Akmeņlauzis (“Stone wall”) is Latvian craft distillery. Their product facilities are situated in Riga old town, on wine cellar from the 17th century. Akmeņlauzis produce moonshine (Kandža) from barley, distilled twice on copper pot still. By using this distillate they produce over ten different flavoured spirits.. Balzāms is their herbal liqueur, where is 18 different herbs, grasses, flowers and roots gathered from nearby forest and meadows. After blending the different infuses it is matured few months on oak barrels and coloured black by using caramel colour. Bottled to 40% strength, price for 20cl bottle was 8.60€ at some small village shop in Latvia.
Although Akmeņlauzis clear moonshine is very neutral, here I can smell the well-known moonshine aromas right away. It looks they have filtered the clear spirit correctly but here they are using unfiltered or just not-so-good quality moonshine. Aroma is otherwise light, there is some herbs and raisin. Taste is sweet and slightly herbal, dried plum and caramel. They call it as bitter, but it feels there are not used bitter herbs at all. All the herbs seems to be “sweet” ones, but this definitely needs more bitterness for more versatile taste. The entirely is quite lame, as a craft distillery they should have courage to do more original and diverse product. Now it’s basically sweetened and caramel coloured moonshine with some herbal nuances.