Kookoolan World Meadery‘s “Elegance” Mead is extremely enjoyable. Made from a blend of orange blossom and wildflower honey, with bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis, and beeswax – drinking the mead is like picking up a hive, cutting a hole in the top, and drinking right from the hive (this is a good thing). As they say on their site “This is costly, but we feel the result speaks for itself and sets Kookoolan Mead apart from others.” I feel like this is absolutely true. The Elegance mead was alike no other mead I have tried.
Kookoolan World Meadery was established December 2009, by Chrissie and Koorosh Zaerpoor. In 2011, Chrissie hired veteran mead maker, Douglas Remington of as consulting mead maker so she could focus more time running kookoolan farms. Douglas has been making fermented beverages since 1991, before it was cool to do. He runs traditionalmead.com as a platform to educate and spread information on mead making and mead in general. His many years of experience can really be tasted in this refined mead.
Kookoolan mead is made with a cold process – totally unheated. This allows all the aromas and flavors of the honey, pollen, royal jelly to stay intact. The aroma was an intricate floral bouquet.
Elegance comes in at 11.6% alcohol, but there was very little alcohol flavor. It is a semi-sweet mead, but definitely tends more to the sweet side. The honey flavors were prominent, with a little bit of citrus. The pollen was noticeable as well. Served slightly chilled, it had a good mouthfeel. It was substantive, I believe due to the addition of beeswax, propolis, etc. but surprisingly smooth. It finished a little on the sweet side. Perhaps a little more aging would cut some of the sweetness and really round it out.
I paired it with some homemade almond biscotti I got from a friend. The light sweetness and crunchiness of the cookie along with the earthiness of the almonds worked great to ground the flavors of the mead.
The branding is interesting. It differentiates Kookoolan from other meaderies, but it doesn’t say Oregon farm to me. Both name and logo make me think Hawaii or some other tropical island. The script on the bottle is a little difficult to read, but it does present a tone of “elegance” and expensiveness to the mead. Though it fights with the Kookoolan logo that is speaks to a more artisanal aesthetic. The bottle has a nice profile. I’ve been seeing more and more of these bottles lately. Artesano Meadery in Vermont also uses a similarly shaped bottle. Wine has a traditional bottle shape, as does beer. Could this become the standard for mead?
Overall, I really enjoyed the Elegance from Kookoolan, and would really like to try the barrel-aged version if I can get my hands on a bottle. I think the barrel aging would cut the sweetness just enough to balance it perfectly.