Riga Black Balsam Element (40%)

Element is one variant of the legendary Riga Black Balsam. It was released in 2017, but hasn’t gotten very popular so far. It is mainly available only from Latvia. Manufacturer Latvijas Balzam calls the product as fifth element, which in this case is rum. So, good quality Caribbean rum is mixed with traditional black balsam. A 50cl bottle can be bought in Latvia for about ten euros

The smell is light but slightly pungent. Lightly herbal and bitter, slightly sweet. The taste is also a bit pungent, the liqueur has clearly less sugar than the original Balsam. It is also clearly less bitter, only in the aftertaste comes dry and bitter flavours. However, the herbiness is strong and the drink is clearly more tempting than traditional sweet herbal liqueurs.

No rum flavor is found, herbs and bitterness have such a strong position here. The element clearly has been created to please a wider audience, all those for whom the original Balsam is too bitter and strong. It is not a bad herbal liqueur, there is a lot going on in this product. However, some kind of softer and lighter version originally of Balsam it is, and it drops to the same mass as other herbal liqueurs. If you haven’t tasted the original Black Balsam yet, Element is probably a really good herbal liqueur. But for scarred Balsam veterans, Element is certainly too light and somehow a bit of a pointless product.


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