Not All Mead Is Sweet! Try Kinsale Mead Co

Mead is slowly growing in popularity and people’s perception of the honey wine is starting to change. It is not all sickly sweet and the flavours range beyond traditional meads. Kinsale Mead Co is a great example of how mead can be dry, flavoursome, and enjoyed similarly to grape wines. In case you missed it, check my previous article, Beginner’s Guide to Mead, as it is a great introduction to the category, and hopefully it will encourage you to give mead a try.

If you are based in the UK, don’t forget to enter our mead competition. Kinsale Mead Co is giving away four bottles of mead. More on how to enter at the end of this post.

Kinsale Mead Co

In 2016, Kate and Denis founded their West Cork-based meadery to help rediscover the ancient art of mead making and to create world-class drinks. Their meadery in Kinsale is the first in Ireland for over 200 years.

The Kinsale Mead Co range currently includes a traditional-style mead and two melomels, which are all finished off-dry and wine-strength. These meads are matured in stainless-steel tanks for six to eighteen months for a smooth finish. Melomel is a style of mead made by adding whole fruit or fruit juice to the fermentation together with the honey. Most of the ingredients are sourced locally and all Kinsale Mead Co meads are naturally gluten free and low in sulphites.

Atlantic Dry Mead

This is their traditional-style mead, which embodies the modern, refined style of mead making. It is made from carefully sourced raw orange blossom honey and fermented off-dry. It is a light and refreshing drink with subtle citrus and floral aromas and a long lingering honey. When served chilled, the nectar comes through, making the drink crisper rather than the sweet and cloying drink some may expect. I prefer to serve this one on the rocks or with a savoury gin and Mediterranean tonic water, see the recipe here.

You can also pair Atlantic Dry Mead, 12% ABV, with salty food such as almonds, olives, seafood and oysters, or try it with a slice of lemon tart or soft goat’s cheese. The awards it has received include a 2-star Great Taste Award and Gold at the International Mazer Cup.

Kinsale Mead Atlantic Dry Mead

Wild Red Mead

Wild Red Mead, 12% ABV, is made using Irish blackcurrants and dark cherries, which are fermented off-dry with forest honey. It is then matured for eighteen months. This mead is packed with fruity flavours and works well as an alternative to full-bodied red wines due to its soft tannins and smooth finish. Serve at (cool) room temperature or slightly chilled like you would some table wines.

Wild Red Mead pairs well with roast duck, barbecue dishes, Italian cuisine and good-quality chocolate. It has been awarded Gold at Blas na hÉireann and Free From Food Awards.

KInsale Wild Red Mead

Hazy Summer Mead

This mead is made using six ripe summer berries. It’s a delicious, fruity, off-dry berry mead with generous strawberry and raspberry aromas and a smooth, subtle honey and blueberry finish. It is not sickly at all and has a freshness to it, possibly from the redcurrants. Kinsale Mead Co likes to describe Hazy Summer Mead as Ireland’s answer to Pimm’s! Serve lightly chilled, over ice or with a handful of frozen berries to keep it cool without diluting the drink. Also great in cocktails.

Hazy Summer Mead, 11% ABV, can be paired with spicy chicken wings, turkey, blue cheese, summery salads, or berry cheesecake.

Its awards include Gold at Blas na hÉireann and Gold at the International Mazer Cup.

Hazy Summer Mead

Limited Edition

Kinsale Mead Co has been experimenting with different ageing methods and flavour profiles. Currently, on their website you can find a Wild Red Mead aged in a Merlot barrel for three years. This unique barrel-aged mead is described as juicy, fruity and rich with soft tannins and smooth finish. As I’ve tried the original Wild Red Mead, I can imagine how ageing in oak can add to this mead and create an elegant alternative to wine.

Another interesting limited-edition bottling is Kinsale Wildflower Irish Mead, which is made from 100% Irish summer wildflower honey. The next batch will be ready for spring 2021.

Unfortunately, both limited-edition meads are currently only available in Ireland.

Where to buy Kinsale Mead

Kinsale Mead is available on Amazon, Master of Malt and some specialist stores within the UK. In Ireland you can find it in Supervalu, O’Briens Wines and many speciality food shops and independent off-licences (see the list here).

Alternatively, you can order directly from their website. Kinsale Mead Co is currently offering free shipping in Ireland and the UK.

Credit: Kinsale Mead Co


I have teamed up with Kinsale Mead Co to give you a chance to WIN two bottles of your chosen mead.

To enter on Instagram:

1. Follow both Kinsale Mead Co & On the Sauce Again

2. Go to the competition photos.

3. Tag a friend and tell us which two bottles you would prefer. (Choose from Atlantic Dry Mead, Wild Red Mead and Hazy Summer Mead.)

To enter on Twitter:

1. Follow both Kinsale Mead Co & On the Sauce Again

2. Share this post.

3. Tag a friend and tell us which two bottles you would prefer. (Choose from Atlantic Dry Mead, Wild Red Mead and Hazy Summer Mead.)

We will choose two winners, one from Instagram and the other from Twitter. The competition closes on the 27th September 2020. UK entries only. You must be of legal drinking age to enter. COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Kinsale Mead Co, but as always, all words and opinions are my own.

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