A few years back, when I was still in a fraternity, I had a night where I went way too heavy on the Ouzo. While Sambuca is not Ouzo, I still feel as if there are a lot of similarities between the two. Let me be clear here, though: the spirit I had that night was much less in quality than the Antica Sambuca, and it was administered in much higher doses than would make for an easy going type of night. Saying that, however, the Sambuca is for a very specific type of palette, and this exclusivity of taste may explain why the spirit has been nipped at a little less than some of the other spirits that we have received for review during the same period.
For those that are not familiar with Sambuca, it is an Italian-concocted spirit that is anise flavored (liquorish). The black liquorish smell is very heavy, omnipresent in the nose. This may make potential drinkers timid, but the smell is not as present in the actual taste as one may think. Saying that, fans of Jagermeister will find a kindred spirit in Antica Sambuca, but a spirit that is a little more dense and complex than the straightforward Jager could ever provide. With each sip (or shot, if you are brave), different tastes and hints come forth.
One may yield a more floral composition, while yet another may bring forth a more musk-flavored taste. The high alcohol content ensures that imbibers may not be able to crack the code of Antica Sambuca by the end of the night, but having a little in the way of mystery should be seen as a good thing. If you want to experience a different spirit, try out Antica Sambuca. This Italian spirit will knock you on your butt if you are not careful, so give this clear liquor the respect that it (rightfully) deserves.
Antica Sambuca (76 Proof) / Sambuca / Admiral Imports / http://www.admiralimports.com