Saturday, June 11, 2016

JustMalt.com Features FOS Greek Mastiha Liqueur

imageIt’s always fun sampling new spirits, and when they’re as unique as today’s sample AND we get a really early sample, it’s all good.  Today we’re bringing you an early sampling of the new FOS Greek Mastiha Liqueur so read on for our thoughts.

FOS Mastiha comes to us from the island of Chios in the Aegean Sea just off the coast of Greece.  The island is nicknamed the Mastic Island and on the south end of the island are seven villages (Mesta, Pyrgi, Olympi, Kalamoti, Vessa, Lithi, and Elata) called the Mastic villages.  These villages have controlled the production of Mastic Gum since Roman times and as you’ll see that’s key to the creation of this spirit.

The Mastiha tree only grows on the island of Chios and these trees “cry” teardrops of resin that are then used to create this liqueur.  The resin is harvested once a year in early summer, it is then cleaned and sorted by hand before being distilled and blended with alcohol.  The resulting mixture is heated by a wood fire where it is blended with other secret ingredients before being bottled.

I should first mention how great the packaging looks.  The simple logo really makes the clear spirits shine and the low squat bottle makes for a really great looking package you can’t miss on the shelves of your liquor store.  So naturally we had to try some FOS Mastiha for ourselves.

After a little research, we decided to try FOS Mastiha in the traditional Greek method.  We placed the bottle in the freezer and drank it neat.  Aromatically there’s lots of licorice and herbal notes, and even cold you can’t miss the licorice and woody aromas.  FOS Mastiha has early sweet tastes of licorice and as it warms we tasted lots of herbal flavors, citrus, spices and even some resinous pine.  It’s a really unique set of flavors I don’t recall ever experiencing before, and even with some family resemblance to ouzo, FOS Mastiha stands alone.  As the spirit warms a bit, it becomes even sweeter and more herbal.

For fun we added some fresh grapefruit juice and wedges and some club soda with a generous splash of FOS Mastiha.  This cocktail really worked well.  With lots of complimentary flavors, and the bite of the grapefruit, we really liked the mix, and it’s one we’ll really have to play around with more.

FOS Greek Mastiha is packaged in 750ml bottles and the clear spirit hits 28%-AbV.  FOS Mastiha was launched in Florida and it is available nationwide online and soon in markets around the country.

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