Watson & Son is a family company run in New Zealand by Denis Watson and his son Dan, and what started as a hobby in the 1970s has now grown into a massive 14,000 beehives and a separate company called ManukaMed that makes medical and healthcare products from medical grade manuka honey. Watson & Son produced certified manuka honey and a variety of other delicious monofloral and multifloral honeys.
Watson & Son Manuka Honey NPA 10+ Review
Watson & Son Manuka Honey NPA 10+ is without doubt the best manuka honey the editor has tasted to date (and he’s eaten quite a lot!).
The bouquet on opening the jar is of a classic manuka honey with a strong aroma of flowers and herbs with a sweet hint of toffee, but it is a balanced note and not overpowering. More than the bouquet though the colour is the first thing to register – it is an exquisitely natural looking light golden brown and has a wonderful consistency and soft silky texture, so is easily spread and just literally melts in your mouth.
The honey has an initial rich buttery taste that opens out in the classic taste of manuka – a complex and delicious mix of sweet flowers balanced with a light taste of herbs. Unlike some manuka honeys, there is no astringent or slightly bitter taste but a long and elegant aftertaste.
This is in the editor’s opinion the best 10+ strength manuka honey on the market, and you can find it here.
Watson & Son’s manuka honey testing and grading
Watson & Son’s manuka honey is independently certified and rigorously tested. The company does not belong to any trademark scheme but the NPA testing is based on the same tests as UMF labelled honey so the NPA rating of the honey equates to the UMF grades. The company has recently changed its labelling and in future it will carry the level of methylglyoxal (MGO), which is the substance that occurs naturally in manuka honey that makes it special and gives it its unique antibacterial properties. Watson & Son’s MGO Manuka Honey will range from 100+ to 800+.
Editorial anecdote – good against coughs
While the new labelling guidelines for manuka honey from the New Zealand does not allow specific therapeutic claims, the editor was suffering a severe cough at the time of writing the review and was interested to see if manuka honey would help. Immediately on eating some generous teaspoons of the honey, the editor experienced a soothing effect that lasted and definitely made sleeping easier and in his opinion shortened the duration of the cough!