Last year I had a thread on arak and similar drinks (absinthe, pastis, anisette, ouzo) but it is defunct due to lapse of time.
I'll post here further thoughts on these drinks and encourage others to do so.
In Montreal I found recently an arak called El Massaya, over 50% ABV and aged in earthenware amphorae (per the label). This is a very good drink, while certainly the liquorice/anise taste is evident, other things are going on including a definite taste from the pottery vessels in which it was aged. I actually recognized the taste from its effect on bourbon in (some) decanters from the 70's and 80's!
Initially I bought this type of drink to use in Sazeracs (the whiskey cocktail). I still do that but like them on their own too.