On Tuesday 13 June 2017, we embarked on an exploration of Metaxa 12 Stars (a Greek brandy-like spirit) with master distiller Constantine Raptis and South African explorer Mike Horn at View by Sydney at Walsh Bay.
Metaxa 12 Stars is an amber-coloured spirit made with grape distillates, muscat wines from the Greek Island of Samos and 12 blends Including May roses and Mediterranean botanicals. Every ingredient is completely natural and organic. On the nose, you can smell the dried figs, orange peel and aromatic herbs. On the palate, you can taste the chocolate, honey, figs, orange and licorice. And for the finish, you can taste a touch of spice and orange peel.
The House of Metaxa was founded in Piraeus in 1888 by Spyros Metaxa, the creator of the original Metaxa. The business expanded where in 1900, he started exporting to the United States. It became an instant success in the spirit market where he sold 36,000 cases in 1916. It has won several gold medals at international spirit competitions, the most prestigious was the Grand Prix in the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. It is now sold in more than 60 countries worldwide.
At the launch, we had a tasting lead by master distiller Constantine (Costas) Raptis. He is the fifth master distiller since its inception and is the person who guarantees the continuity of Metaxa. He selects the ingredients, ages and blends them to create the unique spirit of Metaxa. He created Metaxa 12 stars. At the event, he described how he sourced the best muscat wines from Samos. He blended and aged them. Then, when he felt they were right, he combined them with grape distillates that had been matured in Limousin oak casks of various degrees of toasting. He added the botanicals and, as a final touch, he added longer aged muscat wine blends and grape distillates.
We also saw a presentation by the ambassador for Metaxa 12 stars, South African explorer Mike Horn. Mike Horn became the first man to cross Antarctica solo only towed by skis in February 2017. He covered 5,100km in only 57 days! He is currently on the expedition Pole2Pole, a two-year circumnavigation of the globe via the two poles. He became famous in 2001 for completing an 18 month solo journey around the equator without any motorised transport. In 2004 he completed a 27 month solo circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle, and in 2006 (along with Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland) became the first men to travel without a dog or motorised transport to the North Pole during winter, in permanent darkness.
Mike Horn showed us some amazing photos of places that very few have seen. He told us of the dangers of exploring and how he overcomes them (including how he climbs mountains at very high altitudes without oxygen. He also told us about his personal love of Metaxa 12 stars and how he carries crates of it in his sailing boat. He even told us he has drunk it with ice from the ice age (which makes it taste very different).
Mike Horn asks drinkers to go on a journey and explorer Metaxa 12 stars. “METAXA 12 Stars is so unique that the principle of discovery is what matters. You sense it, you look at it, you listen to it. You don’t drink METAXA 12 Stars, you explore it!”
Metaxa 12 Stars is best drunk neat or with a single ice cube.
Metaxa 12 Star is now available at select Dan Murphy’s and independent liquor stores fo the RRP $70.
Discover more about Metaxa 12 stars at: www.dontdrinkexplore.com