mead of one of top 5 best Renn Faires in the country is a big deal and a boast in branding as vendors at the NYRF have brought Carroll’s with them to other Faires (Pennsylvania and Texas) to share it. Dansk Mjod meades might stand out from branding but their mead is subpar in my opinion. Carroll’s Meade is my go to meade and is already a treat now that I don’t live in NY anymore.
I happen to agree with Allen, this Mead is wonderful and I think the logo is awesome!
I purchased a bottle of this around 7 or 8 years ago and let it sit for a special occasion. My daughter got married a couple weeks ago which was special enough to break this out. It was amazingly smooth and delicate. Not overbearingly sweet. We thought it was spectacular. Bought another bottle yesterday and tried it immediately. It was extremely sweet, heavy honey flavor and although not undrinkable, I would not buy it for use anytime soon. Having said that, I will go buy a case or 2 and put it away in the basement for another future special occasion. Aged long enough, it is top notch.
Great insight. Thanks Bob!
We just bought a bottle of this Absolutely delicious and may I even say Heavenly Honey Wine and it is The Best Wine I Have ever tasted!!! I Absolutely Love It!!! Velvety Smooth Honey flavor that goes down so very smoothly and soothingly and ends in a deliciously light fruity note!!! I wish to buy Gallons of this if I could!!! I Also Love The Beautiful Crest and the Gothic Text!!! I Think This Heavenly Honey Mead Wine~ Is Absolute Perfection and I Highly Recommend it To All!!!
… ends “on” a deliciously light fruity note!! ~ smiles.
I love this wine and can’t get it on South Dakota. Have been itching to get back to Virginia where I found this and tasted for the first time. Everyone I had ty this loved it too.
Does anyone know what’s in this sweet honey wine? I was told no grapes and definitely no sugar and that the sweetness comes from pure honey. I have a bottle sitting next to me just waiting for the right time to open it.
I don’t know exactly how they make it. I am more of a “taster” than a “maker”. I can tell you that if you leave it sit a few years before opening it, you will wish you had 20 more bottles already aged. We aged 1 bottle for around 8 years and it was amazing. bought a bottle from the store and opened it immediately to see how good it was without aging it. I found it too sweet. After aging it was very delicate, and smooth with a definite honey flavor minus the on-slaught of sweet you get from pure honey.