Haus Alpenz USA
Imported by Haus Alpenz USA Manhasset, New York
PROOF: 34 (17%)
TYPE: Liqueur, Cream (Austrian)
PRICE: $29.00 750ML
Note: Like all the spirits I review, this was tasted at room temperature for maximum taste and detection of any faults if any in a product. If you chill benzene cold enough, you could drink that too (NOT RECOMMENDED!), which is why I try them at room temperature. Recommended serving temperature is cool/cold (around 50 F). Proper name is Kletzenlikor. It is made from six different varieties of pears and cream from free range grass and herb-fed cows from a dairy cooperative.
First Impression: Scents of pear, cream, chocolate, cinnamon, toffee, and ginger with flowery notes.
Appearance: Brown/yellow color like brown farmyard eggs, on swirling leaves a lumpy/chunky coat on the glass. Scared a couple of people we tried it on. ("No, it's supposed to look like that!") A truly natural product that was not dumbed down or compromised for aesthetics.
Taste: Pears and dried fruit ,cinnamon, allspice, toffee, butterscotch, persimmon, heavy real cream presence/sweet yogurt mouth feel. Interesting texture, very thick, with lumps and bits in it. Not just body but texture with a vengeance.
Drinks: We found all of their proprietary recipes to be excellent, (K-2 Tiroler )including the food ones. Works with with orange vodkas and liquers. Does not seem to work with bourbon. Makes wonderful and subtle substitute or base for eggnog type of drinks with a pear twist, or you can substitute it for the many recipes for other cream liqueurs but the appearance may need to be explained. Great with ice cream as a frozen drink (similar to a Toasted Almond) or milkshake.
Made very nice drinks with armagnac, cognac and calvados -if a bit difficult to mix. One of our more interesting experiments was with Kensington Gin (an aged-in-wood gin) which yielded a interesting savory type of cocktail.We had similar results with mezcal (using Lauria instead of condensed milk in Cafe su Da but will continue to experiment for definitive recipes
Food:A lot of possibilities out there for aspiring dessert or pastry chefs - this makes a wonderful pear cream sauce.
Bottle: Dark silver/brown horseshoe/flask shaped bottle with simple, antique art deco looking label centered on front of bottle conveys a european look and distinguishes it -giving it a more reassuring look of quality than a newer design might convey. Cork with large rounded knob of wood gives it a finished feel.
Other: Made in Austria by a family distillery that has been in business since 1797. The fruit is fermented and then distilled in copper pot stills (not unlike cognac). It is aged for approximately 2 years, then blended with cream and other ingredients.
Final Thoughts: A newcomer to the cream liqueur market (here in the States that is), but one of the most intriguing and different we have had in quite a while. Unlike the homogenized oceans of mediocrity we encounter in the cream liqueur category (minor variations on a questionable gustatory premise), this is a authentic, unapologetic expression of something truly different. A refreshing example of a natural real product.
Website: http://www.alpenz.com or http://www.lauria.at
Quick loading web page with attractive graphics, drinks recipes, and information. Also proper and professional stemware to serve their drinks.