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Best Liqueurs

 

The Fifty Best Liqueur Tasting 2016

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting with 16 members of the spirits judging panel and 21 liqueurs in six separate categories, including: Fruits, Flowers, Nuts, Cremes, Herbs & Spices, and Amaro. The judges were informed of the categories and flavors, but not the brands. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the liqueurs were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water and neutral, unsalted chips and crackers were available to cleanse the palate.

The liqueurs were tasted in groups according to flavor category, with medals awarded on the basis of the judging panels’ rating of all liqueurs from that group. The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals were awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded in this tasting.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The states/countries of origin are identified for each brand.

 



Flavor Category:
FRUITS


DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Marie Brizard Raspberry Liqueur

Creme de framboise
(France)

Aroma: Raspberry, berries, pomegranate, dark sugar, linzer torte, old wine, sherry, jasmine, black tea.
Palate: Raspberry, raspberry jam, berries, dark cherry, black cherry, pomegranate, prune, fig, maple, sherry, black tea, full flavored, a taste of summer, classic, intense.
Finish: Ripe raspberry, grape, prune, port, pleasantly bitter, very smooth, lovely, wonderful, delicious.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Marie Brizard Raspberry Liqueur



Marie Brizard White Cacao Liqueur
Cacao beans & vanilla
(France)

Aroma: White chocolate, cocoa, bitter cocoa, light chocolate, earthy, attractive.
Palate: Milk chocolate, cocoa, true to the flavor of white chocolate, creamy, vanilla, pleasantly sweet, basil, smooth.
Finish: White chocolate, hot chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, silky, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Marie Brizard White Cacao Liqueur



Marie Brizard Peach Liqueur
Peach & peach stone
(France)

Aroma: Peach, dried peach, peach jam, creamy, peppery, lovely, attractive.
Palate: Peach, apricot, captures the essence of dark fruit, perfect over ice for a summer day.
Finish: Peach, peach skin, apple, complex sweetness, smooth, elegantly balanced.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Marie Brizard Peach Liqueur



Marie Brizard Apry Liqueur
Apricots blended with cognac
(France)

Aroma: Dark fruit, concentrated berry, apricot, intense amaretto, almond, hazelnut, marzipan, anise, floral, bright spice sharp wood.
Palate: Apricot, dried apricot, apple, cherry, raisin, honey, creamy, almond, almond extract, bitter almond, floral, pleasant herbal tonic, very balanced.
Finish: Candied fruit, sweet, bright, woodsy, memorable, easy, balanced.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Marie Brizard Apry Liqueur



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Marie Brizard Parfait Amour Liqueur
(France)

Aroma: White chocolate, chocolate, pastry filling, vanilla, whipped cream, floral, herbal, bright.
Palate: White chocolate, vanilla ice cream, creamy, cotton candy, honey, blueberry, plum, grape, violet, floral, smooth, rich, love cocktail implications.
Finish: Almond, nutty, spicy, soft, fresh, lovely, memorable, inviting.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Marie Brizard Parfait Amour Liqueur



Tattersall Sour Cherry Liqueur
(Minnesota)

Aroma: Bing cherry, berries, pear, dried fruit, spiced fruit, floral, roasted fennel, sherry, tobacco, wood, balanced, very soft, mild.
Palate: Cherry, sour cherry, strawberry, apple, plum, mango, honey, vanilla, floral, rose, herbs, sweet tamarind tea, tobacco, leather.
Finish: Stone fruit, tart apple, apple skin, raisins, black tea, tobacco, leather, unique, balanced, nice, smooth, flavorful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Tattersall Sour Cherry Liqueur



Golden Eight Pear Liqueur by Massenez
(Alsace, France)

Aroma: Ripe bosc pear, green apple, sour apple, peach, pineapple, persimmon, apple cider, candy apple, Jolly Rancher, anise, cedar.
Palate: Pear, Granny Smith apple, sour apple, apple peel, lemons, brown sugar, vanilla, light floral, anise, nutty, oats, black tea, wood.
Finish: Candy apple, apple, pear, mild lime, floral, caramel, cotton candy, creamy, lovely.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Golden Eight Pear Liqueur by Massenez




Tattersall Grapefruit Crema Liqueur
(Minnesota)

Aroma: Lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit peel, tangerine zest, citrus, citrus peel, triple sec, sweet cereal.
Palate: Grapefruit, orange, tangerine, lemon, citrus, orange zest, dried blueberry, grassy, licorice, tart.
Finish: Grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, citrus, bubblegum, tart, spice, clean, bright, smooth, lovely.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Tattersall Grapefruit Crema Liqueur




Sơn Tinh
Táo Mèo / Rose Apple

Rượu made from rice
(Vietnam)

Aroma: Cherry, sour cherry, berry, dried berries, apple, apricot, pineapple, prune, honey, vanilla, licorice, spice, tobacco, port wine, crème de cassis.
Palate: Cherry, sour cherry, cranberry, blueberry, apricot, pear, raisin, prune, coffee, spice, sweet PX sherry, port wine, nice balance.
Finish: Sour cherry, elderberry, apple, sweet raisin, herbal, tobacco, balanced, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Sơn Tinh Táo Mèo



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Limoncello di Capri
(Italy)

Aroma: Lemon, sweet lemon, lemon drops, lemon peel, lemon juice, lemon ice, sage, spicy, smoky.
Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, lemon ice, creamy lemon, limoncello, orange peel, dark sugar, demerara, buttery.
Finish: Lemon, lemon-lime, lemon ice, lemonade, mild citrus, limoncello, marzipan, cinnamon, well-blended.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Limoncello di Capri



Tattersall Orange Crema Liqueur
(Minnesota)

Aroma: Orange, mandarin orange, lemon, lemon-lime, citrus, orange hard candy, vanilla, mint, cassia bark, cinnamon, triple sec.
Palate: Orange, mandarin orange, orange peel, orange creamsicle, creamy, lemon, lime, lychee, mint, pepper, cedar.
Finish: Orange, mandarin orange, orange peel, sweet orange candy, lemon, mild citrus, rose hips.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Tattersall Orange Crema Liqueur



Flavor Category:
FLOWERS


GOLD MEDAL WINNER

Chase Elderflower Liqueur
(England)

Aroma: Pear, white grapefruit, raisins, honey, honeysuckle, floral, elderflower, jasmine, pine, black salt.
Palate: Lemon, grapefruit, citrus, papaya, sweet pineapple, pear, elderflower ice wine, floral, pine, buttery, bright.
Finish: Sweet pear, cherry, lemon, creamy citrus, grapefruit, marmalade, elderflower, coffee, bright fruit, nice, smooth.

Gold Medal
old medal



Chase Elderflower Liqueur



SILVER MEDAL WINNER

Tattersall Crème de Fleur Liqueur
(Minnesota)

Aroma: Tropical fruit, citrus, lemon peel, honey, gardenia, floral, dried flowers, jasmine, sandalwood, herbal tea, bière de garde, spiced.
Palate: Lemon, citrus, honeycomb, sweet floral tea, honeysuckle, floral, elderflower, rosewater, jasmine, grassy, mint, anise, herbaceous, pine, mellow.
Finish: Light lemon, sweet cream, floral, rosemary, mint, slightly spicy, pine needles, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Tattersall Crème de Fleur Liqueur



Flavor Category:
NUTS


DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNER

Rivulet Pecan Liqueur
(Kentucky)

Aroma: Pecan, walnut, hazelnut, toasted almond, Almond Joy bar, pecan pie, praline, coffee, rum butternut, butter, cereal, hay.
Palate: Pecan, chestnut, hazelnut, walnut, bitter almond, Bristol cream, gingerbread, the best Danish ring on earth, toffee, caramel, vanilla, coffee.
Finish: Pecan, pecan pie, walnut, hazelnut, bitter almond, candied fruit, pie-like, baking spices, nutmeg, smooth, perfectly balanced.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Rivulet Pecan Liqueur



Flavor Category:
CREMES


DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNER

VOV Italian Zabajone Cream Liqueur
(Italy)

Aroma: Butterscotch, light maple, vanilla, sugar cookies, cream, milk, tapioca, creamsicle, banana pudding, peach, orange peel, nutty, mild spice, fennel, Thai iced tea.
Palate: Toffee, caramel, honey, vanilla, custard, creamy, zabaglione, orange, pineapple, creamsicle, amaretto cookies, baked goods, nutty, malt.
Finish: Vanilla, sweet cream, flan, sbaglione, nutty, baked goods, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



VOV Italian Zabajone Cream Liqueur



SILVER MEDAL WINNER

Peel Bananacello
(Connecticut)

Aroma: Banana, banana milk, sweet banana candy, caramel, milk, clotted cream, pineapple, green apple, sweet citrus.
Palate: Banana, banana cream, banana milkshake, caramel, white chocolate, vanilla, milky, butter, cream, icing, Bailey’s, toffee, pineapple, tropical fruit, pear, apple, green apple.
Finish: Key lime pie, citrus, coconut, pleasant, so fun.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Peel Bananacello



Flavor Category:
HERBS & SPICES


DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNER

Molinari Sambuca Extra
(Italy)

Aroma: Anise, black licorice, spice, lemon, bread.
Palate: Licorice, fennel, anise, sambuca, honey, baking spices, lemon, mint.
Finish: Anise, licorice, sweet basil, lemon, creamy, easy, mellow, flavorful.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Molinari Sambuca Extra



GOLD MEDAL WINNER

KAS Krupnikas
(New York)

Aroma: Sugar cookies, caramel, honey, berry, banana, herbaceous, sweet herbs, oregano, gentian, mushroom, soft sour sap, pine, leather.
Palate: Honey, molasses, sweet pine nuts, dried flowers, dried apple ring, orange, tropical fruit, herbal, vegetal, spicy, cinnamon.
Finish: Honey, clover honey, honeycomb, banana, spicy, pleasant.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



KAS Krupnikas



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Breckenridge Bitters Liqueur
(Colorado)

Aroma: Honey, citrus, lemon, grassy, ginger, spice, herbaceous, dried leaves, nutty, tree bark, pine needles, pine resin.
Palate: Orange peel, lemon, honey, floral, grassy, licorice, ginger, fennel, pine, bitter herbs, tart, complex.
Finish: Bitter lemon, herbal, rhubarb, mint, pine, tart.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Breckenridge Bitters Liqueur



Sơn Tinh
Nhật Dạ / Spices & Herbs

Rượu made from rice
(Vietnam)

Aroma: Dried stone fruit, ginger root, ginseng, celery, laurel, wormwood, herbal, grassy, hay, nutmeg, allspice, spices.
Palate: Wormwood, gentian, fenugreek, ginger, lemon peel, ginseng, herbal, bitter herbs, warm bitters, brown bitters, tree bark, dark earthy roots, spice.
Finish: Dark fruit, herbal, fenugreek, bay leaf, licorice, charcoal, BBQ smoke, lovely.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Sơn Tinh Nhật Dạ



Flavor Category:
AMARO


GOLD MEDAL WINNER

Amaro Montenegro
(Italy)

Aroma: Orange, lemon, floral, apple blossom, grass, herbal, rose hips, mint, nutty, cinnamon, nutmeg, spice, green tea, tea leaves, gentian, myrrh.
Palate: Toffee, brown sugar, honey, candied citrus, citrus, grapefruit, orange, orange peel, dried fruit, tropical fruit, apple, lemon peel, rose, rosewater, almond, dried herbs, dried leaves, mint, vegetal, spice, slight bitterness.
Finish: Honey, bitter apple, bitter orange, herbal, tea leaves, nice, flavorful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Amaro Montenegro

 

 

 

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