Amaro Montenegro (23%)

In Italy, herbal liqueurs are called Amaro and they are made there by several different manufacturers around the country. Montenegro Srl from Bologna has been producing its own amaro since 1885. Originally produced under a different name, the liqueur changed its name to honor Princess Elena Petrović-Njegoš of Montenegro, who became the wife of the first king of Italy.

Amaro Montenegro uses 40 different ingredients, of which only nine have been announced: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, bitter orange, dried orange, marjoram, oregano, artemisia and coriander seeds. The herbs are collected from four different continents, they are separated into their own groups and crushed before being dissolved in hot water. The solution is distilled very gently, after which the distillate is mixed with alcohol, water and sugar. The manufacturer of Amaro Montenegro says that the product is still made according to a recipe that is more than a hundred years old. A 70 cl bottle was bought at a special offer of €10.

The color of the liqueur comes from the caramel coloring, and the manufacturer also states this without any attempt to hide it. The color is clearly lighter than herbal liqueurs in general. The smell is mainly perfumey, but there are also herbal and spicy elements in the background.

The taste is soft, light and gentle. The taste has the spiciness of clove and coriander, and the fruitiness of orange and cherry. In the aftertaste, the spicy and herbal nuances are fighting against, but when waiting long enough the bitter herbs stay tongue the longest. Maybe the reason is the low alcohol content, but the rest of the bottle no longer feels as herbal and bitter as the drink was when taking the first sips from the bottle. The bitterness is moderate, as is the sweetness, so it’s extremely easy to sip it a glass or two. Herbal liqueurs are usually pleasant to drink neat, but Montenegro is in its own class. Of course, the drink’s low alcohol percentage has a lot to do with it, but the taste is also very balanced and smooth. Amaro Montenegro has become a favorite of bartenders in recent years, for a reason that no one can tell. The bottle is of course stylish and Montenegro gives drinks a pleasant herbal and spicy note, without dominating too much. The taste of Montenegro is very good, but maybe it lacks a bit of kick to be perfect. 


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