Liqueur
 

Best Liqueur

 

The Fifty Best Liqueur Tasting 2021

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 28 liqueurs with 11 members of the spirits judging panel. 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 judges were informed of the flavors but not the brands, and wrote down their impressions on score sheets. The scoring was based on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. Medals are provided based entirely on merit and only to products judged worthy of such award.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The distilleries, states, countries of origin and alcohol proofs are identified for each brand. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.

DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Café Frieda Coffee Liqueur
(Du Nord Craft Spirits, MN)  51.96° prf
Made from cold brewed Peace coffee & chicory root.

Aroma: Fresh espresso beans, fresh ground coffee, French roast, Hawaiian espresso, fresh brewed, natural fresh brew, espresso, café au lait, mocha, dark chocolate, chicory, yummy.

Palate: Fresh brewed coffee, fresh cold press coffee, great coffee flavor, roasted beans before brewing, espresso, a bit of mocha, Kahlúa, vanilla, cream, nice.

Finish: Intense espresso, mochaccino, coffee, iced coffee, mocha, hint of chocolate, well balanced, nice long finish.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Café Frieda Coffee Liqueur



1220 Spettro Amaro
(1220 Artisan Spirits, MI)  66° prf

Aroma: Toffee, molasses, citrus peel, licorice, mint, bold herbs, sage, gentian, myrrh, pungent spices, balsamic, wormwood, ginger root, angelica root, tobacco, tobacco leaf, pipe resin, tree bark, pine, smoky, musky, pungent, PX sherry.

Palate: Herbal, violets, floral, light citrus, mint, green cardamom, cocoa, gentian, root, arrowroot, cinchona, tree bark, birch, forest floor, dark forest, bitter/sweet, morphing toward bitter, thick mouthfeel, a better smoother Jägermeister, complex.

Finish: Beautiful herbs, herbaceous, alpine clove, licorice, anise, plum, lingering vegetal, chicory, spice, birch, bittersweet, smooth, great.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



”1220



Rivulet Pecan Liqueur
(C88, Louisville, KY)  60° prf
Aged brandy directly macerated with pecans.

Aroma: Nice pecan, roasted pecan, toasted pecans, salty pecans, pecan pie, burnt sugar, caramel, woody, natural.

Palate: Roasted pecan, toasted pecan, pecan pie, Brazilian nuts, maple syrup, caramel, cinnamon, balanced, smooth, pleasant, natural, nice interpretation, great pecan flavor.

Finish: Pecans, raw pecan, pecan pie, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, black currant, nice, easy.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Rivulet Pecan Liqueur



Du Nord Apple Liqueur
(Du Nord Craft Spirits, MN)  60° prf
A blend of fresh apple cider, corn spirit, cinnamon & spices.

Aroma: Apple, baked apple, baked spiced apples, apple butter, dried apple, apple pie, pastry, caramel, strong cinnamon, clove, lovely.

Palate: Fresh apple, ripe apple, applesauce, cold apple cider, baked apples, baked cinnamon apple, apple pie, sweet apple turnovers, apple danish, red apple skins, raisins, lemon, butter, pie crust, cinnamon, nutmeg, not overly sweet, liquid apple pie.

Finish: Fresh pressed apples, red apple, sweet cider, baked apple, apple pie, sweet vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking spices, balanced, elegant.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Du Nord Apple Liqueur



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Averna Amaro Siciliano
(Italy)  58° prf

Aroma: Toffee, root beer, sarsaparilla root, coffee, vanilla, rhubarb, bitter cherry, faint candied berries, lavender, angelica, light tea leaves, herbs, herbaceous, cinnamon, clove, gentle.

Palate: Toffee, caramel, creamy, vanilla, sweet chocolate, black cherry, bitter orange, herbal, tea leaves, spices, yaupon holly, licorice root, orris, amber, rich.

Finish: Maraschino cherry, Coca Cola, apricot, herb, myrrh, sweet, balanced, tasty, delicious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Averna Amaro Siciliano



Vicario Coffee Liqueur
(Salute!, SC)  62° prf

Aroma: Strong black coffee, natural coffee, realistic coffee, medium bodied arabica, dark roast, Guatemala coffee bean, fresh ground coffee, café au lait, mocha, cacao, cigar box, bold spice.

Palate: Black coffee one sugar, strong brew, creamy coffee, Kahlúa-like, coffee ice cream, vanilla cream, vanilla, Irish cream, caramel, coffee spice, delicious.

Finish: Authentic coffee, fresh espresso, coffee beans, mocha, cocoa, toffee notes, spicy, balanced, wonderful.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Vicario Coffee Liqueur



1220 Spettro Barreled Reserve Amaro
(1220 Artisan Spirits, MI)  66° prf

Aroma: Caramel, juniper, ginger, herbal, wintergreen, menthol, myrrh, tobacco leaf, clove, spicy, black licorice, licorice root, cinchona, wormwood, musty, mossy, bark, intense dark old wood, burnt wood, tropical.

Palate: Bitter orange, herbaceous, herb, mint, clover, myrrh, wormwood, cinchona, root, gentian, bitters, leather, musty, tree bark, pine tree, intense green, alpine, well balanced.

Finish: Vanilla, bitter orange, bitter herbs, herbaceous, anise, myrrh, pine sap, some complexity, balanced, bold.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



”1220



Patique Cherry Liqueur
(Stillwater Spirits, CA)  38° prf
Made from California Bing cherries. No sugar added.

Aroma: Cherry, Bing cherry, tart cherry, sour cherry, dried cherry, Luxardo cherries, black olives, meaty, wet wood, raw wood, forest trees, oak, deep, complex.

Palate: Nice ripe cherry, real unsweetened cherry, tart black cherry, dried cherry, Luxardo cherries, cheery juice, cherry bomb, tamarind, tart, concentrated, natural.

Finish: Cherry, sour cherry, herbal, bittersweet, complex, rich layers, delicious, wonderful.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Patique Cherry Liqueur



Butterfly Botanical Liqueur
(Butterfly Spirits, MD)  50° prf
Blended from 13 herbs & flowers.

Aroma: Lavender, lilac, violets, orchid, white flowers, floral, honeysuckle, violet, butterfly pea tea, mint, anise, botanical, sweet pine, fresh.

Palate: Violets, lovely rose, lavender, flower pistils, floral, summer herbs, dried herbs, spearmint, lemongrass, butterfly pea tea, basil, licorice, anise, juniper, vanilla.

Finish: Violet flowers, floral, vanilla, sweet pastilles, lemonade, oregano, pine forest, balanced, unique, pretty, refreshing, great for cocktails.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Butterfly Botanical Liqueur



Last Shot Chocolate Crème Brûlée Liqueur
& Bourbon Whiskey

(Skaneatleles Distilleries, NY)  30° prf

Aroma: Crème brûlée, sweet vanilla cream, heavy cream, clotted cream, chocolate, milk chocolate creamy mocha, burnt sugar, caramel, biscuit.

Palate: Crème brûlée, sweet cream, vanilla, vanilla panna cotta, chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate milk, mocha, burnt sugar, biscuit, roasted pecans, mint.

Finish: Crème brûlée, sweet cream, burnt sugar, delicious chocolate milk, vanilla, well balanced, nice, soft.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Last Shot Chocolate Crème Brûlée Liqueur & Bourbon Whiskey



Golden Eight
The Williams Pear Liqueur by Massenez

(Distillerie G.E. Massenez, France)  50° prf

Aroma: Bosc pear, Asian pear, baked Anjou pear, pear essence, caramelized pear, brown sugar, vanilla, whipped cream.

Palate: Pear, baked pear, sweet pear, caramelized pear, pear tart, brown sugar, buttery, very vanilla, Oreo filling, Cool Whip, mint, cinnamon.

Finish: Pear, honey, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, mint, liquid pears.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



 Golden Eight Williams Pear Liqueur by Massenez



Vincenzi Capasso Aperitivo
(Distillerie Vincenzi, Italy)  44° prf

Aroma: Bitter orange, cherry, rhubarb, strawberry/rhubarb, berries, ginger root, vanilla, herbal, bitter herbs, parsley, pine, classic.

Palate: Bitter orange, orange, chartreuse, herbaceous, bitter herbs, sweet bitters, cinnamon, clove, root beer, root, cascarilla, alpine, like sweet Campari, lovely.

Finish: Orange, orange peel, bitter orange, grapefruit peel, herbs, root, great bitters, tree bark, woody.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Vincenzi Capasso Aperitivo



Spinnakers Chocoholic Creme de Cacao
(Victoria, BC, Canada)  25° prf
Distilled from 100% BC grown malted grain, on-site artesian
well water, Sirene cocoa husks & organic cane sugar.

Aroma: Deep chocolate, bitter chocolate, bitter cocoa, raw cacao, burnt cocoa, cocoa nibs, Cocoa Krispies, chocolate cake mix, black coffee, cherry.

Palate: Rich chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate cake, brownies, Milk Duds, Cocoa Krispies, dry cocoa, cocoa beans, caramel, buttery, vanilla, malt, malt balls, malted milk, corn, dried cherry, coffee, espresso, nice balance of sweetness.

Finish: Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, cacao, café au lait, coffee, wood note, dessert.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Spinnakers Chocoholic Creme de Cacao



Miodula Presidential Blend Honey Liqueur
(Poland)  80° prf

Aroma:Honey, caramel, waxy.

Palate: Honey, nougat, floral crème, hint of ginger, hazelnut, woody notes, whiskey notes, balanced, clean, delicate, rich, lovely.

Finish: Honey, floral, proportional, just the right amount of sweetness.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Miodula Presidential Blend Honey Liqueur



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Garden Party Basil Liqueur
(Distillerie G.E. Massenez, France)  50° prf

For this wine Glera grapes underwent a second fermentation in pressurized stainless tanks to induce the bubbles.

Aroma: Fresh basil, green herbs, vegetal, strong anise, licorice, mint, rosemary, oregano, tea tree oil, musty.

Palate: Fresh basil, sweet basil, delicate basil, Thai basil, young herb, oregano, anise seed, licorice, sweeter than expected, soft mouthfeel, creamy.

Finish: Basil, herbal, white flowers, grain, sweet pesto, Caprese salad, garden party, well balanced.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Garden Party Basil Liqueur



Lillo Coffee Liqueur
(Seven Brothers Distilling Co., OH)  80° prf

Aroma: Welcoming coffee, brewed coffee, Colombian coffee, coffee beans, coffee grounds, cocoa, dark chocolate, natural.

Palate: Sweet black coffee, coffee with cream, coffee beans, coffee grinds, mocha, espresso martini, herbal, spice, very balanced.

Finish: Lingering coffee, sweet coffee, vanilla, juniper, great on the rocks.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Lillo Coffee Liqueur



Ballotin Chocolate Mocha Cream Whiskey Cream
(Saloon Spirits, WI)  34° prf
Made with barrel-aged 3 yr old whiskey blended
with real dairy cream and natural chocolate flavor.

Aroma: Creamy chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate milk, cocoa, mocha, café au lait, heavy cream, horchata, fresh baked coffee cake, coffee.

Palate: Mocha, real cream, sweet cream, chocolate pudding with whipped cream, milk chocolate, chocolate milk, vanilla bean, vanilla, burnt sugar, black coffee, chocolate lover.

Finish: Mocha, Austrian mocha, thick chocolate, creamy, vanilla, Irish cream with coffee, mouth coating creaminess, creamy chocolate mouthfeel, pleasant, great over ice, great for chocolate martinis.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Ballotin Chocolate Mocha Cream Whiskey Cream



Riga Black Balsam Original
(Latvia)  60° prf

Aroma: Cherry, sour cherry, chocolate, sweet pickles, mountain herbs, herbal, basil, rosemary, grass, soft peppermint, angelica, anise, licorice root, cinnamon, leather.

Palate: Chocolate, vanilla, honey, tamarind, herbal, dry bitter herbs, intense peppermint, rosemary, grassy, clover, licorice, licorice root, gentian, arrowroot, burnt coffee, tannin, bitter, hint of sweetness, ultra-smooth.

Finish: Dark chocolate, coca, herbs, soft cinnamon, balsamic, wormwood, root, bitter, digestif.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Riga Black Balsam Original



Domanier Cognac A L'Orange
(France)  70° prf

Aroma: Natural orange, Sunkist orange, orange zest, citrus, Fanta orange soda, orange candy, orange icicle, Creamsicle, Mediterranean orange groves, vanilla, mulled wine.

Palate: Orange, ripe navel orange, orange zest, orange candy, Sunny Delight, fresh citrus, lemon, orange spice.

Finish: Orange, orange peel/zest, orange soda, vanilla, light spice, balanced, delicious.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Domanier Cognac A L'Orange



Ballotin Chocolate Cherry Cream Whiskey Cream
(Saloon Spirits, WI)  34° prf
Made with barrel-aged 3 yr old whiskey blended with
real dairy cream, natural chocolate & Bing cherry flavors.

Aroma: Milk chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa, cream, cherry choco cream, sweet cherry, Bailey’s Irish cream, mocha, caramel, Bavarian Inn.

Palate: Chocolate covered cherries, Cella’s cherries, cherry cream, delicious cherry chocolate cake, fruity chocolate milk, milk chocolate, raspberry, sweet cream, lush cream, Irish cream, vanilla, caramel.

Finish: Cherry, cherry candy, chocolate, sweet vanilla, sweet cream, Irish cream, mocha, creamy, delicious.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Ballotin Chocolate Cherry Cream Whiskey Cream



Riga Black Balsam Black Currant
(Latvia)  60° prf

Aroma: Black currant, cassis, musky cherry, black cherry soda, blackberry, blueberry, grape must, rich.

Palate: Rich black currants, cassis, black raspberry, melon, nice fruit, big, bold.

Finish: Black currant, berries, juicy, lemon, lime, natural, bright, robust, French martini.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Riga Black Balsam Black Currant



Crème de Pêche by G.E. Massenez
(Distillerie G.E. Massenez, France)  40° prf

Aroma: Ripe peaches, young peach, fresh peach juice, peach candy, pear, tangerine, citrus, floral, aromatic, very peach.

Palate: Sweet peach, white peach, peach syrup, peach fuzz, peach pie, sugared pear, banana, sweet, viscous, layered.

Finish: Rich peach, peach cobbler, peach syrup, peach candy, lingering peach, banana, sweet, balanced, complex, luscious.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Crème de Pêche by G.E. Massenez



Rock N Roll Licor de Tequila Mango
(Los Altos, Jalisco, Mexico)  64° prf

Aroma: Fresh cut mango, raw mango, mango puree, mango cake, apricot, papaya, peach, pear, vanilla, cotton candy, mint.

Palate: Mango, light cantaloupe, honeydew, tropical fruits, mango candy, apricot, papaya, pear, floral, raw bell pepper, spice, dense mouthfeel, balanced.

Finish: Mango, pear, creamy, wonderfully balanced sweetness, well balanced, smooth, perfect for cocktails.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Rock N Roll Licor de Tequila Mango



Bayon Tamarind Liqueur
(Bayon Distillery, Cambodia)  40° prf

Aroma: Tamarind, tamarind paste, rhubarb, beets, orange peel, burnt caramel, muddy fields, root, tree bark, smoky, woodsy, red wine, natural.

Palate: Tamarind, tart cherry, sweet & sour cherry, cola nuts, soil, earth, touch of smoke, sweet & tart, natural flavor.

Finish: Tamarind, orange, soursop, lime, caramel, tart, touch of smoke, complex.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Bayon Tamarind Liqueur



BRONZE MEDAL WINNERS

Heimat New York Blackberry Handcrafted Liqueur
(NY)  44° prf
Made from local NY fruit.

Aroma: Strong blackberry, bright cherry, stewed cherries, blueberry, grape.

Palate: Blackberry, blackberry juice, blueberry, cherry, grape juice, jammy, jelly, lemon, mint, balance of bitter & sweet.

Finish: Blackberry, luscious berries, Welch’s grape jelly, dark chocolate, great over ice, great in cocktails.


Bronze Medal
Bronze medal



Heimat New York Blackberry Handcrafted Liqueur



Riga Black Balsam Cherry
(Latvia)  60° prf

Aroma: Bright bold cherry, dark cherry, rich stewed cherries, sweet candied cherries, concentrated cherry, cherry cola, very cherry, herbal.

Palate: Intense cherry, bold sweet cherry, black cherry, cherry candy, cherry soda, cherry cola, blueberry, dried herbs, herbaceous.

Finish: Rich cherry, dark cherry, sweet cherry, cherry candy, cherry Coke, pleasant herbs, minty, bitter end.


Bronze Medal
Bronze medal



Riga Black Balsam Cherry



Vincenzi Bellini Peach Aperitivo
(Distillerie Vincenzi, Italy)  36° prf

Aroma: Fresh peach, sweet peach, young peach, bright peach, fresh peach juice, floral, bold, natural.

Palate: Peach juice, sweet peach pie filling, white peach fuzz, peach tea, lemon, brown sugar, ripe, natural.

Finish: Sweet peach, juicy peach, well-balanced sugars, luscious.


Bronze Medal
Bronze medal



Vincenzi Bellini Peach Aperitivo



Vincenzi Arancia Aperitivo
(Distillerie Vincenzi, Italy)  22° prf

Aroma: Orange, navel orange, fresh orange rind, bitter orange, orange peel, orange soda, grapefruit, citrus, watermelon, juicy bubble gum.

Palate: Orange, blood orange, Valencia orange, orange zest, bitter orange, pith, watermelon, vanilla, cinnamon.

Finish: Rich orange, red orange, orange oil, bitter orange, orange soda, slightly bitter.


Bronze Medal
Bronze medal



Vincenzi Arancia Aperitivo

 

 


 

Disclaimer: This section of the website is intended for visitors 21 years of age and older.
If you are not of legal drinking age, please exit by clicking here.

Please drink responsibly!