Moniack Mead is one of our absolute favourites. It’s an excellent example of the darker pure mead style with additional notes of caramel, maybe even slightly burnt.
It’s created by Highlands winery which is based in what used to be a sixteenth Century castle, Moniack Castle, in Invernessshire.
Since the winery is now fully owned by Lyme Bay Winery, it is tempting to mark this as an English mead as well as a Scottish mead. We’ve kept it as just Scottish for now given its history, but feel free to discuss this in the comments!
I first encounted this mead at a “Highland Village” component of the Christmas markets in Edinburgh. The German side of the markets closed up by Christmas Day, but the Highland side stayed open right up until midnight on Hogmanay. It was served warmed and this is a drink that does well served warm in the Winter.
The colour is a deep burnt orange colour hinting at caramel in the taste. There are strong legs on the glass from the relatively strong 14.6% ABV. Despite the robust colour, there is a pleasant translucency as the light shines through.
The nose is slightly floral with a robust body of caramel aroma. a powerful nose is something that may be lacking in a number of the lighter mead styles.
It is positively sweet on the palate, however the caramel body carries it well to a balanced, warming mead drink.
Our personal favourite pairing for a robust, Scottish mead is of course as a dessert wine with cranachan at the end of a Burns Supper!