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Review: Amaro Montenegro

Amaro Montenegro

An amaro from Northern Italy (Bologna), Montenegro delivers a lighter floral driven style that I dig in the spring and summer time. I really enjoy pairing it with agave and cognac. Like most widely distributed amari, it was developed in the late 19th century, uses a ton of botanicals (40), and much of its production is steeped in secrecy. Sometime in the 1990s, the ABV underwent a series of adjustments ultimately taking it from 33% to 23%. The 1990s reviewed here (not pictured) is likely toward the end of the 33% ABV production.


Amaro Montenegro - 23%

Notes: Lemon pledge all day on the nose. I'm into it. Floral vanilla around the edges. Full, rounded, but still light on the palate. Lemon and vanilla with a floral bitterness in the finish. Finish is long with a slow developing bitterness.

Score: 6 (Solid) Unique style, veering away from cola into heavier florals. Everything is well balanced and well integrated.


Amaro Montenegro (1990s) - 33%

Notes: So much more candied than the other two. Deep caramel. Candied lemons. French vanilla. Caramel and burnt toffee on the palate. Extra ABV kicks a little (in a way the 60s doesn't). Definitely more dessert-y.

Score: 6 (Solid) Much louder pour. The biggest and sweetest of the three. But it gets a little too heavy - off balanced.


Amaro Montenegro (1960s) - 33%

Notes: Vanilla and honey on the nose. Very faint florals. Soft and nuanced. Bitterness arrives more quickly mid-palate and evolves beautifully over the back half. Entry blasts fresh orange into rind and gentian, lemon pith and powdery florals before completely drying out with medicinal roots.

Score: 8 (Stash One) Complex and defined while falling just on the favorable side of delicate. There are days when the florals kick a little too hard and play disjointed. But, all in all, I find the profile unique and very enjoyable.


Rating System

10 - Reevaluate The Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Anything Else To Drink?

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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