This is from a tasting I did a while back, and I’m transcribing my written notes into this review.

Lurgashall Special Reserve Mead – Vintage 2003


Color is deep gold with an undertone of greenish/yellowish hues as it is held to a white light, and white background. The color is consistent and fades to transparent at the edges of the glass. The mead is brilliant with no visible suspensoids while swirling. This is a leggy looking mead and is viscous enough to coat the glass well. Note that the cork is of superior quality.


Aroma and Flavor:

This mead has a very strong honey nose with hints of citrus, aromatic herbs and ripe sweet fruit. There is a pronounced smoke and sweet woody character in the nose that is accented by hints of peach. Obviously these guys are not afraid to lay on the wood. Note that the bottle mentions the oak barrels used to age the mead contained spirits (research reveals that they use whiskey and rum barrels). I’m betting that this batch came from whiskey barrels, or was blended with a favor toward whiskey. Pronounced honey flavor on the attack, sweet and strong, but the alcohol is balanced so as not to burn or be too astringent. There is warmth on the front of the tongue but it is not hot or excessive to the extreme. The flavor develops along the tongue with some caramel and vanilla and some discernable whiskey flavor on the sides. This all gives way to an overwhelming anise, fennel, aromatic herb and black licorice finish that is over the top. The mead is well structured with a pretty good balance of sweetness, acid and smoky wood. I’m curious to know what kind of honey they used.

Overall Impressions:

This mead starts out with a ton of potential, great nose, good deep golden color, nice structure in the aromatics as it develops in the glass, and it rides the glass well with some good viscosity and legs. It develops nicely in the tasting until the finish where that anise and black licorice flavor dominate and overpower the rest of the experience. It’s too bad that this mead does not deliver the finish that is promised in the nose and attack. I won’t be spending any more cash on this particular brand anytime soon.


Vicky Rowe
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