This is a rare harvest; once every few years we have the right combination of warmth, humidity and windless days whilst the hawthorn is in flower for the bees to produce this special honey. The last years were in 2014, 2018 and 2020 but when the warm weather finally arrived in May 2023 we also got a good crop. Honey from hawthorn is of very high quality and has a dense, highly viscous consistency. In Cheshire the Mayflowers appear just as the last of the oilseed rape blossom is finishing whose nectar can cause this honey to crystallise fairly quickly, lightening the colour.
The honey has a delicate, light, sweet-floral aroma and a rich taste profile, reminiscent of the nectar of the flowers, but with a slightly nutty aftertaste. It has been described by The Great Taste judges as:
“A gorgeous deep amber honey, clear and with good viscosity, with really earthy hedgerow notes. This is sweet but distinctive, fruity top notes, caramelly, with slight hints of citrus.
In addition to its exquisite flavour, it has well documented antiseptic and antioxidant properties as well as cardiovascular benefits.