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Sep 26 / Greg

Black Balsam

A tremendous friend of mine was kind enough to give me a bottle of Black Balsam. For those of you that don’t know, BB is “a traditional Latvian herbal liqueur made with many different natural ingredients mixed in pure vodka, giving a 45% abv (90 proof) drink.” I love the fact that they also refer to it as being used as a traditional medicine…hehe. If you can’t beat a cold, then burn it out of ya!

I’m going to say right off the bat that I don’t drink 🙂 So why would I accept such a gift you ask? If a good friend of yours from halfway across the globe brings you a gift YOU ACCEPT IT! What I did with it was to entertain friends 🙂 Following is a couple pictures of Jimmy’s attempt 😛

Jimmy steps up to the plate.

Here’s the pitch.

Swing and a miss…you’re out! hehehe

The only person here who matters is Daniel. Daniel is the closest thing to a connoisseur I have, and I believe he reviewed it quite well. Here is what he had to say:

Riga Black Balsam
At first whiff of Riga Black Balsam, I detected the high alcohol content but there is a nice syrupy coffee scent that follows. The aroma is quite complex, but it is hard to pinpoint independent ingredients. When I took my first taste, I was surprised at the strong, bitter flavor because I expected it to be sweet from the scent. When I worked my way past the initial shock, the flavor was of a robust, dark coffee with some slight complexity of a flowery nature. I haven’t really experienced anything quite like it. Kahlúa and Jägermeister are the closest things I can compare this drink to, but it isn’t really like them either. If you are looking for a unique liqueur to add to your liquor cabinet, I would recommend it. It’s not something I’ll drink on a regular basis, but I can definitely see myself imbibing with a glass of it during a casual evening with some friends. I can see this being an excellent drink for cold, winter nights. Sitting in front of the fireplace, having a passionate debate over politics, history, or philosophy with some friends, Black Balsam would be a great accompaniment.

I love the bottle too. it is made out of some kind of porcelain…or something. It’s got a stout feel and looks very cool on my shelf of treasures. I’ve got better photos that will follow soon.

I don’t know if the special donor wants to remain anonymous or not…I don’t think he supplied too many people with a bottle, but thank you sir! If you don’t mind me calling you by name, then just let me know 😉


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  1. Rob / Sep 27 2012

    I’ve seen that face before! Bout the same one I made on my first adventure with ouzo. For the record, I’ve never liked licorice at all. BB sounds more appealing to me if it’s close to a fireball expresso. 😉

  2. Greg / Sep 27 2012

    hehehehe. Jimmy is no lightweight, he is just picky. Brian made much the same face…hehehe

  3. tom / Sep 30 2012

    Should I bring you something from slovakia for next year? 😀

  4. Greg / Sep 30 2012

    Hehehe. So this means you plan to attend next year’s US MUM? I have to say it was a pleasure to get a few minutes to talk to you. Be sure to let me know how your frooties adventure goes 😉

  5. tom / Oct 1 2012

    Same, was really great to sit down and talk with all of you guys.

    Regarding next year’s US MUM, we’ll see, it all depends on the circumstances. Im gonna do the frooties adventure tonight 🙂

  6. Greg / Oct 1 2012

    Depending on when and where I might be able to do the EU MUM…who knows 🙂

  7. modris / Oct 12 2012

    Daniel: “It’s not something I’ll drink on a regular basis”

    BB is NOT made for regular use in clear form. only for home medicine purpose no exceed 50ml.
    500ml or more can be dangerous to Your hear!!

    if You want taste BB for plesure, then mix it with hot blackcurrant juice and take it in long winter evenings… nice and accord to any, for non-alco-drinkers too.

  8. Greg / Oct 12 2012

    Ha, I’ll let Daniel know! I don’t think he was drinking too much at a time, but better safe than sorry.

  9. Daniel / Oct 12 2012

    @modris, I only had a little bit at each setting. I have no intention to drink any more than a shot’s worth at a time. I’ve not had black currant juice; I’ll keep an eye out for it.

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