The source of all the flavour in our mead is the blend of different kinds of honey we use. For us it's really amazing how much depth and breadth of flavour you can get coming through from the honey.
What's also amazing is the range of flavours you get from different hives, depending on what flowers the bees have been grazing on. When we ferment the honey, we're essentially stripping away the sweetness, this means that you can access the whole host of tertiary flavours behind the sweetness.
Each varietal honey gives a specific, unique flavour to the mead and individual hives can vary from month to month as different nectar is available at different times of the year.
For Gosnells, we've chosen to use a blend of different blossom honeys, led by a significant amount of Orange Blossom Honey. We get the Orange Blossom Honey from Spain, and this provides the crisp citrus notes, characteristic of Gosnells, whilst the other blossom varieties broaden the flavour out, making it more rounded on the palate.
We get asked a lot about why we've chosen to use this blend rather than something more local to us in London.
Whilst Britain (and London) makes amazing honey, we've chosen to use a different blend in order to maintain the consistency. One of the great things about the UK is the vast array of produce that we grow, however, this means that the flowers the bees graze on also varies. This means that the honey taken from even a single hive will vary from week to week, and once you ferment away the sweetness these differences become even more apparent.
It's really important for us to have a consistent flavour for Gosnells, and the dominant Orange Blossom Honey provides this.
We're looking to work more with local beekeepers this season, to produce a range of limited edition meads each championing a specific "terroir" of honey.