Showing posts with label Mead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mead. Show all posts

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Cheers on Beer, Spirits and Wine. With Kinsale Mead, Bubble Bros, The Corkscrew, Maharani, O'Briens Wines, Blacks, Wines of the World, St Mel's.

Cheers on Beer, Spirits and Wine. 

With Kinsale Mead, Bubble Bros, The Corkscrew, Maharani, O'Briens Wines, Blacks, Wines of the World, St Mel's.


Irish Wildflower Mead from Kinsale Mead

Only a limited number of bottles of our Irish Wildflower Mead were released, all individually numbered and signed by the meadmaker. These are only available to buy direct from the meadery. This is an opportunity to try something truly unique.
This beguiling mead is fermented to a delicate sweetness showcasing the depth and complexity of the 100% Irish honey, foraged from hawthorn, white blackberry blossom, wild clover and a little nuttiness from a walnut tree. 🐝 With a label designed by local artist Fiona Boniwell, we think it's an irresistible treat. *FREE SHIPPING* in Ireland until May Day.
2020 Blas Na HEireann award


Bubbles Brothers
have brand new wines for you!

While you're waiting for trips to the seaside to resume, dive in to six brand new wines from the coastal end of France's Loire region. Choose from four breezy, refined Muscadets, a vibrant Sauvignon Blanc and a precise, supple Chardonnay from Les FrĂšres Couillaud.


We hope you had a lovely Easter weekend and for those of you that managed to get your hands on some Easter Eggs that you didn't overdo it on the chocolate. There was great excitement here as our new wines arrived from Cyprus, these are really excellent wines from one of the Islands leading boutique family wineries and you won't get them anywhere else!

Cyprus is an exciting island to make wine as it is home to some very unique indigenous grape varieties. Zambartas Winery specializes in their own native grape varieties as well as blends with some world-renowned varieties. Their wines have been awarded with numerous medals locally and abroad and the winery has become one of the leading wineries of the island which also greatly contributed to the current modern revival of the Cypriot wine industry.


Need the perfect online event for a celebration or corporate gathering?

Looking for a unique online company event or the perfect hen party or special birthday party?

Rebel City Distillery have created a fun, engaging, and unique virtual gin tasting experience just for you!

Springtime Bubbles at O'Briens
By Lynne Coyle MW | O'Briens Wine Director 

On the blog this week we have some must try Champagne and Sparkling wine suggestions. Whether you are planning to pop a cork to celebrate, for fun or to enjoy your fizz with a nice plate of food here are our top picks for your bucket list.

read more here



Fresh off the canning line!

You might not be able to head to the sunny beaches of St. Tropez just we've brought this delicious Summer IPA to you!
Details and Order Here

Wines of the World

May Bank Holiday Virtual Wine and Food Pairing – Friday April 30th Cork Delivery or Collection

Are you based in Cork and looking for some at home entertainment?

We have teamed up with Aisling – Ballymaloe Trained Chef and owner of the Tiny Turnip.

Kate from Wines of The World and Aisling from the Tiny Turnip will be offering you a virtual wine and food pairing on Friday April 30th at 7pm on our social channels @WinesIreland.

More Info and order here.


St Mel's Brewery Shop

Monday, November 2, 2020

Zooming into world's oldest alcoholic drink with Kate and Denis of Kinsale Meadery

Zooming into world's oldest alcoholic drink with Kate and Denis of Kinsale Meadery

The Mead Line-up

Kate and Denis Dempsey of Kinsale Mead Company are currently giving a series of insightful sessions on Zoom. More than an info session as I was able to order a quartet of their unique drinks (with a glass, of course) in advance and had it all in front of me for last Friday’s tasting.

Clicked in at seven o’clock and Denis told me and the similarly equipped "attendees" that he and Kate had started the mead company in 2016 with their first mead becoming available the following year. “Our operation is very much like that of a small winery, except that we don't have a wine press.” Mead is the oldest alcoholic drink in the world. “There are many styles, one traced back to China in 6000BC.”

Kate and Denis

Kate started the tasting with their Atlantic Dry. Ours had just been retrieved from the fridge while Denis said he loves it neat over two or three ice cubes. 

It is the simplest of meads, based on pure orange blossom honey from Valencia. For every 300kgs of honey, they used double the amount of water. Chilled slightly, the aromas are floral, of the Spanish spring. You do get the taste of honey but the mead is not sweet, rather it is off dry. It pairs well with artisan crisps, olives, nuts, goats cheese, baklava. Each of the meads may be used in cocktails and the suggestions were shown to us and are also available on their website.

They used Spanish honey because there is very little Irish honey. Denis: “We are at the bottom of the league, a bit like our football team, just ahead of Luxembourg and Malta. But we do have a batch coming through based on Clonakilty honey that should be available in the New Year.”

See website for more cocktail ideas

Two saints, each well-known in the countryside west of Kinsale, are associated with honey. They are Saint Molaga (of Welsh origin) of Timoleague and Saint Gobnait, Patron Saint of bees and who has a fantastic stained glass window in her honour in the Honan Chapel in UCC. Cork micro-brewery Nine White Deer is named after a Gobnait story. By the way, the ancient Brehon Laws gave more protection to the bees than they have today.

The second mead, the Wild Red, has the same abv as the white at 12%. This is a bit more complex and is known as a melomel mead. In addition to honey, it has fermented fruit (the yeasts love the nutrients here and it leads to “vigorous fermentation” compared to the Atlantic dry). The fruit is imported cherries along with zesty Wexford blackcurrants “from a bee friendly farm” and forest honey from Northern Spain is also used.

Barrel aged gem

“Serve at room temperature,” Kate advised. “It is so smooth, looks like a light version of Port.”And she suggested pairing it with strong cheese, brack, Christmas cake, and chocolate. And a chocolate brownie is ideal with the mulled version!

The light and refreshing Hazy Summer Mead was next on our list. Again this had just been extracted from the fridge. It is another melomel version, with no less than six summer berries, including strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, blackberry, and cherry. 

The three regulars, at the Old Head

“This is whole fruit fermentation, the frozen fruit put in whole, the only pressure its own weight. It is 11% abv and tannin levels are low. When tasting, spread it over the whole tongue to get the best from it. It is lovely with lightly spicy food, chorizo, blue cheese…”

In between they filled us in on more info about mead in general, including a drinking vessel called a Mether (think of the Liam McCarthy Cup) and that there were, perhaps are, medicinal versions of the drink, which are classed as Metheglin.

No need for a fruit press here!

Kate and Denis are not standing still. Their latest variation involves three different barrel aged meads. All the barrels are European and their first was based on a Bordeaux barrel. Quite a wet one! “So wet,” said Kate, “that we got four bottles out of it. We had to drink them, of course!” It was all new to the Dempseys. “At 9 months, it tasted well and at twelve we thought it was ready.”

And I think that most of us who tasted the superb Merlot Barrel Aged Wild Red Mead Limited Edition last Friday concurred. “It is three years old, our oldest. The barrel has added to it. You still get the honey in the aromas but it is very smooth, very fruity, very drinkable, with great depth. Great with fine foods such as Duck patĂ©, charcuterie and so on. It weights in at 12% abv.”

Denis added that Port and Sauternes cask version are now available as well. Watch this space! The meads are widely available and you may also order online here.  The first three meads in the tasting cost €22.00 for the full-size bottle while the barrel aged are €27.95 each.

Next tasting is Thursday Nov 12th, details here.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Kinsale Meadery Tours Reopening Monday June 29th at 1pm

Kinsale Meadery Tours Reopening

 Monday June 29th at 1pm

Curious about Mead? Planning a Day Trip or Staycation to Kinsale?

Kinsale Mead Co. has been a hive of activity recently getting ready to re-open for their popular meadery tours and tastings on Monday 29th June. They are following the latest guidelines so their visitors can experience the tour safely.

“We are really delighted to be welcoming visitors back to the meadery. It’s been way too quiet here for the last few months and we really miss meeting everyone,” said Denis Dempsey, co-founder.

Explore the making and tasting of Mead, the drink of Celtic Ireland’s Kings and Chieftains at Kinsale Mead’s family run meadery. Mead, also known as "honey wine," is believed to be the world's oldest alcoholic drink, dating back to 6500 BC.

During the fun-filled hour you will meet the Mead Makers of Kinsale Mead and hear stories of ancient legends and the colourful history of mead in Ireland. Indulge in a tasting of three different raw honey types while learning about the life of the honeybee. Explore the production area and follow the process of modern mead-making, from fermentation through to maturation and onto bottling. Revel in the opportunity to sample three different award-winning varieties of this ancient drink, with great tips for food pairing and mead cocktails.

The Meadery has been running tours since 2018 and has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence last year. Previous visitors have said the “Informative and fun” tour lead by “Very friendly and knowledgeable” staff is “A must for your trip to Kinsale”.

Tours run at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm. Tickets cost €14 per adult. Please pre-book to guarantee your place at or call 021 477 3538.

Me(a)d-ia Release

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lough Gill Brewery (and Meadery!). Focus on quality and consistency.

Lough Gill Brewery (and Meadery!)
Focus on quality and consistency.

It’s a Friday evening and I am sitting in a classy new bar, Anderson’s, on the banks of the Garavogue in Sligo, on an ale "pilgrimage".

Back in the 1800s, Anderson’s Ale was the most popular beer in Connacht and the family owned three breweries in the province, one of them housed in this very building. The story makes my pint of Anderson’s Ale all the tastier!

The new Anderson’s Ale is produced by a new family micro brewery, the Lough Gill. And, that morning, James Ward told me that they  (he and wife Valerie) went back to the region’s roots to brew a traditional Irish ale that is their interpretation of what was originally produced. “It opened the door for us.”
Anderson's, once a brewery, now a smart pub

While Lough Gill’s initial beer looked to the past, their production now looks to the future and James sees that future in cans and in America. Their beers are geared towards the US market and their eye-catching can labels are designed by a US artist. Indeed, their brewer Tony Wickham is a Lakota Sioux from Montana.

You get the drift once you sample their Mac Nutty, a nut brown ale (with toasted macadamia nuts), similar to Newcastle Brown Ale that you may have seen in a one pint bottle. Mac Nutty is one of their regular beers and exported to the US where Lough Gill is established in New York State and Massachusetts.

The water, and the name, come from nearby Lough Gill and that was also the name of the old brewery. It is not the first brewery for James and wife Valerie. Their initial venture, the White Hag, was the first brewery in Sligo for the best part of a century. After a couple of years, he sold it to its investor group and launched Lough Gill, with Anderson’s Ale, just last November.

Now they make quite an array of beers, lots of bold flavours and tastes here, including their Round the Clock stout; recommended for breakfast as it has Flahavan’s Oatmeal included!

They mill everything on site here. “We crack it open, it’s fresh. Our focus is on quality and consistency.” Irish malts are used for all their basic beers while specially malts are sourced in Belgium.

He took us through the process. By the way, this is a steam operated brewery, a better boil, better beer. After the usual mash tun, kettle, the more unusual whirlpool, the cooling, it goes into the tank and fresh yeast is added. “We use live yeast, makes for a better product. When we make our Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Stout, the yeast goes crazy. At 11%, this stout is the strongest in Ireland.”
In Lough Gill with James (left) and brewer Tony (right)

Their four core beers are: the Mac Nutty nut brown ale, the Round the Clock stout, the Heinoweiser IPA, and the Thieving Bastards Pale ale; some of the names are a finger up to the bigger brands. The stout and the brown ale are both exported. In addition, there is the Rebel Stout Series, the Irish Punch Up Series (which has started with a  barley wine), and the Irish Wild Atlantic series (sours).

“Sour is huge in the US. We have a sour wheat beer, a Wild RosĂ© Ale, an Imperial Peach Sour and a Cherry sour is coming soon.” And coming soon too will be their Mead.

Didn't know they had a Meadery here when I arrived but enjoyed a taste from the tank and can confirm that Tony’s Mead is a very different take indeed. James told me that it is the oldest drink in the world, “made by women and the drink of legends”. Tony has made mead in the states where it is quite popular. And James reckons that the far east, especially Japan and China, will prove likely markets.

Amazing energy and innovation here. Must be in that Lough Gill water. Maybe in some other local liquid. Best of luck to the team here as they take Sligo brewing on to the world stage.

* That same evening, Lough Gill was awarded Best New Sligo Business 2017. James: “We have yet to reach our 1st anniversary brew day and we are extremely delighted to receive this award at such an early stage in our business.” Great to get honoured in your home town.

See also: Strandhill Food Festival
Sligo Cafés
Clo's Chocolates
Rugatino of Sligo
Embassy Steakhouse
The Swagman Rocks