Moe is Estonia’s largest alcohol producer, due to the fact that the company itself also produces the rectified spirit used in the products. Liviko and other producers with larger quantities mainly use imported rectified spirit. Moe produces a large selection of different vodkas, flavored vodkas and schnapps. Handsa is a traditional Estonian liquor, which throughout history has been distilled in the countryside. Handsa is traditionally made from grain (rye, wheet) and it is distilled to approx. 65% strength, leaving plenty of aromas of the raw material. Moen Handsa Sour is a rye based spirit drink flavored with sea buckthorn. A 50 cl bottle cost €13.30.
The color of the drink is pale yellow and cloudy, similar to unfiltered beer. The nose is honey-sweet with a strong berry aroma and a sour tone in the background. The taste is super sour at the very beginning and although there was sweetness in the nose, there is almost no sweetness in the taste. The aroma of sea buckthorn is rather strong. In the background, there is a feeling of a home-made alcohol-warming burn. The spirit used in the drink has a grainy aroma and is already quite pleasant once the initial shock is over. The drink has only a little sweetness, perhaps from honey, but mostly it is very sour, as you might expect from a product made from sea- buckthorn juice. So it is very natural stuff and that’s a big plus, but it needs a little more sweetness to be easier to enjoy. It is okay at small schnapps, but I don’t like to enjoy the third glass of it. A small addition of water balances the acidity a bit, but really the drink is not so strong that it should be diluted with anything. Moe Handsa Tyrni is what it promises, organic liquor with a strong sea buckthorn flavor. Those who can’t drink it neat, can maybe add a little sugar syrup to the glass to balance the acidity.