Orange is something of an unusual color for a drink. Often when I put up my remarks about spirits, I’ll describe them as “amber,” something of a catch all description for several shades of yellow, orange and red that seem a little too similar to each other to be their own color. Even orange juice, by the time it gets to the supermarket from the grower, has usually lost its red tones and turned a light yellow color. Metaxa comes in a shiny orange box, which I expected to be some kind of marketing ploy; People tend to like things that have deep rich color, and often we’re told little lies through packaging about how impressive the product inside is. But Metaxa 7 Star brandy is really orange. Deep, dark rich orange. I tried to photograph it, and worked for many minutes to try to take a picture that showed its true color, but couldn’t quite capture it.
Metaxa 7 doesn’t have much of a smell however. It’s slightly fruity, and when I took deeper breaths to try and find lighter undertones, only found a waxy smell that I think comes not from the brandy, but from the packaging it’s in. In the glass, there’s a scent that reminds me of some kind of flavored cake, maybe a cake with berries or some other kind of fruit baked in.
Having such a light scent, I expected to also find only a small amount of flavor as well, but that was certainly not the case. Metaxa 7 Star is fruitiness embodied. It’s sweet and candy like, it rich and syrupy, it tastes like grape with a hint of orange, and reminds me somewhat of cough syrup. After a drink, when I move air around with my tongue to find the aftertastes, I get the flavor of fresh sweet pea pods.
Served in a snifter, after letting it warm up in the had for a little bit, its texture loses its syrupiness and its flavor loses that medicinal quality. I wouldn’t say that it’s more pleasant this way, it’s simply different. I’ve seen people with contraptions to hang a brandy snifter over a tea light, like some medieval liquor torture device, and I’m curious what it would taste like after being heated over such a small candle flame.
Letting Metaxa 7 Star warm in the hand might be the preferred method for some people to drink it, as when it’s left at room temperature some may find it a bit too sweet. The richness of the sugary taste may cloy in some people’s throats, and warming makes it go down just a little more easily.
The box and labels that Metaxa comes in talk up its smoothness, but at 40% ABV I expected this to be something of an overstatement, but it actually wasn’t. My first sip went down with no sensation that I had taken any alcohol until several moments later, when a comforting warmth spread through my chest throat and mouth.