At their core, the alcohol in mead comes from fermenting honey, but the honey is not just an alternate source of sugar. Honeys have distinct tastes that become part of anything made with them. Most meads also include fruits and spices to build their unique flavor character.
Schramm’s Mead – Before he retired, Bruce had the privilege of working with Ken Schramm, a true authority on the subject of making Mead. Ken and his wife Jean have opened Schramm’s Mead at 327 W. 9 Mile Rd in Ferndale, Michigan, with daily management in the hands of their daughter Alison. That means we are less than an hour’s drive from some of the best mead money can buy. Ken currently has about eight different offerings, including a seasonal one. He uses a very high quality orange blossom honey from the west coast of the U. S. and the best spices and fruits he can find, locally grown when available. His meads have a broad range of character. Some are “wine like” in consistency and sweetness (tending to semi-dry) while others have a slightly thicker quality in the mouth that Bruce finds particularly pleasing as a before dinner drink or dessert drink. If you are not familiar with mead, we find that it reminds us a little of port without being port. Schramm’s Mead tends to be 14% alcohol by volume; the high end of the range for wines.
- The Heart of Darkness – This is the most expensive, and perhaps the best, bottle of anything we have every purchased, but we willingly paid the asking price. Ken uses several different fruits that he hand picks and pits himself, and crafts into an amazingly complex final product.
- The Statement – This is a cherry-based mead that leans toward the sweet end of the scale.
- Ginger – This mead may not be for everyone, but if you love ginger like Bruce does, you should try this mead. Ken suggests having it with Asian food, and that sounds right to us. You simply won’t find this taste in a wine, fruit wine, port, or sherry.