Lucas Bols is one of Europe’s largest liqueur manufacturers. In the Baltic countries, Bols together with DeKuyper are the most common imported liqueur brands. Bols’s range of liqueurs is quite comprehensive and several of their liqueurs have been reviewed in this blog as well. The cardamom-flavored liqueur is a special batch from Bols, apparently a short-lived experiment, because the product can no longer be found on the company’s website. In the absence of better information, I assume that the company has distilled cardamom seeds and mixed the flavor distillate with sugar, water and alcohol. The liqueur is completely colorless. A 50 cl bottle was on sale at a bargain price of €6.50.
The aroma of cardamom emerges as soon as the bottle cap is opened, and the aroma of the spice in the glass is intense. Like smelling a bun just taken out of the oven. In the background, there is sweetness of sugar and the light aroma of ethanol. The taste is very straightforward. It’s very sweet, the cardamom aroma is strong, but not as intense as in the nose. The liqueur is sweeter than its texture might suggest, so perhaps artificial sweeteners have also been used. The aftertaste also includes a light aroma of neutral alcohol. A very straightforward cardamom liqueur is not very interesting to sip neat, unless you happen to be a big fan of the spice. A small glass as a curiosity is a fun experience, but frankly, you can’t sip it more than just a tiny glass. For sure it is intended purely for mixed drinks. It is best suited to Christmas hot drinks, especially with mulled wine, the liqueur goes very well. Perhaps a skilled baker could also use it for baking. In the summer, I couldn’t find a single drink that I would have liked to include the aroma of cardamom. So if you can’t destroy the bottle during the Christmas season, you will probably find a bottle in your cabinet next Christmas as well. I’m pretty sure the effect can be achieved by adding a few cardamom seeds and vodka to mulled wine, so the necessity of the product is somewhat questionable.