There’s always a first for something. I know cachaça, rum and clairin rather well, but Arak is new to me. Let’s find out!
The Arak: By the Dutch – Batavia Arak
Raw material: molasses
Fermentation: red rice
Distillation: Chinese pot still
Maturation: 8-10 months on Java, 8 years in Amsterdam
The Nose: oh yes, I think I’m going to like arak. It has those nice vegetal grassy sugarcane notes that cachaças has, but just softer. I got a whole pallet of more earthy aromas: moss, wet leafs, autumn forest. But also some wet slate and a touch of iodine. Intensel herbal and earthy, with after a good 15 minutes some floral fragrances. Complex. Love it!
The Taste: dry, rather punchy and very herbal. Again grassy, earthy, vegetal. It’s packed with character, rich and full. What a powerful mouthfeel too! Who would have thought something this good would come from Amsterdam (yes, I know… I really DON’T like Amsterdam. At all. Crowed hellhole!)
The second sip is a bit sweeter, les dry and earthy with more sugarcane lingering through. This arak leaves a warming herbal sensation in the back of the throat.
The Finish: the herbal grassy taste stays, without becoming bitter. A touch of verbena and wet wood closes the debates of the medium long to long finish.
Our score: ****
Oh dear…after rum and cachaça I’m starting to love Arak too. Damn you, Dutch guys!! Where can I buy this stuff in Belgium?