Arnt Gulbrandsen
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Arak Al-Zumot, Brun and Brun Quinquennis

I recently purchased a few bottles of arak from the duty-free shop at Dubai airport. They had Al-Zumot, Golden Eagle, Al-Massaya and two varieties of Brun. I have Massaya already and skipped Golden Eagle (stupidly, perhaps).

Al-Zumot is an old favorite of mine: Nice smooth taste, elegant but not too refined, works very well with mezze and not just mezze. I bought two bottles and hope they'll last until I can get more.

Brun and Brun Quinquennis are two varieties of the same basic arak. Brun is comparable to Al-Zumot: Happy fine arak for a happy fine meal. Brun Quinquennis is much finer, very smooth, comparable in quality to Al-Massaya.

I'm sorry these aren't available for purchase in Germany. (Update: I am told the reason is that Zumot Distilleries lacks the relevant export license.)

And while I'm writing: Al-Rayan, made by the Syrian Arab Company for Grape Processing in Swaida, is drinkable too. Horrible bottle and label, difficult to obtain, fine contents.