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Austrian wines part 9
Reisetbauer: a spirt intermission

Meet Hans Reisetbauer. He's a big chap who's something of a celebrity in Austria; he doesn't make wine, but his fruit schnapps are celebrated and sought after. He joined us for dinner at the wonderful Palais Coburg to show us his wares.

Now I'm a wine dude, and my knowledge of spirits is patchy, to say the least. So here you have not the opinions of an expert on the subject, but an amateur. Take these verdicts with a pinch of salt therefore; I won't be using scores or ratings because of this.

These schnapps are vintage dated and made from high quality ingredients. They are taken very seriously in Austria. 

First we begin with the 2003 Morilles (apricot). It's ripe and sweet with soft apricotty aromas and lots of rather medicinal alcohol. 

The 2002 Williams Pear is very pear-like (do you notice a theme emerging here?), with remarkable flavours of pear. Hans has planted some 9000 pear trees over the last 10 years.

The 2003 Vogelbeer (rowan berry) has wild, pungent damson aromas with an almond/marzipan edge. 

2003 Himbeer (raspberry) shows bright raspberries with a firm, spicy palate.

The most sought after schnapps is the next one, the 2002 Alicie, which retails for 180 Euros a bottle (375 ml). The damson and almond nose leads to an expressive, rich nutty palate showing plum and damson fruit. 

Next, something very weird and a little disturbing: the 2004 Ingwer. This is made from ginger, and I have to be honest and say I found it repellent. Bright pungent, spicy ginger dominates. An acquired taste?

Finally, we try the 1996 Single Malt Whisky. This is very impressive, with a smooth, open pungent nose. The palate is fiery and deep, with nice smoothness at the same time. 

Overall, I was intrigued and impressed by this line-up. Lots of interest across the range, although I couldn't really cope with the Ingwer.

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