We at Grapevine towers believe ourselves to be experts at many things, be they food, culture or mixed martial arts. We also love it when people give us alcoholic beverages to taste and review in the name of quality journalism. So imagine our delight when a package arrived bearing a rather strange bottle containing Fjallagrasa Icelandic Schnapps. Excellent!
Fjallagrasa Icelandic Schnapps is produced by a company called Iceherbs. They make a range of products containing extracts from the mysterious Icelandic moss, which they say has been used in Iceland for centuries for medicinal purposes and is thought to “guard against coughs, sore throats and stomach disorders.” That sounds like some seriously powerful plant life. Now this moss has been infused with a “Special Alcoholic solution” to create a schnapps that will have “a unique taste.”
Upon opening the box I’m greeted with a bottle showing a label with the delightful windswept Icelandic countryside. Good to see that they’ve taken a lesson from whisky makers and pushed the link between the product and Icelandic nature. The bottle contains a liquid that is a light but distinct golden colour while at the bottom several shards of Icelandic Moss are gathered in a bundle. It looks a bit like a fossil encased in a block of amber. So far, so good.
Taking a good smell of a large shot of schnapps, I can detect a couple of things. One is a rather damp earthiness and slight wood tones. For a product that has a heavy emphasis on nature, this is a good sign.
On taking a large sip, I first sense a hint of warm pepperiness. But quickly this gives way to what can only be described as a very waxy texture that pervades my mouth. It’s like I’m drinking melted candles, or ate some fake fruit by mistake. As I swallow the rest of the shot there is nigh but a faint watery aftertaste which tells me that either the moss has not spent a lot of time infusing with the alcohol, or that there is not really much taste that can be extracted from the plant. Another shot confirms this. A damn shame
Iceherbs should be congratulated for trying to think about different ways to use some of the fauna that most of us frankly ignore. And the drink has been marketed well and looks lovely. It probably makes for excellent giftware to bring folks back home.
Alas there is just that one little thing that gets in the way, which is the taste (or dare I say lack of). If I were to drink this again I would probably take it with a dash of Soda water and a large, crushed slice of lemon to counteract the waxy texture.
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