November 2017 - Liqueurs & Aperitifs

This month's Spirits feature is Liqueurs & Aperitifs
Liqueurs & Aperitifs Reviews
219029
Grand Marnier
Quintessence Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221990
Luxardo
Bitter Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219873
Montenegro
Amaro Italiano
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221922
Hoodoo
Chicory Liqueur Legba Reserve
Nearly opaque mahogany color. Aromas of charred vanilla bean, pecan, roasted coffee, freshly charred oak, and dates with a round, vibrant, sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, long warm spices, chocolate cookies, sage, hazelnut latte, and candied roasted root vegetables finish. A fantastic complex liqueur that will charm your guests and gussy up classic cocktails; superb.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222271
Amaro dell’Etna
Ricetta Originale
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221988
Luxardo
Amaro Abano
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222190
Merlet
Soeurs Cerises Cherry Brandy Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219026
Grand Marnier
Cordon Rouge Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221991
Luxardo
Bitter Bianco Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222189
Merlet
Créme de Poire Williams Liqueur
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.
93 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222145
Luigi Francoli
Fernet
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221740
Toadstool
Notom Amaro No. 1
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222264
Zucca Rabarbaro
Amaro
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219180
Braulio
Amaro Alpino
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221909
BOM BOM
Nilli Vanilli Almondmilk Rum Liqueur
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.
92 points $21.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222263
Disaronno
Originale Liqueur
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.
92 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219015
Aperol
Aperitivo Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218917
J.M. Shrubb
Liqueur d'Orange
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219027
Grand Marnier
Signature Collection Raspberry Peach Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219203
Blue Chair Bay
Key Lime Rum Cream
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222277
IL Tramonto
Amaretto Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222098
Boone County
White Hall Bourbon Cream
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222099
Somrus
Alphonso Mango Cream Liqueur
Bright orange color. Fruity aromas of cling peach, sweet custard, tangerine zest, and peach mango yogurt with a creamy, bright, sweet medium-to-full body and a polished, brisk peach cobbler, homestyle ice cream, and mango lassi finish. A creamy treat; serve ice cold.
91 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219028
Grand Marnier
Cuvèe du Centenaire Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219205
Blue Chair Bay
Coconut Spiced Rum Cream
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222053
Great Lakes Distillery
Good Land Orange & Spice Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219030
Grand Marnier
Cuvée 1880 Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221989
Luxardo
Fernet
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219016
Frangelico
Hazelnut Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222275
Bardenay
Strawberry Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222148
FAIR
Café Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222262
Kerrygold
Irish Cream Liqueur
Opaque creamy mahogany color. Creamy aromas of German chocolate cake, toasted almond slivers, polenta, and toffee with a creamy, sweet medium-to-full body and a seamless, medium-length Irish whiskey, Charleston chew, and chocolate sprinkles finish. A chocolatey, creamy liqueur that will make it hard to say no to dessert.
88 points $22.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221905
Pallini
Limoncello
Neon golden yellow color. Citrusy aromas and flavors of sweet and sour mix, lemon drop candies, and lemon oil with a syrupy, shy, moderately sweet medium body and an even, short finish. A sweet, after-dinner treat.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219874
Select
Amaro
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221801
Kalani
Coconut Rum Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221429
Texas Silver Star
Texas Honey Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221818
Priqly
Wild Prickly Pear Liqueur
Slivery straw color. Aromas and flavors of pears, sake, white grapes, banana, coconut, wisteria, violet, and yuzu with a satiny, crisp, fruity sweet medium body and a peppery, medium-length white peach and white peppercorn finish. An exotic and uniquely aromatic liqueur with endless possibilities.
88 points $32.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222150
FAIR
Kumquat Liqueur
Clear color. Citrusy aromas and flavors of lemon-lime soda, orange hi-c drink, and crystalized lime peel with a satiny, crisp, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a graceful, medium-length marzipan and corn husk finish. This light-on-its-feet citrus liqueur complimented by subtle nuttiness will make an excellent classic margarita or cosmopolitan.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219645
Royal
Sambucca
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219647
Royal
White Vermouth
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219878
Tremols
Amaretto
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222147
Génépi Savio
Nature Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221907
Boardroom Spirits
Triple Sec Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219204
Blue Chair Bay
Banana Rum Cream
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221836
Boot Hill
Prickly Ash Bitters Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222274
Bardenay
Cassis Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222428
Great Lakes Distillery
Good Land Cranberry & Spice Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222188
Merlet
Trois Citrus Triple Sec
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219096
Bayou
Satsuma Rum Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222092
Cinpatrazzo
Amaro
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222149
FAIR
Acai Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222072
Almondaire
Almond Créme Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221906
Ferro China Baliva
Amaro
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Shortcut: http://www.tastings.com/Calendar-Spirits/Review-2017-11-01-Liqueurs-and-Aperitifs.aspx