The Fuchen bottle is pretty striking. It’s deep red color makes it look like it has blood instead of an herbal liqueur inside. Of course the name is equally eye catching. FŪCHEN is actually a derivative of the German word fuchs (\few.ks\) meaning fox or cunning like a fox. Honestly, when we first saw the name we thought it was more Chinese in origin (i.e. Fu Chen) than German (few ken). Regardless of the origin, the name seems more like a play on the work “fuck” than anything else. We’re picturing the marketing guys behind Fuchen talking how people will exclaim, “Wow, we had a Fuchen great night last night.”
Fuchen (80 proof $29.99) is in all reality an attempt to upgrade and upscale a Jägermeister liqueur. While we love the packaging, what ultimately comes out of the bottle is a deep dark brown liqueur which looks very similar in the glass to Jaegermeister. The nose on Fuchen isn’t anything like Jaegermeister, and not what we expected from an herbal liqueur. The nose is very cinnamon and apple forward, almost like a baked apple, with some slight vanilla undertones. There’s the suggestion of something herbal underneath but it’s hard to dig at over the very pronounced cinnamon.
The entry on the Fuchen is big. While there aren’t a lot of herbal notes on the nose, they are there in force in the taste. The entry combines a symphony of flavors including very strong herbal ginseng, licorice root, and cinnamon, backed by a sweet vanilla and bitter orange peel. The entry carries forward in force through the mid-palate where it picks up some heat and some sugary sweet notes, and then continues on for a long finish. The more bitter herbal notes stick around on the palate for a long time along with the heat and some of the syrupiness from the sugar.
Fuchen feels a little off balance. The nose and the taste feel like distant cousins and the strong herbal notes that dominate the taste are too strong and too bitter to be very appealing. Then there’s the role of the sugar in all this. From the entry through the mid palate the sweetness wasn’t all that bad, but once it really creeped in and coated the palate, it never really leaves. We’re not crazy about how it sticks around on the finish like a guest who has overstayed their welcome. There are some nice notes and flavors here and the packaging is nothing short of stunning, but it’s not enough to merit more than a mild recommendation. Mildly Recommended
Note: Fuchen is currently available in Las Vegas and Colorado, it’ll be available nationally in September. Fuchen does have a nice iphone app that helps you calculate your blood alcohol level as well as find a cab, in addition to giving your Fuchen recipes. It’s a nice touch and responsible marketing.