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Gillman
08-13-2010, 16:15
Been a while since I've tasted an anise-flavoured drink, and with the high summer sun shining white and bright in Toronto, I thought I'd revisit some of my collection. I'm doing small sips to back an excellent dark ale called Headstrong Black and Tan (actually made in Utica, NY and which may be similar to Saranac Black and Tan).

I chose three to taste. One is Arak Fakra, 55% ABV, from Lebanon. One is Randy Goode's 1970's Pernod he gave me some years ago (thanks again Randy for that if you are reading). The last is Arak el Khazen, another Lebanon Arak, 50% ABV, that Stu kindly gave me last year.

They are all excellent and I am not being diplomatic, but I can't choose one over the others, they are all different. The Pernod is the sweetest, with a clean anise hit but also other herbs happening too, don't know the names but I can taste them. The Khazen is drier, with anise again but having the main say. Very nice aftertaste, mineral-like. The Fakra is the most complex, with some ceramic notes, which show that it was aged in clay jars, a traditional technique for arak maturation.

I may try this again next week with three other brands of anise-flavoured alcohol.

Gary

Jono
08-13-2010, 20:52
Gary, do you drink them on the rocks?

I am more familiar with Sambucca and Ouzo.

Gillman
08-14-2010, 04:52
I would if drinking them for a drink per se, but here I was just taking small sips to get the taste in neat form. They wouldn't often be consumed in that form to be sure although some people drink ouzo straight I think. Next week I might try another arak, an ouzo and an absinthe. I just take a few drops really.

Gary

ratcheer
08-14-2010, 07:02
In the summer, I like Sambucca with a splash of cold water.

Tim

dmarkle
08-14-2010, 07:15
Nothing better than a summer night having a raki sofra with my turkish friends. It puts pictures in my mind of multiple courses of meze, seafood, and of course Efe raki on ice, in all its colloidal goodness.

MarkEdwards
08-14-2010, 18:19
How 'licorice-ey' are the anise-based liquors? I was looking at some arak, ouzo and akavit today and, although the prices were good ($16 USD or so), I didn't want to waste the money, without a little more input.

As an aside, I like Jagermeister and Samuel Adams Imperial Stout, which both seem to have a bit of anise flavor.

Gillman
08-15-2010, 15:40
Generally speaking, these have a big hit of licorice, like a black licorice candy. It isn't a taste for all, and it took some getting used to for me, but I like it now.

Gary

dmarkle
08-15-2010, 16:28
How 'licorice-ey' are the anise-based liquors?

Very, and I they have a purer licorice taste than Jager. In Turkey, raki [prounounced ruh-kuh] (AKA ouzo AKA arak, but don't tell that to a Turk) is just about always had over ice mixed with water where it forms a white, cloudy colloidal suspension which is sure to amaze your friends. At least among my circle, it's almost always had with dinner. The flavor is quite concentrated. Sipping gently with dinner is how I do it. It's definitely an acquired taste, but it's fun.

ratcheer
08-15-2010, 16:29
I thought akavit was flavored with carraway seeds, not anise.

???

Tim

ratcheer
08-15-2010, 16:32
I thought akavit was flavored with carraway seeds, not anise.

???

Tim

Yes, according to Wikipedia, anise or several other herbs are sometimes used to flavor akavit, but "carraway is typically the dominant flavor".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akvavit

Tim

Gillman
08-15-2010, 19:53
I get anise in Aalborg, the akvavit I'm most familiar with, but it is true that it is not the dominant flavour. The further you go north from the Middle East, the more anise seems to be blended with other herbs or sprices (but not always, there is a Portuguese licor I buy once in a while that is very strong on anise).

Anise is one of those things, once you get the taste for it, it is very drinkable.

Gary

Odiedog52
08-16-2010, 08:08
Some good absinthe should give you what you're looking for .. something along the lines of Vieux Carre, Pacifique, Obsello, Mateau, etc.

bonneamie
09-09-2010, 20:13
I just finished a bottle of absinthe put out by Corsaire, where SB member Kickert works. Very good, tasting like Good n Plenty after the candy coating is gone.