I have a lot of honeys around the house, so it’s unusual when I go back to buy more of the same thing. This honey from the Craic Honey Company in Washington’s Yakima Valley is one of those exceptions. I’ve gone through more than two large jars, and also gifted a few. None of the jars have tasted exactly the same (though similar), but all have been good.
According to their website, Craic is named after an Irish word (also their family motto), meaning something like “fun, joyful conversation and generally a good time.” I’ve seen this dark honey at PCC but never got around to trying it, but when it showed up at Central Market in Shoreline, WA I finally bought some. Craic sells their dark honey in jars, while all of their light honey goes to the Iron Horse Brewery, who use it in their High Five Hefe.
I talked to beekeeper Kim at Craic to find out what went into this dark honey. She said that it comes from pollinating 2014 raspberry crops all through the Yakima Valley from White Pass to Patterson / Midfield. But while doing that work, the bees go to other nearby plants such as sagebrush, knapweed and rabbitbrush (chamisa). That goes a long way towards explaining how this honey ended up with its combination of brightness (raspberry) and funky richness (everything else).
Upon opening the jar this is a strong-smelling honey: propolis, barnyard, and something like sap or an herbal cough drop. The taste is not so funky, but instead unexpectedly bright and long-lasting, with a rich rootbeer-like quality and a sense of burned sugar. The first jar was obviously a different batch, since it’s much more runny and has a distinct bitterness like a chestnut honey that the other jars I’ve tried do not have. I like both versions and can’t decide which is better, but no matter – I’ll just keep getting more of it.