After Tiki Month is over, we are back to juniper spirits again. While the Eversbusch Doppelwachholder technically can be called a gin, this traditional German spirit only uses one botanical: Juniper. However, the 66 version of it has an even higher ABV than their “Navy Strength” version the 1817.
With the still functional distillery dating back to 1907, the Eversbusch company uses still uses the same juniper supplier since then. Yet, the original Doppel-Wachholder uses a rye fine distillate together with a mix of juniper eau de vie. The 66 only uses the juniper eau de vie and of course with an higher ABV.
There is a simple reason for writing juniper in all caps, the Eversbusch 66 is just that juniper forward. There are not a lot of other spirits which come even close to this Doppel-Wachholder. Maybe the Juniper Jack Navy Strength or the Sipsmith V.J.O.P. Yet, while a comparison of this kind shows you the strength of the 66 it still is misleading. The gins use a multitude of botanicals and the Doppel-Wacholder only uses juniper to receive a similar complex result. Of course, you will notice an alcoholic burn, but for this kind of high strength spirit it almost is mellow. Compared to the other Eversbusch Doppel-Wachholder the 66 also has a certain lavender note.
While I love Amaros, I would have never got the idea to make one based on rowanberries. Nevertheless, the Gölles manufacture did exactly that. The rowanberries are harvested in June. Gölles uses rowanberry eau de vie as a base, rowanberry juice and a little sugar. After blending the ingredients together, the Amaro ages for one year in demijohns. The taste is rather unusual for an Amaro. The Vogelbeer Bitter is very fruity with a clear-cut rowan berry flavour. On top of that you will find some herbal notes, which all blend together to a certain background note. I enjoy this Amaro a lot, but you really have to be keen on rowan berries.
4,5 cl Gölles Vogelbeer Bitter
1½ oz Gölles Vogelbeer Bitter
Garnish: Lemon twist (no drop), silver skeleton leave;
Song: Hey Rosetta! – Red Heart;
The “Red Heart” starts of with a lot of juniper notes. Yet, the fruitiness of the Vogelbeer Bitter keeps the drink from being too herbal. Even with just two ingredients the Red Heart is a complex drink. On top of that, it is really hard to come up with a similar cocktail. The flavour profile of the cocktail is just that unique.
*The fact that I received a product reviewed in this article for free, did not – in any way – influence the rating of said product.