“‘I thank you.’ Bran wondered if he would have to eat a frog to be polite. ‘I offer you the meat and mead of Winterfell.'”

-A Clash of Kings

A staple of hospitality in Westeros, mead comes in a wider variety than you might expect (and than is described in any detail in the books).  All are honey-based, but that’s usually where the similarities end. Some meads are sweet and thick, like after dinner liquors; others are drier and spicier. Some meads, although still honey based, acquire their primary flavors from fermented fruits, or the casks in which they are aged. As such, you can find meads flavored with apples, pears, peaches, ginger root, whiskey casks, or rum casks, and some are flavored with more exotic fig, coffee, juniper, chili peppers, and other ingredients.

Mead can be served any time of day, on its own, or with a meal. Most meads are best served at room temperature, but some of the sweeter, lighter varieties are also nice slightly chilled.

Also amazing: mead marinade reduction for rich meats, such as boar and venison

Readers’ Suggested Meads:

  • Bunratty Mead (IRE)
  • Oliver Winery’s Camelot Mead (OH)
  • Valley Vineyard’s Mead (OH)
  • Rabbit’s Foot (CA)
  • Redstone Meadery (CO)
  • White Winter Mead (WI)
  • Rabbit Warren Mead (CA)
  • Mt. Hope Winery (PA)
  • Fox Hill Meadery (NC)
  • Montezuma Winery (NY)
  • Magpie Farms Winery (NY)
  • Starrlight Meadery (NC)
  • Rohan Meadery (TX)
  • Lindisfarne – technically a fortified honey-wine (UK)
  • Moniak – (UK)
  • Chouchenn (Britanny)

Meads we love:

  • Lurgashall English Mead simple sweet honey flavor that is full bodied and easy to enjoy
  • Lurgashall Tower of London- aged in scotch barrels, the taste starts with spiced honey, has a hint of the best scotch flavors, then finishes with straight honey goodness
  • Dansk Viking Blood- a rich, serious, hearty mead that scotch drinkers will like. Also the GI. Dansk Mjod, which has a lovely ginger flavor.
  • Redstone- raspberry, black raspberry are nice and not overly sweet fruit meads
  • Honey Garden- has a blueberry mead that was out of this world
  • B. Nektar’s Wildberry- mead is what humans taste like to vampires: intoxicatingly delicious, made with syrah
  • Iqhilika- a South African mead that comes in bizarre Westerosi-appropriate flavors, such as coffee and fig
  • Die Hochland Imker Winter Mead- like a wonderful honey punch in the face, very sweet, awesome with the included spices
  • Earle Estates- Anything they make, but especially the black raspberry. This Fingerlakes award winning meadery is a personal favorite.
  • Sap House Sugar Maple Mead- made with maple syrup, this mead tastes more like a great sherry than traditional mead

Mead Recipes:

Over at Game of Brews

 

11 Responses to Mead

  1. Nik says:

    I love Buratty Meade. Strong, fragrant, and wonderfully spiced with a great honey finish. Fantastic straight, on the rocks with atwist, or warmed. Yum!

  2. Kate says:

    Lindisfarne Mead is the best I’ve had, but you’ll have to travel to the Holy Isle. Accessible only during low tide….

  3. Christopher says:

    I believe (and I may be mistaken) that Lindesfarne and Bunratty are both actually white wines sweetened with honey, which I suppose makes them more akin to Clarrey.

  4. Avalon says:

    One to try if anyone reading ever makes a trip to Britain, specifically Scotland. Head to Inverness, and take a trip to Moniack Castle. Their mead is dark, strong and sweet (so probably not to the taste of people who really like the Lindisfarne mead), and utterly heavenly. Also doesn’t cause hangovers, and goes exceedingly well with any medieval style feast.

    http://www.highlandwineries.co.uk/moniack-mead.php

    I know mead is a personal taste – but Ive drunk an AWFUL lot of meads – this is by far my favorite. Hope you all get to try it someday!

    Avalon

  5. Shoshana says:

    Redstone used to make (as in it’s been a while since I looked for it) a juniper mead that is absolutely delightful. It’s very herby though, so if you don’t like gin or juniper, it’s not for you.

  6. andinell says:

    Rohan (yes, Rohan. No, i’m not joking) Meadery in La Grange, Texas has several delicious varieties of mead as well.

    http://Www.rohanmeadery.com

  7. Bunratty mead isn’t actually mead. It’s a grape wine with added honey. There is no real native mead producer in Ireland besides maybe a couple of homebrewers. Having gotten hooked on mead while spending some time in Brittany, France, I will be making my own soon. If you want to taste some incredible mead, try the Chouchenn from Britanny. Mélmor Hydromel is the one I recommend.

  8. PepperForse says:

    J. Bird winery in Stanchfield, MN has an excellent variety of meads. This is the mead that is featured at the Minnesota Renaissance Fstival.

  9. Ser James says:

    I’m a total vinophile. while working in fine dining I did a mead tasting and I will never forget this mead from Sweden made from single-source lingonberry blossom honey. Divine absolutely divine.

  10. Erik Bjelke says:

    My favorite mead comes from a local winery, Winehaven. I know it’s sold in liquor stores around Minnesota, not sure if they have a market beyond that. Also, while not technically a mead, something more along the lines of the “after-dinner liquer” category is Drambuie, which is basically Scotch with honey and other spices for flavoring. AMAZING.

  11. Authiel says:

    Ah! The Mt. Hope Winery! I love their wines and meads (their plain honey mead is the best, in my opinion). Their Ren Faire was a great place to spend my 21st at.

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