Portland Maine is home to a great craft beverage cohort, including Maine Mead Works. Maine Mead Works has been crafting their HoneyMaker Mead since 2008 with locally produced honey and now have a solid line-up of traditional and unique libations. The HoneyMaker Dry Mead, their orange labeled offering, is a traditional or show mead – meaning it only includes the basic ingredients – honey, water and yeast. Here’s what Maine Mead Works says about it:
A lustrous honey wine with a citrus-like floral aroma. The smooth buttery flavor of honey yields to a subtle, smoky earthiness and a dry refreshing finish. Decanting or allowing it to breath is recommended to release the delicate honey flavors. Serve chilled. Pairing suggestions: Smoked seafood, scallops, lobster, spicy dishes or cheese.
I served it slightly chilled from my cool basement. It pours a light, clear golden yellow. Nice translucency, very refined appearance – no cloudiness whatsoever. The aroma is sweet with up front fruitiness and some milder floral notes. The aroma was right where it needs to be, strong but not overly powerful. It lets you know what you are in for. The taste followed the aroma. There are flavors of pear and dry peach – like a peach just about to get ripe and some melon with slight citrus. It’s very similar in aroma and taste to a white wine, perhaps a Sauvignon Blanc. It drinks a little sweeter than expected for a dry mead however it finishes more on the dry side – leaving a little tongue-clicking tartness.
I paired it with some Trader Joe’s Soft & Juicy Mango Slices (one of my favorite things ever). The mango really brought out some more of the fruitiness in the mead. The sweetness of the mango worked well with the drier mead. A lot of meads are better after dinner, but this I recommend consuming during the meal.
Maine Mead Works has a solid brand. Their labels are unexpected, with a thin ribbon coming down the front and back of the bottle and a nice graphic bee breaking out of the linear label. The size of the label really lets the liquid inside get most of the limelight. The colors of the various labels differ depending on the type of mead – Purple for lavender, green for hopped, etc. This allows a consumer to easily differentiate on a store shelf. On thing i’m not too sure of is the usage of “HoneyMaker” It’s a little confusing what the company name is – Maine Mead Works or HoneyMaker.