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Best Liqueurs - 2015

 

The Fifty Best Liqueur Tasting 2015

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting with 15 members of the spirits judging panel and 27 liqueurs in seven separate categories, including: Fruits/Flowers, Chocolate/Coffee, Honey/Nuts, Cremes, Herbs, 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 & FLOWERS


DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Bols Blue Curacao Liqueur

(Holland)

Aroma: Lovely orange, orange peel, lemon, citrus, cotton candy.
Palate: Orange rind, lovely orange soda, light citrus, popsicle, cotton candy, spices, colorful, full flavor, balanced.
Finish: Orange, confectioners sugar, smooth, light, fresh, love it.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Bols Blue Curacao Liqueur



Bauchant Orange Liqueur
(France)

Aroma: Orange peel, fresh sliced orange, orange marmalade, lemon, anise, floral.
Palate: Orange marmalade, orange peel, orange gummy bear, Grand Marnier, citrus, honey, floral, licorice, slightly toasted, full flavored.
Finish: Citrus, licorice, spicy, cinnamon, smooth, clean, satisfying, nice.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Bauchant Orange Liqueur



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Berentzen Apple Liqueur
(Germany)

Aroma: Apple, sour apple, citrus, pineapple, bright fruit, honey, dough, tart, mild.
Palate: Apple, green apple, sour apple, pineapple, lemon, orange, citrus, cherry, honey, caramel, toasted almond, tart, floral, pepper.
Finish: Green apple, apple, mild, delicate, clean.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Berentzen Apple Liqueur



Marie Brizard Orange Curacao
(France)

Aroma: Orange, orange peel, hints of cocoa, honey, herbs, light ginger, floral, caraway.
Palate: Orange peel, citrus marmalade, subdued orange, citron, honey, chocolate, spearmint, flavorful.
Finish: Mint, floral, light, smooth, velvet, great to blend, pleasant, very nice.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Marie Brizard Orange Curacao




Bottega Limoncino
(Italy)

Aroma: Lemon, lemon drops, faint lemon peel, lime, mild.
Palate: Lemon ice, lemon curd, lemon peel, lemon-head, lime, marmalade, treacle, floral, full flavored.
Finish: Candied lemon, lemon peel, lime, sweet citrus, sugary, cinnamon, smooth, summery, well done.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Bottega Limoncino



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS:

Pumpkin King Cordial
(Colorado)

Aroma: Apple, durian fruit, apricot, persimmon, honey, twinkies, amaretto, caraway, tart.
Palate: Apple, fig, honey, flan, amaretto, honeysuckle, chamomile, flora, spice, caraway.
Finish: Fig, floral, light, pleasant.

Silver Medal
 Silver medal



Pumpkin King Cordial



Bols Watermelon Liqueur
(Holland)

Aroma: Watermelon, watermelon Jolly Roger, rosewater.
Palate: Watermelon Jolly Rancher, watermelon bubble gum, black cherry, gummy bear, cotton candy, mint, crisp, flavorful.
Finish: Watermelon, mint, surprising dry, nice, easy, tasty.

Silver Medal
 Silver medal



Bols Watermelon Liqueur



Old Man Guavaberry
Original Wild Guavaberry Island Folk Liqueur

(Sint Maarten)

Aroma: Cherry, pomegranate, York peppermint patty, mint, root beer, light herbal, clove, allspice, floral.
Palate: Stone fruit, cherry, fig, chocolate, cassis, dry herbs, mint, cloves, allspice, faint cinnamon, vermouth, tangy, well balanced.
Finish: Grape must, grappa, cinnamon, cloves, floral, smooth.

Silver Medal
 Silver medal



Old Man Guavaberry Original Wild Guavaberry Island Folk Liqueur



Flavor Category:
CHOCOLATE & COFFEE


DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Varnelli Caffè Moka
(Italy)

Aroma: Coffee bean, medium sweet coffee, good coffee, espresso.
Palate: Coffee bean, black coffee, espresso, chocolate, vanilla.
Finish: Vanilla, clean, smooth, easy.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Varnelli Caffè Moka



Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal Liqueur
(France)

Aroma: Chocolatey, deep chocolate, fudge, chocolate syrup, chocolate powder, mocha, cafe mocha.
Palate: Milk chocolate, chocolate cream, homemade hot chocolate, chocolate syrup, Fox's U-Bet, nougat, very natural flavor.
Finish: Chocolate, sweet cocoa, toast, soft, classic.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal Liqueur





Songbird Coffee Liqueur
(Indiana)

Aroma: Espresso bean, coffee, fresh coffee, dark roast coffee, tobacco.
Palate: Espresso bean, strong black coffee, toffee, chicory, creamy.
Finish: Coffee, vanilla, a little peppery, clean, light.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Songbird Coffee Liqueur



Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
(Poland)

Aroma: Coffee, cafe au lait, toffee, milk chocolate, chocolate, cocoa powder.
Palate: Coffee, mocha, milk chocolate, full chocolate, milkshake, dark chocolate powder, complex.
Finish: Thick melted chocolate, cacao, milky, subtle mint, rich, fresh.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur



SILVER MEDAL WINNER:

Kaffevän Coffee Liqueur
(Vermont)

Aroma: Coffee bean, black coffee, espresso, chocolate, wood.
Palate: Coffee, black coffee, espresso, bit of chocolate, caramel, berries, violet, floral, cognac, spice.
Finish: Dark espresso, caramel, toffee, spicy, tangy, herbal, smooth.

Silver Medal
 Silver medal



Kaffevän Coffee Liqueur



Flavor Category:
HONEY & NUTS


DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

KAS Krupnikas
(Lithuania)

Aroma: Honey, mead, butterscotch, cream, herbs, orange, honeysuckle nectar, floral.
Palate: Honey, mead, vanilla, alpine flowers, orange, herbs, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, nectar of the gods.
Finish: Honey, vanilla, pumpkin, perfectly spicy, clean, lovely.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



KAS Krupnikas



Rivulet Pecan Liqueur
(Kentucky)

Aroma: Pecans, hazelnut, walnuts, cocoa, kettle corn, butter, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, stroop.
Palate: Pecans, peanut brittle, almond, walnuts, hazelnut, butterscotch, toffee, cocoa powder, popcorn, buttered popcorn, raisins, soft, smooth.
Finish: Dark chocolate, buttery, toffee, nutty, clean, fresh, pleasant.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Rivulet Pecan Liqueur



Flavor Category:
CREMES


DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Bottega Gianduia
(Italy)

Aroma: Chocolate, milk chocolate, cream, peanut brittle, hazelnut.
Palate: Latte, mocha, milk chocolate, toffee, cream, caramel, nips candy, truffle, nougat, hazelnut, nutella, raspberry, dessert in a glass.
Finish: Mocha, chocolate, hazelnut, creamy, mild, nice, love this.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Bottega Gianduia



KeKe Beach Key Lime Cream Liqueur
(Missouri)

Aroma: Key lime pie, lime, butter cream, coconut, pistachio, mint.
Palate: Key lime, key lime pie, lemon notes, coconut, vanilla, cream, subtle citrus, delicious.
Finish: Key lime pie, citrus, coconut, pleasant, so fun.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



KeKe Beach Key Lime Cream Liqueur



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream Liqueur
(Missouri)

Aroma: Strawberry, strawberry milk.
Palate: Wild strawberry, creamy strawberry, strawberry ice cream, strawberry milk, creamy, banana, licorice, nice.
Finish: Strawberry, creamy, delicate.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream Liqueur



Crème Yvette
(France)

Aroma: Tropical berry, wild berry, raspberry, cranberry, orange peel, mulled wine, rose, floral.
Palate: Fruity, black cherry, cherry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, gummy bear, floral, rose, creamy, smooth.
Finish: Fruity, refreshing.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Crème Yvette



Flavor Category:
HERBS


DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Marie Brizard Anisette Liqueur
(France)

Aroma: Licorice, anise, caraway, almond, herbs.
Palate: Black licorice, anise, wormwood, spices, creamy, smooth, nice mouthfeel.
Finish: Anise, peppermint, absinthe, herbs, well balanced.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Marie Brizard Anisette Liqueur



Bottega Sambuca
(Italy)

Aroma: Anise, spice.
Palate: Licorice, anise, spearmint, baking spices, complex, lovely texture.
Finish: Licorice, anise, mint, nice balance.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Bottega Sambuca



GOLD MEDAL WINNER:

Opah Herbal Liqueur
(California)

Aroma: Anise, black licorice, toffee, nutty, caraway, herbs, mint.
Palate: Anisette, absinthe, black licorice, honey, tarragon, sage, clove, peppermint, dandelion, herbal, mineral notes.
Finish: Anise, herbal, cocoa, savory.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Opah Herbal Liqueur



Flavor Category:
AMARO


DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Lucano Amaro
(Italy)

Aroma: Toffee, cola, orange, floral, wild flowers, lemongrass, herbs, cloves.
Palate: Herbal, eucalyptus, citrus, honey, maple syrup, cola, wood, effervescent, flavorful, balanced.
Finish: Bitter orange peel, spicy, herbal, honey, smooth, easy, clean, light, fresh.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Lucano Amaro



Varnelli Amaro dell'Erborista
(Italy)

Aroma: Aged herbs, herbal, Underberg, mint, honey, cola.
Palate: Herbal, chamomile, mint, dandelion, floral, melon, grapefruit, honey, chocolate, coffee, roots, tree bark.
Finish: Toffee, herbal, floral, good acidity, balanced.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Varnelli Amaro dell'Erborista



GOLD MEDAL WINNER:

Varnelli Amaro Sibilla
(Italy)

Aroma: Toffee, honey, coffee, cola, mild floral, very spicy.
Palate: Coffee beans, cola, honey, minty, herbs, cinnamon, allspice, tobacco, roots, tree bark.
Finish: Lasting spice.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Varnelli Amaro Sibilla

 

 

 

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