Take heed agent, gentian schnapps will certainly have your palate at sixes and sevens. Looking at the label, you might think that you're in for an alpine floral treat, this is not so. You may recall the bitter gentianliqueurs of France, but perhaps after too many coupes of Tattinger, you don't recall them at all. To refresh, rather than the flowers on the bottle or the subdued bitterness of Suze, Avèze or Salers, this schnapps is dirt, distilled. Each sip has the flavor of a long day of getting slide tackled, a tuff of the pitch in your mouth after each fall.
Like many schnapps, this isn't a geist, or as the French say, eau di vie, rather it's a neutral spirit distilled with the ancient monsterous root of one of the 400 types of gentian plants. These roots are dried before distillation, yet from the ground, they appear as alien to us as the antagonist of an H G Wells novel. A shame he was never knighted. These roots will be distilled well above 40% alcohol by volume. The result is the full expression of gentiopicrin- one of the most bitter chemicals known. Some use it as medicine, but I find it helps with trapped wind.
For your purposes, this is the beverage of an outdoorsman, and mountaineer. Perhaps you have tried it before with your distant relations, who ware they, the Oberhausers? It is also an excellent accompaniment to the sweeter German style lagers in a "molle mit korn," or as the yanks say- a boilermaker. Should you find yourself with too much time to kill on a stake out, this will serve as a hearty, grounding, companion.