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Amazing (Rare) Amaro

To be honest (and this should surprise exactly no one that’s been following us for any amount of time) I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to all things wine and spirits. Be it the travelling cart-distillers of Armagnac, some crazy-ageworthy Sauvignon Blanc from Austria, or the newest use of Kveik yeast in microbrewing, this stuff fascinates me. As such, I spend a lot of time reading, digging around on the internet and ordering more books than I’ll probably ever be able to get to. But that’s ok, ‘cos it leads me to fun finds, like today’s!

I discovered an brief reference to Vecchio Amaro del Capo while reading about different Amari (the plural of Amaro, a broad term used to describe a wide variety of Italian bittersweet digestive liqueurs) from different areas of Italy. The author had talked about how it was his absolute favorite in all of Italy, and the lengths he went to to obtain it when he was travelling abroad. So, of course, me being me, I had to track it down. Turns out, our distributor had a whopping four bottles in inventory with (maybe) another six-pack case due to hit Missouri this month. Maybe. It’s that hard to find. So when our four bottles showed up, I had to take one home…you know…for science. And guys…it’s so good!

From Calabria (the ‘toe’ of the Italian boot, where the obscenely delicious and spicy ‘ndjua comes from as well), this Amaro is bright, fun, and quite unique. From the producer:

A mix of twenty-nine herbs, flowers, fruits and roots from Calabria’s beautiful land, blended to provide an intense experience of pleasure: the bittersweet taste of oranges, the delicacy of orange blossom and chamomile, the intensity of liquorice, peppermint and aniseed. All combined in a single, unique and secret recipe.”

I poured this straight from the freezer, the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed. It’s golden amber in the glass, and quite viscous at this temperature. The nose is deeply herbal, woodsy, and lightly floral, with hints of sage and singed orange. It’s definitely on the lighter/less intense side of the amaro scale, but it’s quite inviting. On the palate, this is initially dusty and herbal, with a definite hint of dried chamomile, but turns quickly to bright, fresh, and floral, with ripe tropical orange zest. In that respect it hints at Amaro Nonino, but the orange character here is a touch less sweet and simultaneously more intense. It’s sweet but not too sweet, with a delicately-balanced bitterness.

I loved this way more than I was expecting to, and am going to try to do everything I can to nab those incoming six bottles if they make it to Missouri by month’s end. If you’re into amaro (especially the lighter, more citrusy side of amaro) you’ll definitely want to give this guy a try!





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