Leave it to the Pacific Northwest to roll out a Turkish coffee liqueur. The bottle in question (pictured at left) comes from Oregon’s Vivacity Spirits, which touts itself as one of the few female-owned distilleries in the nation.
First, a shout-out to the branding. The label features a vintage-looking Istanbul stamp, which is delightful. The spirit itself is a deep, dark chocolate brown, with a bit of cloudiness. Its roasted coffee nose can be picked up from a good six inches away. But sniff a little more closely and you’ll be greeted with notes of cinnamon and molasses as well.
The first, and strongest, flavor is of that molasses syrup. That roasted coffee is present as well, but it plays second fiddle to the syrup. Just as you begin to worry that this may be just another over-sweetened coffee liqueur, a powerful cardamom flavor emerges and pulls you by the tastebuds. It’s strong, raw, and even a little spicy, as if you’ve dipped your finger into a tin of the stuff. Then the cardamom flavor dissipates, played out by a long, satisfying, dark chocolate finish.
This is terrific stuff. However, I wish that the syrup component—which almost overpowers the excellent coffee and cardamom—were a little more tempered.
I drank it neat for that tasting. Afterwards I poured it over an ice cube with some low-fat milk, working on a 1:2 ratio. The result was delicious, and precisely what I’d be drinking before bed each night in my alternate life as a Turkish bon vivant.
— 12.5% ABV
— $44 | BUY
CE Rating: ★★★