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Product Spotlight: The Staffordshire Hoard Mead
Shire Meadery makes light honey wine (mead) in the West of Wales, although made it’s start in the creator’s attic in Birmingham!
Mead is often thought of as a sickly sweet and strong drink, but in fact it is highly versatile, all depending on the fermentation methods used. Shire Meadery caters to disparate tastes – from the gentle and subtle notes of our light meads for those who prefer a more approachable drink, to drier, stronger creations that are ideal for those that like bold flavours.
Shire Meadery’s flagship product is Light Mead, and can be compared to a delicate, fruity and floral perry, but with its own honey notes layered on top. Light Mead is an ideal base for flavours, as it has a gentle flavour that doesn’t interfere with the botanicals you add, allowing their flavour to shine through.
Botanicals play a key role in our drinks, either in the form of infusions of flowers and fruit, or from the specific honey we use. The Staffordshire Hoard Mead was made in collaboration with Birmingham Museums as an introduction to Anglo-Saxon tastes, using juniper to add fresh pine notes, and meadowsweet to give a herbal tone. We aimed to make a gentle, approachable mead that still has character and we’re very happy with the results!
Other infusions include Cherry Rhubarb, Japanese Cherry, tropical fruits, oak, and juniper. Each bring their own character.
Honey is a very expensive raw material to ferment into wine, but has all the hallmarks that makes wine great. Just like the soil and weather changes how a wine tastes, the local flowers and time of year a honey is made completely changes its flavour, which is all the more striking when the sugar is fermented off to leave the botanicals that have been collected by bees over that season. Shire Meadery showcases this spectacular variety of flavours with its range of premium Reserve Meads. Small batches (sometimes as little as a single bottle!) are created using rare, monofloral, or unusual honeys. Reserve Meads that have been particularly popular include Zambian Tropical Forest ( rich, fruity, but dry mead), and Bath Autumn Ivy (aromatic, herbal, smokey).