Ok, so far I have two commercial sources of Mead in the Grand Rapids area.
1. GB Russo & Son carries mead. They almost always have Chaucer's and occasionally you can find other brands as well.
2. Meijer. The only store I've found it at as of 8/28/04 is the brand new store in Rockford on 10 mile road. Look in their "Desert Wine" section. I don't recall the brand, but it wasn't Chaucers, and I liked it better.
I'm still working on getting a local distributor to carry Jadwiga and Kasztelanski meads from Stawski Distributing Co.
I've tried every locally available mead, and frankly, I don't buy mead any more. Is the other one you've tried called Lurgashalls? Icky, IMHO. Try B&B Liquors right in front of Franks on 28th, just east of Breton. If you are at Russo's, you are about a 1/2 mile away. They seem to carry more varieties of Lurgashalls than anywhere else. Not that any of them are good.
Supposedly Jadwiga is available in Michigan, but I've never found it. My friend in Detroit has hunted around there and not found it either.
The mead I found at Meijer is from Oliver Winery in Illinois. It's not quite right, but I still prefer it to most white wines. We had some with BBQ pork ribs last night, and it was a very nice combination.
From what I've learned from a local distributor, Jadwiga isn't distributed in Michigan at all - yet... I'm still working on it though.
I get mine sent to me from California when my brother can find it.
Originally Posted by David Baldwin
I think you may be thinking of Oliver Winery in Bloomington,
Indiana. As far as I know, they only make that one traditional
mead. They've got general distribution at the major liquor
stores here in Indiana (21st Amendment, United Package
Liquor). As previously mentioned, it's a very dry mead,
I agree, though, it's not quite right. My uneducated belief is
that it feels like something has been filtered out of it. We keep
talking about taking a road trip down there for a wine tasting --
maybe I can ask a few questions when we get around to it.
There's another winery in Indianapolis (Easley's) that makes
one batch of mead a year, but it always sells out very quickly.
As far as I know, they don't distribute. Guess I better
get down there and get a bottle before it's too late, eh?
Yes, my mistake. Oliver Winery is in Bloomington, Indiana.
I had to check their web page to make sure. I think that there may have been an Illinois address on the label, but I'd have to check again to be certain.
I also had it at the Michigan Renaissance Festival, and was very disappointed with it there. I don't know if the bottle had been open too long, or if it was from a lesser batch than I'd had previously.
I'll try another bottle from Meijer and reevaluate it.
David, you are a trooper. Taking one for the team...Originally Posted by David Baldwin
Well, nothing risked, nothing gained...
Besides, it will keep me out of my own until it's ready.
I'm guessing that Joe's Ancient Orange recipe that I have in progress won't really be ready until mid December.
I'm out of Jadwiga
I'm out of Kasztelanski.
I have 9 gallons of green mead singing their siren song to me.
I've got to drink something!
Where are you getting these? Someplace local?Originally Posted by David Baldwin
I wish they were distributed in Michigan, but not yet.
I have a brother in California. He's been able to get me the Kasztelanski and Jadwiga. For some reason he can't find the Jadwiga right now. He's got a bottle of Kasztelanski that he is sending me for Christmas.
I've been trying to get a couple of local retailers to convince Kent Beverage to look into distributing it. So far no luck. I may go to Kent Beverage directly to see if I can talk to one of their buyers.
There's a Jadwiga shortage in So Cal as well.
Plenty of the Kasztelanski, Lednicki and Slowiaski at my local Middle Eastern market, but I don't fancy any of them much.The price is right at 6.95 - 7.95 a bottle.
There's also plenty of Chaucer's, Nibit, Lurgashall and a couple of others available. Between 11.95 to 8.95 a bottle.
Is it tasty . . . precious?
My brother lives in Orange, and was surprised when his supply dried up.
I like the Kasztelanski well enough, but really prefer the Jadwiga. Of course at about $30 per bottle it better be good.
From what I've read, Jadwiga is aged something like 25 years. I can tell you that my home brew won't ever last that long.
My in-laws are in Modesto, and my brother-in-law is in the bay area. I could ask them to look around. Though I'm not sure our relationship is up to me asking any favors at this point. :P
Also, my brother-in-law just accepted a job in Ireland for 2 years. Maybe he can bring back some of that Lurgashall reserve that won a medal at the meadfest.
I had a great mead weekend. I went to Detroit this weekend, and discovered that they have quite a bit greater mead selection over there than we do on the west side of the state.
A friend had bought a bottle of Polish mead, just a simple sweet show mead. The best commercial mead I've had, except for Redstone Reserve. Still not spectacular though, as the sulfites seemed to be trying to compete for the dominant flavor. Good, but still not good enough that I'd try it again.
Then we went to Whole Foods market. I found 2 more - Honeyrun Mead, in a show mead and two melomels. I bought the show mead, figuring I'd go back and get more if that was good. Haven't opened it yet. No sulfites.
Also got a $30 bottle of Polish mead, the one with the wicker basket thingy on the bottle. Aged 6 years, no sulfites. Raspberry and spices added. Haven't tried it yet.
And Cascade Meijers had 2 displays for Oliver Mead on sale for $4.something. I've heard it is mediocre, but for that price, I've got to try it. Too bad they wouldn't let me buy it before noon on Sunday, even though I promised not to drink it until 12:01.
I also found two imported french ciders. I opened one, and it was fantastic. Too bad it was $18 a bottle. Haven't opened the other yet.