The many flavours of so-called “Scottish craft mead” from The Rookery can be hard to find online. We managed to get hold of some flavours, one of which is this “Lavender Mead”.
The notes on the bottle say that this mead is made with dried lavender to give a sweet mead with floral notes.
The Rookery is based on Perthshire and claims to use only honey in their fermentation — never sugars or syrups. They also claim to use hand-foraged ingredients when making flavoured meads, so perhaps this is hand-foraged lavender in this case.
I could smell this one just as I poured it! The lavender bursts out of the bottle into the surrounding air without pause. On a closer nose, there are subtle notes of sweetness, but it’s hard to deny that the lavender dominates the bouquet.
Unsurprisingly, the lavender is the strongest component of the taste. There still manages however to be an undertone of mead body to carry that floral bouquet.
The taste was a challenge for me as I had to make a conscious effort to decouple the lavender scent from associations of soap and other bathroom products. That association is not warranted as there is nothing “soapy” about the mead, but perhaps lavender is just such an unusual taste to find in a mead and my palate is confused.
After a few sips, it grows as a perfectly pleasant drink similar to any other of the more floral fruit wines (such as elderflower). Definitely a unique experience overall.
I can say for sure that such a strong taste masks well the supposed 17% alcohol strength!