During a trip to a renaissance fair, I happened upon a honey vendor from the area selling varietal honeys of all sorts. One that stuck out to me was one made from the pollen of Eucalyptus plants. The honey itself was on the dark side, and border-line brown colored. It was sweet and had a hint of that menthol-esque flavor Eucalyptus is known for. If you’re not located near a medieval honey vendor, Eucalyptus honey is available online.
Now, I’ve read mixed things online about using Eucalyptus in mead. Some sources saying that the menthol becomes quite overpowering and it ends up tasting like medicine, and other have stated that as long as you find the honey palatable, the mead should turn out fine. To add to the confusion, it turns out there is something like 200+ different strains of the plant, so some may be more suited for the purpose than others.
So I picked up a jug of the honey, roughly 3 pounds worth, just enough for a gallon experimental brew. I didn’t do anything fancy with this one. Mixed in the water and honey, used D47 yeast and let it ferment for the next couple of weeks. It started to clear a lot quicker than I expected, and created a nice pale straw colored liquid when it was all done with.
I was quite happy with the result. No vile medicinal taste from this, which puts me firmly in the second camp of: if the honey is palatable, the mead should be fine. The mead turned out to be of a nice sweetness, with a bit of a tang or spiciness towards the finish. The slight hint of the menthol appears as more of an aftertaste. I didn’t measure the gravitates on this one, but it has a decent kick to it. I hope my experience with this batch has lessened some of the hesitance to use this honey varietal. It is a fairly unique flavor that should be experienced.