I was a little skeptical at first because the bottle label gives little away as to the taste of the contents inside. It could be plain vodka or peppermint for all I knew. Anyway on my first taste I was hooked, this is some intense strong stuff. It is like the best of both worlds between Ouzo and Sambuca. It is (in my opinion) sweeter and more intensely licorice flavored than Ouzo but not cloyingly syrupy sweet like Sambuca. The mouthfeel is almost oily-in a good way-with the anise and fennel oils predominating the taste. diluted in water it opens up and gives some more spearment notes. All in all a great thing to try for those who like anise based drinks. I am glad I found this site, as I am in NJ and Mastika is difficult to find in shops here.