At one point in my life, I thought honey only came in one flavor: honey. Once you put several varieties next to one another you finally realize how different they all are. Where the bees source their pollen can dramatically influence the final flavor. When greeted with meadowfoam honey, a product of the pacific northwest, the realization stung me with such a force, I finally got it: mead’s complexity comes from whatever a hive gets into, and with meadowfoam honey, there’s a rich vanilla marshmallow flavor that is undeniably delicious. Seriously, buy some if you ever see it.
Such rare honey doesn’t come cheap, and getting enough meadowfoam to make a batch of mead that will fill a rye whiskey barrel probably costs in the thousands. After fermentation and a quick four months in rye whiskey barrels, I finally got a chance to taste the final product at Honey Pot Meadery in Anaheim…and by God, it’s like if Winnie the Pooh got high and stuck a beehive on his head.
Quintus Elementum is the name of the slender bees-wax topped bottle, and one quick whiff of the glass yields the same reaction as trying the raw ingredient: vanilla followed with a parfait of chocolate tones, marshmallow, vanilla, and sweet honey bliss. The oak from the rye barrel lends a bit of tannin to the overall structure of the sip, keeping the 14% ABV nectar hanging around between swigs.
Although bottles sold out within thirty minutes, there may be a taster or two hanging around the tasting room for those in the know. Be sure to subscribe to all things Honey Pot Meadery so you don’t miss the next one!
Honey Pot Meadery is at 5120 E La Palma Ave #104, Anaheim honeypotmeadery.com
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening on June 29th in Anaheim!