Thus Let Us Drink Mead - Stone Dog Meadery
Mead has quite an interesting history, harking back much further than what has manifested in Norse mythology to many thousand years before Christ and locations like China.
In essence, mead is a completely naturally made honey-based wine and depending on the specifics honey and added spices used, the flavours vary and are further affected by the respective flavour of the flowers that have been pollinated by the bees.
The artisanal Stone Dog Meadery has mastered the art of calibrating the combination of ingredients to produce meads that are exquisitely balanced. Mainly based on using single source honey – be it orange, scotch thistle or cactus - sourced from the groves in Victoria and South Australia.
Upon diluting the honey with H2O, yeast and other nutrients are added before the concoction is left at around twenty degrees Celsius to ferment before it is left to age. The final product clocks in between twelve and eighteen percent alcohol by volume.
I was first introduced to Stone Dog Meadery through my better half who waxed lyrical about their Odin’s Reserve Caramelised Mead: Dark caramel in colour, the semi-sweet mix of coffee, caramel, marshmallow and a hint of bitter citrus proves to be the ideal after dinner treat.
A personal favourite emission of Stone Dog Meadery has quickly become the Loud Mouth Braggart as it is a beautiful melange of a Belgian style beer and mead.
However, harbouring a weak spot for whiskey, their OMFG expression elicited exactly the sentiment the name foreshadowed: Aged in Overeem whiskey barrels (Lark’s sister distillery), this bochet is one that made me get annoyed by how long I kept smacking my lips after I have had it.
The aforementioned scotch thistle honey with a hint of blue gum results in Casual Profanity, which is so deliciously heavy on honey that it masks the alcohol dangerously well.
Given the passion and attention to detail Lavender and her better half Steve Kirby invest in their operations, it is not further wondrous that Stone Dog Meadery has become award and accolade decorated as the world stage takes notice of their products and demand grows exponentially.
The Hold My Mead and Watch This! Mead variant rest on a foundation of sweet macadamia honey mead and brings the heat as a whole Carolina Reaper chilli has been added to marinade in each bottle. While this might sound like a bit of a novelty, flavour-wise this is extremely well balanced.
French Anglo Relations was the last one I sampled, and it was yet another flavour explosion that is heavily informed by not only the orange blossom honey but the fact that it has been aged in wet JD barrel for a minimum of 6 months.
Merely learning about Stone Dog Meadery’s plans to channel their alchemy through using fine berries such as blueberries, black currents and raspberries along with the incorporation of banksia and buckwheat honey, plus the fact that I have yet to sample their IPAs elicits a Pavlovian reaction with my mouth instantly watering.
Photo by T