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Reviews for 2014

October 2014 - Liqueurs and Aperitifs

October 2014 - Liqueurs and Aperitifs
This month's Spirits feature is Liqueurs and Aperitifs

Liqueurs and Aperitifs Reviews

Vittone The Original Menta Fernet Vittone
98 points
$23
Best Buy
Dark brown black color. Delicate aromas and flavors of chocolate mint cookie, delicate spices, and roasted nuts with a silky, vibrant, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, nuanced, long finish with accents of peppermint oil, honey, delicate herbs, and sassafras. A superb and delicious minty fernet with great drinkability.
98 points $23 Best Buy
Whidbey Island Distillery Blackberry Liqueur
98 points
$28
Opaque violet black color. Exotic bold aromas and flavors of spiced berries and apricots, floral honey, exotic tea, and chocolate with a tangy, moderately sweet medium body and a warming, complex, finish with nuances of Asian spices and cola. A fantastically flavorful and complex berry liqueur.
Lazzaroni Maraschino
97 points
$23.99
Copper color. Attractive complex aromas of cherry bubblegum and cordial, circus peanut, floral jasmine tea, and delicate spices with a satiny, bright, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, involved, medium-length citrus cream, pepper, orange blossom honey, and pistachio brittle finish. A delicious and elegant fruit liqueur.
97 points $23.99
Berentzen Icemint Schnapps
96 points
$26.99
Clear color. Rich aromas and flavors of peppermint patty with a glycerous, vibrant, medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, long finish with notes of peppermint oil, mineral, and menthol mint. A bold, clean peppermint liqueur with excellent style and cooling, penetrating mintiness.
96 points $26.99
Grüne Fee Absinthe
95 points
$31.99
Electric emerald color. Rich aromas of sweet mint, anise, spicy apple custard pie, and gingerbread with a soft, bright, dry medium-to-full body and a hot, appealing, long straw, wormwood tea, mineral, and pepper finish. A rock solid, well balanced, and very drinkable absinthe with a nice core of fruit; louches nicely and evenly.
95 points $31.99
Lazzaroni Amaro
94 points
$23.99
Brown color. Rich aromas of peppermint oil, cola, and baking spices with a satiny, lively, moderately sweet medium-full body and a warming, complex, very long bitter roots and herbs, pine, pepper, and honeyed grapefruit finish. A sensationally drinkable minty amaro.
94 points $23.99
Last Mountain Distillery Honey Cinnamon Liqueur
94 points
$30
Golden yellow color. Attractive aromas and flavors of cinnamon stick, honey, clove, and candied ginger with a soft, bright, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a tingling, medium-long finish with suggestions of peppered nuts, sandalwood incense, turmeric, and endive. A very delicate, elegant, and balanced cinnamon liqueur.
Tamborine Mountain Distillery Quandong & Gentian Bitters Liqueur
94 points
$45
Light copper pink color. Attractive complex aromas of bubblegum, spiced oranges and peaches, honeysuckle, and banana with a silky, vibrant, bittersweet medium body and a tingling, elegant, very long bitter herbs and barks, circus peanut, smoked pepper, and wormwood tea finish. An outstanding bitter liqueur with great depth and exotic flavor.
Tamborine Mountain Distillery The Australian Herbal Liqueur
94 points
$55
Bright electric peridot color. Bold complex aromas and flavors of forest herbs, apple mint jelly, eucalyptus honey, and pepper with a satiny, racy, moderately sweet medium-full body and a warming, subtle, long finish with notes of menthol tobacco, minerals, and white pepper. An intense roller coaster of herbal forest flavors with a nice cooling effect.
Tamborine Mountain Distillery Bucku Whiskey Liqueur
94 points
$55
Golden amber color. Rich aromas and flavors of caramelized nut, vanilla custard, coconut, and chestnut honey with a silky, bright, moderately sweet medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long finish with notes of brown spices, oak, spiced cherry, and peach skin with light oak. A delicious whisky liqueur with great bourbon and spice character.
Tamborine Mountain Distillery Kurumba Rum Liqueur
94 points
$55
Pale amber color. Rich aromas and flavors of warm rubber, copper, pepper, and honey with a silky, vibrant, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, interesting, medium-long finish with suggestions of dried fruits and flowers, peppery spices, minerals, and cane. A lovely rum liqueur with great pot still character that will shine in cocktails.
Drapò Vermouth Bianco
93 points
$18
Best Buy
Bright gold color. Attractive aromas of sweet and peppery spices, floral and herbal honey, banana custard, and cologne with a lightly tannic, crisp, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a tingling, medium-length spiced pear, bubblegum dust, and sassafras finish. A very nicely balanced white vermouth that will mix brilliantly or make a fine aperitif.
93 points $18 Best Buy
Ricard Pastis de Marseille
93 points
$25
Deep amber color. Rich aromas and flavors of anise, peppery spices, and caramel with a supple, lively, moderately sweet full body and a hot, endless finish with accents of hay, pepper, chalk, and earth. An intense anise liqueur with great purity and depth that will be a great digestif.
Distillery 291 The DECC
93 points
$32.50
Bright golden amber color. Attractive aromas and flavors of fruit cake, peppery spices, hint of dried ham, and fruit salad with a satiny, bright, medium body and a tingling, intriguing, medium-long finish with notes of raisin compote, orange marmalade, white pepper, and Szechwan buttons. A zesty, lively and fruity spiced liqueur that will be fun to experiment with.
93 points $32.50
CH Amaro
93 points
$35
Dark brown black saffron color. Bold aromas and flavors of molasses fruitcake, chestnut honey, burnt orange, and cocoa powder with a silky, racy, bittersweet medium-to-full body and a bitter, complex, long finish with overtones of bitter roots and bark, pepper, and saffron sugar. An intense amaro with lots of guts.
Tamborine Mountain Distillery Honey Dew Melon Liqueur
93 points
$40
Pale silver emerald color. Attractive fruity aromas and flavors of honeydew melon, toasted chestnut, and pumpernickel toast with a oily, soft, moderately sweet medium body and a smooth, medium-long finish with notes of melon yogurt, earth, cucumber, and celery. Nice purity and delicacy of melon fruit here.
Pernod Absinthe Supérieure
93 points
$65
Pale golden yellow emerald color. Bold aromas of anise cookie, custard cake, and pepper with a supple, dryish full body and a searing, complex, endless black licorice, straw, hot pepper, and fennel finish. A titanic dry absinthe with amazing length and astringency; louches with a great deal of water that tames the beast.
Bols Amaretto Liqueur
92 points
$11.99
Best Buy
Deep amber copper color. Delicate aromas and flavors of marzipan, honey, and white pepper with a glycerous, soft, moderately sweet medium body and a tingling, medium-length finish with notes of pepper, minerals, and burnt sugar. A solid amaretto for mixing.
92 points $11.99 Best Buy
Drapò Vermouth Rosso
92 points
$18
Best Buy
Dark bronze color. Lively aromas and flavors of brown spice, pepper, dried flowers, and honey with a lightly tannic, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a mildly astringent, interesting, medium-long finish with overtones of bitter herbs and bark with dusty tannins. A delicious, complex, and easy-drinking vermouth.
92 points $18 Best Buy
Ginja de Óbidos Oppidum
92 points
$19.50
Best Buy
Dark garnet color. Lively fruity aromas and flavors of sour cherry jam on raisin toast and cherry bonbon with a satiny, tangy, moderately sweet medium body and a sleek, complex, long finish with accents of honey cream, chestnut, and cherry cider. A tasty, mouthwatering cherry liqueur that is sure to please.
92 points $19.50 Best Buy
Dolce Cilento Crema di Meloncello
92 points
$26
Opaque creamy orange color. Lively aromas and flavors of cantaloupe and sweet cream with a creamy, soft, fruity sweet medium-full body and a silky, interesting medium-long finish. A very tasty cantaloupe liqueur with nice vibrancy and purity to indulge in.
Grandma Tommie’s Apple Pie Liqueur
92 points
$29.99
Deep amber color. Rich aromas and flavors of apple pie crust and floury dough with a silky, crisp, fruity sweet body and a warming, intriguing, breezy finish with accents of cinnamon stick, pepper, tart apple skin, and zucchini bread. A fun, flavorful apple pie liqueur that really nails the crust; a must for Thanksgiving.
92 points $29.99
Tamborine Mountain Distillery Wild Forest Plum Liqueur
92 points
$45
Bright garnet color. Rich aromas of raspberries, sour cherry, and beet with a satiny, tangy, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, layered, long green apple, celery, and parsley root finish. A delicious and deep fruit liqueur that will be a pleasure to mix with.
Tamborine Mountain Distillery Lemon Myrtle Liqueur
92 points
$50
Clear color. Bright aromas of orange and lemon peels and lemon custard with a glycerous, vibrant, fruity sweet medium body and a warming, complex, long lemon verbena, cardamom, and lemon candy finish. A sensationally vital lemon liqueur with lots of subtle herbal complexity and depth.
Lazzaroni Limoncello
91 points
$23.99
Hazy golden yellow emerald color. Bright aromas and flavors of lemon zest and oil with a satiny, tangy, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, nuanced, long finish with notes of honey and lemon gelato. A sensationally vibrant and pure limoncello.
91 points $23.99
The Bitter Truth Pimento Dram Liqueur
91 points
$28
Dark mahogany color. Complex aromas and flavors of smoked pepper, caramelized bacon, cinnamon, and clove with a tannic, lively, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and an astringent, complex, long finish with nuances of honeyed nut, hibiscus tea, tamarind, and herbs and barks. A sensationally flavorful herb and spice liqueur for adventurous cocktailians.
The Bitter Truth Elderflower Liqueur
91 points
$28
Golden straw color. Rich aromas and flavors of elderflower, lychee, and baked peach with a satiny, bright, fruity sweet medium body and a smooth, layered, medium-long finish with shades of honey, spiced apple, and citrus. A delicious and vibrant floral liqueur that will be great to mix with.
CH Guilianas Crema di Limoncello
91 points
$30
Opaque bone white yellow color. Lively aromas of lemon custard and lemon herb muffin with a creamy, lively, moderately sweet full body and a smooth, involved, medium-long warm vanilla-banana pudding finish. A delicious and subtle lemon cream liqueur.
Eastside Distilling Holiday Eggnog Liqueur
90 points
$19.95
Best Buy
Opaque antique ivory color. Aromas and flavors of warm lemon custard cake, soufflé, graham cracker, and key lime pie with a creamy, bright, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a sleek, amusing, medium-length finish with impressions of warm vanilla cake, lemon sorbet, and delicate spice. A tasty lemon cream sipper.
90 points $19.95 Best Buy
Vittone The Original Fernet Vittone 1842
90 points
$23
Best Buy
Dark brown mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate mint, mocha cake, and peppery spices with a silky, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, appealing, long finish with accents of bitter roots and bark, cooling menthol mint, and grassy herbs. A rich, vibrant fernet that will cover many bases.
90 points $23 Best Buy
Pallini Peachcello Liqueur
90 points
$24
Bright golden amber color. Bold fruity aromas and flavors of super ripe peaches, peach blossoms, and honey with a satiny, tangy, sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, amusing, medium-long finish with notes of peach sorbet, mineral, and a hint of mace. A delicious and vibrant peach liqueur for all occasions.
Rivulet Artisan Pecan Liqueur
90 points
$34.99
Amber color. Aromas and flavors of pecan pie, dried peach, and pepper with a supple, bright, fruity sweet medium body and a tingling, captivating, medium-long finish with accents of nut brittle, baking spices, and maple syrup. A nice interplay of nut and fruit notes make this a pleasure to drink and create cocktails with.
90 points $34.99
Black Note Amaro
89 points
$18.50
Best Buy
Medium brown mahogany color. Inviting lively aromas and flavors of smoked paprika, toasted spices, sassafras, and molasses cookie with a silky, lively, bittersweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, engaging, medium-long finish with notes of medicinal bark and roots, cracked pepper, earth, and mint. A nicely balanced entry-level amaro-like liqueur with great drinkability.
89 points $18.50 Best Buy
Kahlúa Salted Caramel Coffee Liqueur
89 points
$18.99
Best Buy
Dark brown bronze color. Rich aromas and flavors of coffee, caramel, chocolate covered figs, and delicate peppery spice with a glycerous, soft, sweet medium-to-full body and a silky, interesting, medium-length finish with accents of sea salt, honey, and flan. A tasty combination of coffee and caramel flavors.
89 points $18.99 Best Buy
Berentzen Pear Liqueur
89 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Clear silver color. Bright fruity aromas and flavors of pear skin, leather, and pineapple husk with a silky, lively, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a sleek, refreshing, breezy finish with notes of pear sorbet, mineral, and green tea leaf with fruit tannins. An elegant pear liqueur. and a nice "Apear-i-tif"
89 points $19.99 Best Buy
Berentzen Wild Cherry Liqueur
89 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Dark garnet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of maraschino cherry, root beer float, and cherry cola with a lightly tannic, tangy, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and an even, finish with notes of cherry pulp, dusty mineral, and bark with fruit tannins. A pleasant, easy drinking cherry liqueur.
89 points $19.99 Best Buy
Dolce Cilento Meloncello
89 points
$26
Bright orange color. Bright aromas and flavors of cantaloupe and lemon pepper with a silky, bright, moderately sweet medium body and a silky, charming, medium-length finish with nuances of honey cream and minerals. A very tasty melon liqueur with good balance and style.
Bols Elderflower Liqueur
88 points
$16.99
Best Buy
Pale golden straw color. Floral aromas and flavors of perfume and lychee with a silky, soft, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a sleek, refreshing, breezy finish with notes of honey and rose water. A nicely balanced floral liqueur that will be fun to mix with.
88 points $16.99 Best Buy
Berentzen Apple Liqueur
88 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Gold color. Delicate aromas of yellow apple, chestnut honey, and cream with a silky, lively, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a tingling, engaging, pepper, mineral, and wheatgrass finish with fruit tannins. A zesty apple liqueur that will mix nicely.
88 points $19.99 Best Buy
Vittone Amaro del Sole
88 points
$21
Brown mahogany color. Delicate aromas and flavors of cherry cola, root beer, roasted nuts, and spicy custard with a satiny, bright, moderately sweet medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish with shades of caramel cream, delicate herbs, and earth. A very pleasant and approachable herb liqueur for sipping or cocktails.
Cabo Diablo Tequila Coffee Liqueur
88 points
$22.99
Opaque dark brown color. Aromas and flavors of sweet pickle, candied yams, roasted pineapple, and latte with a silky, soft, moderately sweet medium body and a peppery, delightful, breezy finish with notes of grilled pepper, chili pepper, chocolate espresso bean, and herbs. A well made coffee liqueur with fun, peppery green agave center.
88 points $22.99
Pallini Raspicello Liqueur
88 points
$24
Bright ruby color. Bold fruity aromas and flavors of raspberry jam and pepper with a satiny, vibrant, sweet medium body and a peppery, medium-long finish with notes of minerals. A rock solid raspberry liqueur for cocktails.
Dolce Cilento Limoncello
88 points
$26
Cloudy bright golden yellow emerald color. Aromas of lemon taffy and lemon soap with a silky, tart, off-dry medium body and a peppery, appealing, medium-length lemon custard, cake, and rock candy finish. A nice sturdy limoncello for cocktails.
Dolce Cilento Crema di Nocciole (Hazelnut Cream)
88 points
$26
Opaque creamy brown color. Rich aromas and flavors of char-roasted hazelnut and cocoa with a creamy, soft, moderately sweet medium-full body and a smooth, medium-length finish with notes of vanilla custard and hazelnut coffee. A solid nut cream liqueur.
Breckenridge Distillery Bitters
88 points
$29
Old gold color. Aromas of caramel, honey, and herbal mint lozenge with a silky, mildly sweet and bitter medium body and a nicely balanced mild gentian, spice, and bark accented finish. A nice "Amaro-light" like liqueur.
deZir Tangelo Liqueur
88 points
$45
Cloudy bright gold orange color. Curious aromas and flavors of clementine and hint of sardine with a glycerous, tangy, moderately sweet medium body and a warming, charming, breezy finish with notes of orange and mint oil, pepper, rock candy, and blood orange. A fun, flavor-packed orange liqueur for cocktails.
Bols Melon Liqueur
87 points
$11.99
Best Buy
Bright emerald color. Rich aromas and flavors of honeydew melon with a silky, soft, moderately sweet medium body and a smooth, breezy finish with accents of pepper and mineral. Nice clean melon flavor for mixing.
87 points $11.99 Best Buy
Soft Tail Spirits 100% Natural Limoncello
87 points
$20
Clear pale golden silver color. Fruity aromas and flavors of lemon sorbet, honey lozenge, and lemon-lime soda with a lightly tannic, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish with impressions of lemon candy and pepper. A nice limoncello for cocktails.
Ballast Point Opah California Small Batch Spirit
87 points
$28.99
Dark brown black color. Interesting aromas and flavors of black licorice, baking chocolate, dried fruit, and nut oil with a satiny, vibrant, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, captivating, medium-length finish with overtones of fennel, pepper, minerals, and chestnut honey. A nicely composed licorice liqueur with nice dimension and style.
87 points $28.99
Cassagnac Cream Liqueur
87 points
$32.99
Opaque creamy saffron brown color. Lively aromas of fruity granola, toasty nougat, and root beer float with a creamy, fruity sweet body and a graceful, engaging, breezy butterscotch, baking spices, and milk chocolate graham cracker finish.
87 points $32.99
Sombrero Coffee Tequila
86 points
$15
Best Buy
Opaque brown black color. Peppery aromas and flavors of burnt coffee, char-roasted nuts, and pepper with a satiny, bright, moderately sweet medium body and a peppery, refreshing, medium-length finish with notes of chocolate yams, chili powder, and roasted green pepper. A spicy, agave-based coffee liqueur that should mix well.
86 points $15 Best Buy
Bols Yogurt Liqueur
86 points
$16.99
Opaque pure white color. Yeasty aromas of goat’s milk yogurt, delicate creamy caramel, and kaffir with a creamy, tangy, dry-yet-fruity body and a smooth, appealing, medium-length honey Greek yogurt finish. An interesting tangy yogurt liqueur for cocktails.
86 points $16.99
Berentzen Bushel & Barrel
86 points
$21.99
Golden amber color. Lively aromas and flavors of baked apples, roasted nuts, and yeasty apple strudel with a silky, racy, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, layered, medium-long finish with accents of burnt sugar, pepper, minerals, and polished wood. A vibrant barrel aged apple liqueur with great depth and zesty flavors.
86 points $21.99
deZir Premium Lime Liqueur
86 points
$39
Hazy steel gray emerald color. Rich fruity aromas of lime zest and pulp, new rubber tire, and straw with a oily, tangy, moderately sweet medium body and an even, breezy cane syrup, peppery spices, and mint lozenge finish. A nice lime liqueur for cocktails.
Génépi Savio Fior dacqua alpina
85 points
$40
Pale golden yellow color. Mild aromas and flavors of honey cream, peppery spices, straw, and mouthwash with a silky, soft, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a peppery, medium-long finish with notes of white pepper, mineral, caramel cola, and cedar. A brash, lightly herbal liqueur.
Lazzaroni Fernet
84 points
$23.99
Brown mahogany color. Bright aromas of mint leaf, coriander, pepper, and grassy herbs with a soft, soft, dry medium body and a warming, long burnt nut and coffee, wormwood tea, bitter bark, and cooling menthol tobacco finish. A bold fernet with cooling mintiness.
84 points $23.99
Tessora Limoncello Classico
84 points
$24.99
Cloudy pale golden silver color. Bright aromas and flavors of lemon oil and lemon wax with a supple, bright, fruity medium body and a peppery, breezy finish with accents of lemon candy and pepper. A solid mixing limoncello.
84 points $24.99
Whidbey Island Distillery Raspberry Liqueur
84 points
$28
Dark garnet violet black color. Curious aromas and flavors of anchovy paste and dried raspberries and strawberries with a supple, sweet-and-sour medium body and a warming, compelling, medium-length finish with notes of suede and fruit leather. A very rustic and earthy fruit liqueur for primal cocktails or serve with ice cream.
deZir Cinnamon Liqueur
84 points
$39
Deep amber orange color. Odd aromas and flavors of cinnamon bark, green peppercorn, wax paper, and gentian root with a oily, bright, sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, breezy finish with notes of cinnamon candy, smoked black pepper, ginseng gum, and waxy honeycomb. A wild and wooly cinnamon liqueur reminiscent of an Asian spice shop.
deZir Mocha Liqueur
84 points
$39
Opaque cloudy dark brown color. Curious aromas and flavors of chocolate, caramelized bacon, and burnt coffee with a creamy, shy, moderately sweet medium body and a tingling, breezy finish with notes of cocoa powder. An interesting chocolate liqueur for mixing, but the appearance is quite unattractive.
Sombrero Almond Tequila
83 points
$14
Deep amber color. Bold peppery aromas and flavors of marzipan, chili pepper, honey baked ham, and grilled pepper with a glycerous, vibrant, bittersweet medium body and a prickly, finish with accents of hot pepper and maraschino cherry. A fiery amaretto for cocktails.
Tamborine Mountain Distillery Ginger Liqueur
83 points
$45
Hazy pale platinum straw color. Earthy aromas and flavors of dusty ginger root, potato, old vegetable oil, and laundry soap with a soft, shy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, intriguing, finish with accents of nut oil, pepper, and soil. A very earthy ginger liqueur that could use a bit more oomph.
Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream Liqueur
82 points
$19.99
Opaque creamy pink color. Bright aromas and flavors of strawberry milkshake with a creamy, soft, sweet medium-to-full body and a seamless, breezy finish with notes of strawberry candy. A tasty strawberry and cream treat.
82 points $19.99
Dolce Cilento Watermeloncello
82 points
$26
Salmon pink color. Bright aromas and flavors of watermelon gelato, warm milk, and melon jolly rancher with a supple, bright, off-dry medium body and a smooth, captivating, breezy finish with accents of marshmallow, tapioca, and pepper. A nice mild melon liqueur with a creamy backbone.
Bols Blue Curaçao
81 points
$11.99
Electric cobalt blue color. Delicate aromas and flavors of toasted meringue, orange custard, and white sugar with a glycerous, bright, moderately sweet medium body and a tingling, breezy finish with notes of pepper and minerals. A decent Curaçao like liqueur for cocktails.
81 points $11.99
Tessora Crema al Limone
81 points
$34.99
Opaque bone white yellow color. Curious aromas and flavors of sour cream, lemon cake, and rubber band with a creamy, tangy, sweet-and-sour medium-full body and a tingling, brisk finish with notes of lemon gelato. A somewhat odd sweet and sour lemon cream.
81 points $34.99
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