Review: Love Potion #9 Liqueur

One way to sell your product is to tout its ancient recipe, artisan craftsmanship, and so on. Another way is to tell the world how long it took you devise the concoction.

In the case of Love Potion #9, the company notes that “almost 1,800 trial-and-error formulations [were experimented with] before its blend of 20 exotic tropical fruit flavors, including mango, peach, chocolate, vanilla, pear, apple, cherry, almond and many others, was perfected.”

Sad then that after nearly 2,000 attempts, this is what they ended up with. (The story gets twistier, though as it turns out this all dates back to 1994; the concoction has been sold under another name, Espiritu del Ecuador, on three continents for years.)

Love Potion #9 — due for release in the U.S. in May — is one helluva spirit. Whiskey-orange/light-brown in color, it looks like it’ll be light but the nose immediately lets on that it’s far more complicated than that. The aroma is powerful, and one sip amps that power up: Thickly syrupy, the cherry flavor is the strongest — a kind of cough drop cherry — with lower levels of vanilla and almond being the most prominent additional flavors here. The overall effect reminds one not of love but of medicine, as it’s all awfully artificial tasting.

At 60 proof and based on cane spirits, it’s at least got a good pedigree to start with, but LP#9 needs to go back to the drawing board with a more natural approach to flavoring this stuff if they want to be a hit in the U.S., where the overwhelming sweetness and chemical aftertaste is likely to put off many who get more than a drop of it in their drink. I can see this working as a mixer — in extreme moderation — but woe to ye who attempts to drink this straight.

Why no photo? Packaging hasn’t been set. But if it’s anything like the manufacturer’s other U.S. product…

C- / pricing TBD / thespiritofliberty.com

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