October 2013 - Liqueurs and Aperitifs

This month's Spirits feature is Liqueurs and Aperitifs
Liqueurs and Aperitifs Reviews
203517
Merlet
Crème de Pêche de Vigne
Alluring golden orange color with a salmon cast. Richly dimensional honeyed peaches and cream aromas with a glycerous sweet and fruity medium-to-full body and a long, tangy, peach sorbet, spiced apple, passionfruit, orange blossom water, and mineral finish. Great vibrancy and texture.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203507
Whidbey Island Distillery
Loganberry Liqueur
Garnet color. Exotic aromas of huckleberry jam, pickled watermelon, spiced sour cherry, and orange blossoms with a silky, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a long, tangy, honeyed dried cherry, praline, suede, and earth accented finish. A unique, flavorful berry liqueur that is well-made and delicious.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203515
Merlet
Crème de Framboise
Garnet color. Dense aromas of baked and fresh picked raspberries, honeycomb, toasted cake, and grass with a silky, fruity sweet medium body and a tangy, citrus, peppery spice, and mineral accented finish. Nice purity and balance of raspberry flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203592
The Bitter Truth
Apricot Liqueur
rich golden amber color. Aromas of spicy poached peach, pumpkin pie, floral honey, and dried apricot with silky, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a baked apricot-apple torte and mineral accented finish. Very nice dimension to the apricot flavor; this will be very easy to mix with.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203704
New Deal Distillery
Ginger Liqueur
Cloudy yellow gray color. Aromas of ginger lozenge, chamomile tea, and pepper jelly with a supple, mildly sweet medium body and a warming hot ginger, cinnamon, and umami accented finish with notes suggesting marinated mushroom and dried meat. Very bold and multidimensional; will be great in culinary cocktails.
93 points $33.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203678
Cayman Reef
Kona Coffee Liqueur
Dark chestnut brown black color. Aromas of fresh brewed artisan coffee, dried tropical fruits, (papaya, pineapple), honeysuckle, and peppery spices are interesting with a slightly syrupy, moderately sweet medium-full body and a long, layered finish with notes of banana, floral honey, and delicate peppery spices complimenting the coffee beautifully. Deliciously different and sure to please.
92 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203345
Sukkah Hill
Besamim
Pale amber color. Vibrant aromas and flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove are reminiscent of fresh spicy eggnog with a silky, moderately sweet medium body and an gently warming frosted carrot cake and candied spiced nut finish. Elegant, natural and balanced spice flavor that is great on its own and in holiday cocktails.
92 points $24.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203518
Merlet
Crème de Poire William
Pale brass color. Aromas of pear on the tree and creamed honey with a supple, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a crisp, honeyed pear and apple finish with chewy fruit tannins and nice minerality to structure the sweetness.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203562
Irish Mist
Liqueur
Copper color. Attractive aromas and flavors of chocolate nuts and orange peels, brown spices, and orange blossom honey with a silky, sweet medium body and a warming, nutty, whisky barrel glow on the finish. A satisfying after dinner treat or cocktail choice.
92 points $26.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203924
broVo
+S2 Spearmint Liqueur
Pale silver straw green cast. Pure aromas of spearmint and custard cake with a silky, mildly sweet light body and a mouthwatering starfruit and mineral accented finish. Great purity, delicacy and finesse. Try in a hot toddy.
92 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203941
Bellini
Limoncello
Bright electric yellow green color. Aromas of lemon-lime sorbet and Alpine cough drop with a satiny, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a long, creamy candied lemon rind finish. Very tasty with a nice herbal accent.
91 points $18.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203522
Dolce Nero
Espresso Liqueur
Dark brown color. Rich roasted espresso, roasted nuts and dark chocolate aromas and flavors with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a delicately peppery, tobacco, honeyed cherry and peach accented finish. Very well balanced and stylish coffee flavor for after dinner sipping or cocktails.
91 points $21.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203920
broVo
+RG2 Rose Geranium Liqueur
Very pale platinum straw color. Delicate, layered aromas of rose water, suede, lychee, corsage and cashew with a soft, off-dry light body and a pillowy, sweet cream and rose petal accented finish. Very nuanced and well balanced floral character that will glisten in cocktails.
91 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202261
Josef Mäch
Herbal LIqueur
Copper brown color. Aromas of gingerbread, cola, and sassafras gelato with a supple, sweet medium body and a nice interplay of molasses cake, spices, and bitter herbs on the long, warming finish. A delicious, nicely balanced digestif.
90 points $18.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201266
Yeni
Raki
Clear. Interesting aromas of dried banana and cherry, anise, wormwood and straw with a satiny smooth, light body and an elegant mineral oil and nutshell finish. A soft, almost feminine raki, despite the proof.
90 points $20.34 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203590
Castello Mio
Sambuca Espresso Superiore
Dark chestnut brown color. Aromas of espresso candy, dried fruit, and faint licorice with a supple, dryish medium body and a nice dance of coffee and anise flavors on the lightly warming finish. Very nice.
90 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203918
broVo
Amaro No. 4 - Patrick Haight
Hazy copper color with a bottom pool of sediment. Aromas and flavors of menthol, eucalyptus, dried lemon, and exotic incense with a soft, off-dry medium body and a hint of honeyed kiwi and pear amidst waves of piney barky, earthy herbs and spices. Nice vibrancy and distinctive medicinal quality is interesting.
90 points $34.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202203
Tamborine Mountain Distillery
Coconut Liqueur
Nickel with a faint pink cast. Bold 3-D toasted coconut and coconut blossoms aromas and flavors with a soft, silky, fruity sweet medium body and a pure coconut water, toasted nut, pineapple, lilac, and cane sugar finish. Great purity and subtle balance of coconut flavor.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203587
Brady’s
Irish Cream Liqueur
Khaki color. Aromas of butterscotch, mild dried fruits, nut brittle, turmeric, and peppery spices with a supple, moderately sweet medium body and a pleasant caramel cream and whisky accented finish. A pleasant Irish cream.
89 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
204025
American Fruits
Bartlett Pear Liqueur
Bright golden yellow color. Pleasant Bartlett pear, yogurt, and rain water in barrel aromas with a crisp, tangy medium body and a lively honeyed pear, fruit tannin, and citrus aspirin on the finish. Very bright acidity for a liqueur.
89 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203677
Coquella
Liqueur
Faint silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of coconut flakes on German chocolate cake with a lightly syrupy, fruit sweet medium-full body and a toasted coconut water, cream and nut brittle finish. Nice purity and texture for cocktails.
89 points $17.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203407
KeKe Beach
Key Lime Cream Liqueur
Cream lime green color. Convincing and dimensional aromas of fresh Key lime pie with a satiny, moderately sweet medium-full body and long, creamy, tangy lime curd, meringue, and graham cracker finish. Very tasty.
89 points $19.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203521
Antica
Sambuca Black
Charcoal gray indigo color is quite different. Aromas of black licorice and creme brulee with a silky, off-dry medium body and warming, anise, pepper, and mineral finish. Nice intensity and vibrancy.
89 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201263
Tekirdag Rakisi
Gold Series Raki
Clear with a nickel color. Aromas of anise seed, straw, dried citrus, and hazelnut with a supple, off-dry light-to-medium body and a warming, wormwood tea, pepper, and mineral accented finish. Lots of subtle complexity here.
89 points $22.34
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
205102
Sukkah Hill
Etrog Liqueur
Pale silvery straw color. Aromas of lemon verbena, lime leaf, melon, and Meyer lemon candy with lightly syrupy, moderately sweet medium body and a pink pepper, honey, herb, and floral lemon blossom like snap on the prickly, warming finish. An exotic citrus liqueur with an interesting aquavit-like herb and spice dimension. Will be brilliant in cocktails.
89 points $24.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203516
Merlet
Crème de Mûre Sauvage Wild Blackberry Liqueur
Deep garnet violet color. Aromas of blackberry jam, floral talc, plum jam, and dried wild berries with a soft, sweet medium-to-full body and an acacia honey, candied orange zest, dried violet, slate, and mossy earth accented finish. Nice rusticity.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202211
Geijer Glögg
1889 Glögg Liqueur
Golden amber color. Attractive aromas of mulling spices (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg) and cranberry-pomegranate sorbet with a silky, fruity light-to-medium body and a delicately pepper wave of cinnamon-lead brown spices, nuts, and minerals on the finish. A pleasant and even spiced liqueur.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203919
broVo
Amaro No. 1 - John Ueding
Hazy amber color with bottom layer of sediment. Aromas of barky herbs and spices with supple, mildly sweet medium body and a gentle gentian, wormwood tea, cinnamon, cardamom, and honeycomb driven finish. A nicely nuanced and easy going amaro.
89 points $34.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202205
Tamborine Mountain Distillery
Arak/Raki Pastis Spirit
Clear. Lightly perfumed aromas of spiced peaches and cherries and herbs, exotic herbs, nut brittle, and grass with a silky soft, dryish light body and a wispy, hot, hay and moss finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203406
McCormick’s
Irish Cream Liqueur
Creamy wet sand color. Aromas of nougat bar, caramel, and toasted meringue with a satiny, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a nicely even, toasted nut, sweet cream, and breath of whisky on the finish. Solid.
88 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203520
Antica
Sambuca Classic
Clear. Honeyed fennel and fig aromas with a silky, sweet medium body and a pure licorice and sugar finish. Very simple, but very effective in cocktails and quite tasty and balanced on its own.
88 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203680
Gioia Luisa
Limoncello Liqueur
Pale yellow green color. Aromas of baked lemon, sugar syrup, and a touch of rubber with a soft, sweet light-to-medium body and a tangy, mouthwatering lemon pith and chalk finish.
88 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203922
broVo
+L2 Lavender Liqueur
Clear with a nickel straw cast. Bold flower patch aromas of whole lavender, geranium, leather and menthol rub with a soft, off-dry light body and a lavender oil and herbs de Provence accented finish. A very unique and penetrating cocktail choice, use in small doses.
88 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203923
broVo
+G2 Ginger Liqueur
Clear with a platinum blue cast. Pure aromas and flavors of fresh ginger and wheatgrass with a silky, off-dry light-to-medium body and a relaxed honeycomb, green banana, menthol mint, and ginger water accented finish. Nice delicate ginger flavor without the heat.
88 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203519
Merlet
Trois Citrus
Clear. Bright mandarin orange gelatin, sweet cream, and pepper aromas with a glycerous fruity sweet medium body and a tangy, tingling, grapefruit and orange zest, and wet stone finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203705
New Deal Distillery
Coffee Liqueur
Dark brown black color. Aromas of dark roasted coffee grounds, balsamic, and pepper dust with a supple, moderately sweet medium body and a warming, graceful dark roasted nut, honeycomb, and earth accented finish. A pleasant fireside sipper.
88 points $33.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203319
Kamm & Sons
Ginseng Spirit
Minutely hazy saffron copper color. Aromas and flavors of herbal tea, sliced ginseng, and peppercorn with a silky, mildly sweet medium-to-full body and an earthy tree bark, wormwood, and warming peppery ginseng and ginger root nuanced finish. Very pure and earthy.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203314
FRUTTA Winespirit
super berries
Salmon steel color. Convincing aromas of crushed blueberries and cranberries with a silky fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a delicately floral acai, cocoa, and mixed berry sorbet finish. Tasty and balanced. Try with agave or Scotch cocktails
87 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203316
FRUTTA Winespirit
passion
Pale orange brass color. Floral peach and tropical citrus aromas and flavors are punch-like with a silky, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a tangy, passionfruit sorbet finish. Tasty.
87 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202262
Josef Mäch
Cinnamon Herbal Liqueur
Brown copper color with a golden saffron rim. Aromas of cinnamon bark and red hots, cola and root beer candy with a silky, sweet medium body and a warming, light molasses, caramel, spice, and herb medley on the finish. A nice choice for mixing or shots.
87 points $18.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203546
Whisper Creek
Tennessee Sipping Cream
Creamy white taupe color. Bold aromas of almond gelato, maraschino cherry, herbs, brown spices, pepper, and pineapple with a creamy, sweet medium-to-full body and a sassafras, anise, vanilla cream, whisky barrel, and honey accented finish. Quite distinctively flavorful and whisky forward.
87 points $19.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201264
Tekirdag Rakisi
Raki
Clear with a platinum cast. Anise seed, ground nuts, and grassy herbs aromas and flavors with silky, off-dry light-to-medium body and warming, mineral and pepper finish.
87 points $20.34
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
204097
Mandarine Napoléon
Grande Cuvée Liqueur
Brilliant copper orange color. Aromas of singed tangerine peel and smoked peppercorn with a silky, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a very even overripe orange and papaya, honey, pepper and earth finish. Nice rustic notes that should play well in cocktails.
87 points $32.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
204024
American Fruits
Black Currant Cordial
Dark ruby color. Aromas of cassis preserves and herbal pickled beets with a supple, tangy medium body and a tart, blackberry vinegar, menthol tobacco, and earth finish with dusty fruit tannins.
86 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203315
FRUTTA Winespirit
strawberry
Pale pink nickel color with a gray cast. Aromas of strawberry jelly and watermelon ice with a silky light-to-medium body and a strawberry cream pie like finish. Attractive strawberry confection flavors.
86 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203905
Tolón Tolón
Leche Merengada Cream
Creamy bone white color. Aromas of nutmeg sprinkled egg nog with a satiny, moderately sweet medium body and a cinnamon candy, candied cherry, and maple buttercream frosting finish. A fun, spicy cream liqueur. Try with apple pie.
86 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
204566
Caballero
Liqueur
Copper color. Aromas of burnt orange marmalade, cola, ginger candy, and floral honey with a soft, sweet light-to-medium body and a delicate spiced orange gelatin, pepper, and mineral finish.
86 points $19.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203589
Castello Mio
Sambuca Superiore
Clear. Mild red licorice, white pepper, and white chocolate aromas with a soft, mildly sweet light-to-medium body and a creamy anise and nut oil finish. Different and subtle.
86 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203707
Grand Imperial
Orange Liqueur
Bright golden yellow color. Peppery aromas of orange marmalade and sweet cream with a glycerous, fruity sweet medium body and a a hot, warming pepper and chocolate orange peel finish. Definitely a mixer, where dilution will tame the heat.
86 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
204045
Schoharie
Mapple Jack Liqueur
Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of dried apple, pecan praline, and maple rice cereal with a soft, off-dry medium body and a buoyant, nutty, lightly peppery Irish whisky finish.
86 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203591
The Bitter Truth
Violet Liqueur
Enchanting lapis blue indigo color with a turquoise rim. Dramatic violet flower and candy aromas with a silky smooth, off-dry light-to-medium body and gentle, nicely balanced finish with hints of pistachio oil, minerals, and whipped cream. Very nice purity and restraint.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202201
Tamborine Mountain Distillery
Chocolate Liqueur
Clear with a polished silver cast. Aromas of cocoa powder, toasted nuts, fig paste, pink pepper, and fruit lip balm with a soft, mildly sweet light body and a milk chocolate drizzled tropical fruit and pepper accented finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203317
FRUTTA Winespirit
orange
Hazy deep orange amber color. Aroma of orange soda and geranium with a soft, sweet light body and an orange push up and raisin finish. Very candied orange flavor.
85 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202202
Tamborine Mountain Distillery
Banana Liqueur
Brilliant beryl green straw color. Aromas of banana taffy, bubblegum, and delicate spice with a silky, moderately sweet medium and a banana sorbet finish. Tasty.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201265
Yeni
Raki Ala
Clear. Aromas suggest dried tropical fruits, custard, anise, mint, and hay with a soft, dryish light body and a very drying, hot dusty mineral and pepper finish.
84 points $24.26
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203617
Dorda
Double Chocolate Liqueur
Dense dark brown color paints the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate mousse, yogurt, and dark praline with a thick, very viscous, sweet full body and a gritty, cocoa powder, Demerara sugar, and overripe pear and pepper accented finish. Good purity of chocolate flavor, but too thick and gritty to enjoy on it’s own, best for cocktails.
84 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203679
Gioia Luisa
Limoncello Crème Liqueur
Creamy yellow white color. Aromas of lemon yogurt, cream and meringue with a soft, light-to-medium body and a buoyant lemon sorbet and vanilla ice cream accented finish. A nice lighter lemon cream choice.
84 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203624
The Green Villain
Absinthe Supérieure
Pale silvery emerald straw color. Aromas of anise seed and straw with a soft, off-dry light-to-medium body and a long hot wormwood, fennel, singed herbs, and mossy earth finish. Does not louche and remains hot with water.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203906
Tolón Tolón
Chocolate Cream
Dark charcoal gray brown color paints the glass. Aromas of baker’s chocolate, roasted whole nuts and earth with a satiny, moderately sweet medium body and a somewhat dull, chocolate, pepper, brown sugar, and mineral finish.
83 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202200
Tamborine Mountain Distillery
Choc Hazelnut Liqueur
Mahogany with a salmon cast. Aroma of salty, oily dark roasted hazelnuts with a oily, off-dry light-to-medium body and a nut oil and milk chocolate sorbet and mineral finish. Flavors are not integrated and do not balance.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203290
Old Republic Distillery
Love Potion Liqueur
Dark garnet color. Aromas of strawberry preserves with a soft, dryish light body and a fleeting blueberry and cherry pit finish with heavy fruit tannins. Needs more stuffing and sweetness; will disappear in a cocktail.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202204
Tamborine Mountain Distillery
Musk Liqueur
Pretty pale fuchsia silver color. Over-the-top floral bath soap and oil and bubblegum aromas (lilac and lavender) with a satiny off-dry medium body and a cologne-like perfume and vanilla baby oil finish. A bit much; hard to see an application.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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