"Wow! This stuff is beautiful".
The first thing I thought as I poured my first sip. It was also the first thing I posted on social media, and people were very intrigued; justifiably. I had other things slotted to review, but because of the response (and some other things), KLEOS got moved to the front of the line.
So before my review, let me say-- Delicious!
What is Mastiha? you ask. Well, I am glad you asked. Basically, it is alcohol distilled from or flavored with the sap of the Chios Mastiha shrub. Chios is the island and Mastiha (mastic) is the shrub. You know what, the explanation is going to be so long, check out the Wikipedia article on it, and the KLEOS website is loaded with great info also. Mastiha has a protected designation of origin and is very special, rare and quite unique in the world of spirits.
Now about KLEOS, “Kleos” is an old Greek word that loosely translates into "renown" or "glory". It is related to the Greek word "to hear" and implies that your legend of merit is heard from others telling of your greatness. This idea is oft demonstrated in Greek mythology as the protagonist earns hero status "kleos" through the doing of great deeds, and the natural spread of that legend. The name fits. I will sing the praise of KLEOS.
A quote from their website, that's too good not to mention: "As a brand, our goal is to embody the meaning of this word, do things differently, with a conscious, and to leave our legacy like the epic heroes of Greece".
"Every year, we will be collaborating with a Greek designer, and selling limited edition items, with 100% of profits going to charity".
Also, too good to not mention, the master distiller and the brand owner BOTH are women, we must remember, #thefutureisfemale, frankly I'm looking forward to it.
I tried to get it straight.
Let's look at this bottle, do you notice the beautiful cap? That's right A SCREW CAP! The brand owner, an industry professional, came up with a solution to the presentation/closure conundrum by making a lovely screw cap. It can be done.
So, I have only had a handful of Mastihas, but KLEOS is by FAR the best of them I have ever had. The flavors are going to be a bit of a surprise to most of us in the US. OK, now the tough part, tasting notes.
The aroma is subtle, herbaceous, clean and fresh scents of evergreens by a
large body of water and breezes blowing in. Yeah. It's going to be that kind of a review. There are sweet blossoms in the aromas, I can imagine butterfly hovering around, yerba buena, tiger basil, bee balm pretty flowers.
The entry is lovely and soft, the sweetness balances the intricate flavors without overwhelming them. Mastiha is a cordial, it does have sugar added. KLEOS has dialed back the sweetness compared to the other I have tasted for sure. Probably because they can. The quality of the spirit used is very obvious. To taste KLEOS it is flavorsome, the light sweetness supports delicate notes of eucalyptus, mint, basil, aloe, cucumber, and fennel alongside gorgeous dry woods nuances of pine, cedar,
and a myriad of other yummy tastes.
The finish is lively, freshening, crisp and layered.
The infinite possibilities of this as it is originally intended (chilled, straight), in a simple cocktail (lemon wedge, on ice, splash of soda), or complicated mixtures with a VARIETY of spirits is OVERWHELMING; literally this would mix with scotch, mezcal, rum, tequila, gin, vodka (of course), or anything. Fantastic cordial, brilliantly unique, honestly deliberated, expertly crafted. Well done.

Now the bad news, it's only on the East Coast for now. Sorry. I'm sure you guys all know distributors all over, send them to the website. Which brings me to my next point... CHECK out the website. They have all kinds of stuff about the island, the history, the workers, videos, seriously all kinds of good stuff. {{click}}

So until next week, I lift my glass to you and offer a toast, my friends. Be good to one another, love one another, share your kindness, your sweetness, and possibly a beverage with someone!