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Reviews for 2017

November 2017 - Liqueurs & Aperitifs

November 2017 - Liqueurs & Aperitifs
This month's Spirits feature is Liqueurs & Aperitifs

Liqueurs & Aperitifs Reviews

Grand Marnier Quintessence Liqueur
98 points
$899
Clear golden amber color. Aromas of fresh orange zest, allspice, eucalyptus, hibiscus, galangal, and lemongrass with a round, vibrant, moderately sweet medium body and a peppery, very complex, long dark chocolate dipped tangerine peel, persimmon, dried apricot, black tea, lime oil, nutmeg, and underripe pineapple finish. A knockout, musky orange liqueur with a warm, tropical edge and persistent, elegant flavors.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Spirits, 2017 Best Liqueur
Luxardo Bitter Liqueur
96 points
$25
Bright red color. Herbal, citrusy aromas and flavors of gentian, wormwood, dried citrus, and toasted almond with a round, crisp, bittersweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, elegant, long orange blossom, rhubarb, black licorice, alpine herbs, and cherry pits finish. A complex bitter with a healthy dose of anise.
Awards: 2017 Best Bitter Liqueur
Montenegro Amaro Italiano
95 points
$33
Pale golden amber color. Aromas of bitter orange, honeysuckle, quinine, and sandalwood with a round, crisp, sweet medium body and a sleek, refreshing, long orange blossom, cinchona bark, vanilla, and rooibos tea finish. A luscious amaro that will add intrigue to any cocktail.
Amaro dell’Etna Ricetta Originale
95 points
$39.99
Clear mahogany color. Herbal aromas of espresso crema, cola, dark roasted nuts, eucalyptus, and licorice with a fat body and a very complex, long lilac, molasses, caramelized vegetables, iced tea, and raisin finish. A superbly balanced bitter to serve in craft cocktails or neat.
95 points $39.99
Luxardo Amaro Abano
94 points
Mahogany color. Spicy, minty aromas of cardamom, allspice, black tea, wintergreen, and coriander with a round, bright, bittersweet medium-full body and a peppery, layered, medium-length dark chocolate, espresso crema, roasted collard greens, black licorice, chincona, black pepper, and orange peel finish. A nice and sturdy herbal liqueur that offers a satisfying transition from herbal nose to spicy, pleasantly bitter palate; a welcome addition to cocktails or as a digestivo.
Merlet Soeurs Cerises Cherry Brandy Liqueur
94 points
$30
Dark garnet color. Fruity, earthy aromas and flavors of perfect sour cherries, forest, sunflower, and warm spices with a round, lively, moderately sweet medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-long hint of coffee finish. A bright, delicious and pure cherry liqueur reminiscent of a homemade visnovka; a fantastic European-style cherry liqueur.
Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge Liqueur
94 points
$39.99
Bright amber color. Spicy aromas of dried apples, rice pudding, ginger, and orange marmalade with a syrupy, lively, sweet medium body and a peppery, captivating, medium-length pumpkin tart, burnt sugar, nutmeg, hot cinnamon, and ginseng-mint finish. A spicy, complex liqueur that will find its place in a multitude of craft cocktails.
94 points $39.99
Luxardo Bitter Bianco Liqueur
93 points
Brilliant slivery straw color. Citrusy aromas of celery, key lime, and gentian with a round, crisp, bittersweet medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-long dried mint, thyme, and oregano finish. A tasty and versatile bitter with balanced fragrant herbs.
Merlet Créme de Poire Williams Liqueur
93 points
$20
Best Buy
Clear straw color. Fruity aromas of ripe Williams pear, dried pineapple, sweet vanilla bean, and honeycrisp apple with a round, crisp, sweet medium-to-full body and an interesting, medium-length banana soufflé, creme Anglaise, fresh grass, and lemon zest finish. A fruity, pure, shining example of pear liqueur.
Awards: 2017 Best Fruit Liqueur
93 points $20 Best Buy
Luigi Francoli Fernet
93 points
$28
Dark mahogany color. Herbal aromas of intense eucalyptus, black licorice, and vanilla with a round, vibrant, bittersweet medium body and a seamless, complex, very long cola, wormwood, and black pepper finish. A boldly bitter eucalyptus-driven liqueur that will conquer digestion like a pro.
Toadstool Notom Amaro No. 1
93 points
$28.99
Bright golden amber color. Herbal, citrusy aromas of flamed orange peel, cinnamon spice tisane, black licorice, and stout with a round, vibrant, bittersweet medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long hot cinnamon candies, wormwood, clove, lemon drop candies, and buckwheat honey finish. A spicy, herbal liqueur with intense yet balanced bitter notes.
93 points $28.99
Zucca Rabarbaro Amaro
93 points
$30
Mahogany color. Smoky, spicy aromas of hickory smoked red pepper, cardamom, charred artichoke, black licorice, gentian, and black pepper with a round, bright, bittersweet medium-to-full body and a delightful, medium-length bitter herbs, molasses, cola, salted chocolate, chicory, espresso, and dried apricot finish. An intriguing smoky liqueur that will offer many options for cocktail play.
Braulio Amaro Alpino
93 points
$42.99
Clear mahogany color. Herbal aromas of chicory, licorice, baking spices, dried figs, and pine and eucalyptus with a glycerous, sweet medium body and a graceful, nuanced, medium-long smoky mocha, toasted nuts, celery, and artichoke tart finish. A complex, earthy yet bright digestivo for cocktail play, after-dinner sips, and spritzes.
93 points $42.99
BOM BOM Nilli Vanilli Almondmilk Rum Liqueur
92 points
$21.99
Best Buy
Opaque creamy light beige color. Aromas of corn pops cereal, sweet cream, wafer cookie, and white chocolate with a creamy, crisp, sweet medium-to-full body and a tingling, medium-length rice milk and warm spices finish. A sweet, creamy liqueur that is effortlessly drinkable.
Awards: 2017 Best Cream Liqueur
92 points $21.99 Best Buy
Disaronno Originale Liqueur
92 points
$24.99
Amber color. Aromas and flavors of apricot stone, sour cherry skins, hazelnut latte, and zucchini with a glycerous, bright, sweet light-to-medium body and a sleek, brisk almond paste and lemon pepper finish. The perfect amaretto for sours.
Awards: 2017 Best Nut Liqueur
92 points $24.99
Aperol Aperitivo Liqueur
92 points
$25
Brilliant red color. Fresh, floral aromas of wild raspberry, fresh grapefruit peel, gentian, violets, and vanilla-lime with an oily, bright, sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, intricate, medium-length cinnamon, rhubarb, chamomile, orange peel, and melon finish. A bright and floral aperitivo for killer spritzes.
J.M. Shrubb Liqueur dOrange
92 points
$34.99
Dull amber color. Aromas of freshly peeled orange and cinnamon with a glycerous, bright, sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, nuanced, medium-length allspice, vanilla, eucalyptus, and honey finish. A complex, spicy orange liqueur that will dress up margaritas and sidecars.
92 points $34.99
Grand Marnier Signature Collection Raspberry Peach Liqueur
92 points
$39.99
Clear gold color. Sweet aromas of Turkish delight, sweet peach syrup, shortbread cookie, spiced raisin cake, and candied orange peel with a round, crisp, fruity sweet medium body and a warming, layered, medium-long flamed orange, honeysuckle, marmalade, candied ginger, and peppercorns finish. A rich and nuanced liqueur on the dry side that will light up everything from sidecars to margaritas; try it on the rocks.
92 points $39.99
Blue Chair Bay Key Lime Rum Cream
91 points
$18.99
Best Buy
Opaque cream color. Aromas and flavors of Bavarian creme, lemon curd, lemon Danish, and egg nog with a glycerous, crisp, sweet full body and a polished, engaging, medium-length lemon sherbet finish. An attractive, bright and custardy citrus liqueur; serve with a good chill.
91 points $18.99 Best Buy
IL Tramonto Amaretto Liqueur
91 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Golden amber color. Spicy aromas of dried cherries, apricot pit, nutmeg, and cinnamon with a round, crisp, very sweet medium body and a peppery, medium-length bitter almond, apricot jam, candied carrot creme brulee, citron, and almond crescent cookies finish. A great sipping amaretto.
91 points $19.99 Best Buy
Boone County White Hall Bourbon Cream
91 points
$24.99
Dusty taupe color. Aromas of bread pudding, rice cake, and fresh cream with a thick, crisp, sweet medium-full body and a tingling, appealing, medium-long baked pear, banana soufflé, toffee, and malted milk balls finish. A cream liqueur that places whiskey at front and center.
91 points $24.99
Grand Marnier Cuvèe du Centenaire Liqueur
91 points
$199.99
Brilliant golden amber color. Aromas of dried apricot, sundried orange peels, dried berries, and black tea with a syrupy, crisp, very sweet medium-full body and a warming, subtle, medium-long warm spices, juniper, almond brittle, and marmalade finish. A complex liqueur for Cadillac margaritas or serving on the rocks with cigars.
91 points $199.99
Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum Cream
90 points
$18.99
Best Buy
Opaque cream color. Attractive aromas and flavors of cinnamon rice pudding, eggnog, vanilla, and white rum and keffir with a round, soft, sweet medium-to-full body and a silky, breezy finish. A yummy, custardy treat that will delight your holiday guest.
90 points $18.99 Best Buy
Great Lakes Distillery Good Land Orange & Spice Liqueur
90 points
$30
Clear color. Citrusy aromas of lemon zest, lime zest, and clementine with a satiny, vibrant, moderately sweet medium body and a sleek, stimulating, medium-long freshly squeezed tangerine juice finish. A shining triple sec with true-to-life flavors and a juicy mouthfeel.
Grand Marnier Cuvée 1880 Liqueur
90 points
$349.99
Clear dark amber color. Oaky aromas and flavors of cocoa powder-dusted dried fruits, vanilla, dried apricot, tobacco, chai tea, and toasty oak with a glycerous, vibrant, sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long melon, roasted apricot, dried grass, cherry pie, anise, and smoky leather finish. A sweet and rich liqueur that is a natural pairing for aged brandies, cigars, and special occasions.
90 points $349.99
Luxardo Fernet
89 points
Mahogany color. Spicy, minty aromas of eucalyptus, tobacco, chocolate-mint, cardamom, molasses cookies, calabrian chile pepper, and orange peel with a round, vibrant, bittersweet medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long wintergreen, black licorice, and chicory finish. A refreshing nightcap or after-dinner dram.
Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur
89 points
$24.99
Brilliant light gold color. Nutty aromas of sweet roasted almonds, buttered cashews, hazelnut creme, and butter cookies with a round, bright, sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, captivating, breezy spiced candied nuts, maple creme, moist sponge cake, and vanilla finish. Pure nut flavors make this a natural go-to for all types of cocktails.
89 points $24.99
Bardenay Strawberry Liqueur
89 points
$29.95
Amber color. Fruity aromas of apricot preserves, stewed stone fruit, guava, and dried pineapple with a syrupy, bright, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, medium-length candied apricot, honeysuckle, and fresh red apples finish. A concentrated fruity liqueur that will play perfectly in craft cocktails.
89 points $29.95
FAIR Café Liqueur
88 points
Bright mahogany color. Aroma of coffee grounds with a supple, bright, sweet medium body and a silky, carefree sweetened espresso and crushed Oreo cookies finish. A dry and straightforward coffee liqueur with great versatility.
Select Amaro
88 points
$26
Brilliant neon red color. Herbal, floral aromas and flavors of grapefruit, orange peel, candy coated aniseed, allspice, honey, white flowers, and lavender with a velvety, crisp, bittersweet medium-to-full body and a graceful, intricate, medium-length finish. A light, garden-fresh, not-too-sweet aperitivo that will be lovely in a spritz or on the rocks.
Kalani Coconut Rum Liqueur
88 points
$32
Pale clear color. Aromas of coconut flake, almond oil, and lemon balm with a glycerous, bright, sweet medium body and a smooth, medium-length coconut creme, powdered sugar, and Italian almond cookie finish. A sincere coconut liqueur to add pure flavor to tropical cocktails.
Texas Silver Star Texas Honey Liqueur
88 points
$32
Brilliant gold color. Aromas of maple syrup, banana bread, geranium, peach, baked pear, and caraway with a round, crisp, moderately sweet medium body and an effortless, interesting, medium-long manuca honey, lanolin, dill, and beeswax finish. A fun craft-whiskey liqueur for shooting or mixing.
Stroma Old Pulteney Single Malt Whisky Liqueur
87 points
$35
Brilliant golden amber color. Aromas of heather, pear, root beer, country road, and baked plum with melted brie with an bright, sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length raw honey, roasted corn, vanilla, and caramel finish. A honeyed whiskey liqueur for shooting with friends; try in lemonade.
Royal Sambucca
86 points
$12
Best Buy
Brilliant slivery straw color. Herbal aromas of candied aniseed, oregano, and lemongrass with a syrupy, crisp, very sweet medium-full body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length dried orange peel and cinnamon finish. A lingering anise liqueur to add intrigue to cocktails, or as an after-dinner offering.
86 points $12 Best Buy
Royal White Vermouth
86 points
$12
Best Buy
Bright yellow straw color. Fruity aromas of gooseberries, melon salad, fruit punch, and persimmon with a round, crisp, moderately sweet medium body and a seamless, medium-length bitter apple and dried papaya finish. A fruity vermouth for warm weather cocktails.
86 points $12 Best Buy
Tremols Amaretto
86 points
$12
Best Buy
Brilliant amber color. Aromas of glace cherries, almond extract, and apricot kernel with a glycerous, crisp, very sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, appealing, medium-long sweet nutmeg finish. A cherry-forward amaretto with wide appeal.
86 points $12 Best Buy
Génépi Savio Nature Liqueur
85 points
$26
Pale golden green color. Aromas of hazelnut, spice cake, dried lime, marshmallow, and ginger-mint with a round, bright, moderately sweet medium body and a tingling, subtle, medium-length mountain herbs, chamomile, vanilla, cumin, cinnamon, and wormwood finish. A mellow herbal liqueur that is great for any occasion.
Boardroom Spirits Triple Sec Liqueur
85 points
$26.99
Dusty straw yellow color. Aromas of mixed dried citrus, chrysanthemum, tonic water, and green apple candies with a satiny, crisp, moderately sweet medium body and a peppery, medium-length white peppercorn, white tea, ginger powder, and pie crust crumbs finish. An interesting peppery liqueur to jazz up martinis.
85 points $26.99
Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum Cream
84 points
$18.99
Opaque cream color. Fruity, sweet aromas and flavors of peaches and cream oatmeal, lemon zest, apple muffin, and strawberry wafer cookie with a velvety, bright, sweet medium-to-full body and an effortless, carefree apple jacks cereal finish. A fruity, creamy liqueur for fun mixed drinks.
84 points $18.99
Boot Hill Prickly Ash Bitters Liqueur
84 points
$24.49
Bright golden amber color. Aromas of pine nuts, thyme, lemon balm, avocado oil, raw agave, and cinnamon with a satiny, shy, bitter light-to-medium body and a silky, medium-length wormwood, dried orange, and wafer cracker finish. An ultra-bitter liqueur for daredevil shots.
84 points $24.49
Bardenay Cassis Liqueur
84 points
$29.95
Dark rich fuchsia color. Sweet, fruity, herbal aromas of acai, beets, chocolate covered fig, rosemary, ginger, and menthol mint with a syrupy, bright, cloying fat body and a silky, nuanced, medium-long raspberry creme, chocolate wafer cookies, and blackberry jam finish. A dense cassis liqueur; a little goes a long way.
84 points $29.95
Great Lakes Distillery Good Land Cranberry & Spice Liqueur
84 points
$30
Neon cardinal red color. Aromas of powdered fruit punch mix and cherry Jell-O mix with a satiny, tart, sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, short-to-medium sour fruit candies, citric acid, tartaric acid, and cranberry finish. A super sour fruity liqueur for fun candy-inspired cocktails.
Merlet Trois Citrus Triple Sec
84 points
$30
Clear slivery straw color. Aromas of lemon-lime soda with a satiny, crisp, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a medium-length ground black pepper and lime oil finish. A tangy, peppery citrus liqueur for emergency margaritas.
Bayou Satsuma Rum Liqueur
83 points
$21.99
Neon orange color. Aromas of plastic and orange drink powder with a round, vibrant, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, medium-length lime peel, paprika, and wax pepper finish. A bright orange liqueur for pungent and festive cocktails.
83 points $21.99
Cinpatrazzo Amaro
83 points
$34.99
Dark mahogany color. Smoky aromas and flavors of espresso, tomato chutney, barbecue pork, birch venik, and chocolate pudding with a round, bright, sweet medium body and a seamless, complex, medium-length stone pine, eucalyptus, black licorice, and mole finish. A big, rich, smoky liqueur that will serve as a digestivo after a good meal.
83 points $34.99
FAIR Acai Liqueur
81 points
Bright fuchsia color. Phenolic aromas of berry scented marker, Irish cream, and jelly donut with a glycerous, crisp, sweet medium body and a smooth, breezy grape big league chew gum and aniseed finish. A chewy fruit liqueur for easy mixed drinks.
Almondaire Almond Créme Liqueur
81 points
$18.45
Opaque taupe color. Aromas and flavors of yogurt and crushed vanilla wafer cookies with a thick, bright, cloying fat body and a smooth, swift latte finish. A creamy sweet liqueur.
81 points $18.45
Ferro China Baliva Amaro
81 points
$24
Dark mahogany color. Floral aromas of candied violet and copper penny with a round, bright, moderately sweet thin body and a polished, fast black licorice, wormwood, and oven roasted root vegetables finish. A distinctive, super-floral liqueur for cocktail play.
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