Usually when you’re talking amari, you’re talking about recipes handed down over the course of generations by Italians. Seattle-based BroVo’s line of amari is almost the polar opposite. The liqueur-centric distillery had been working on a rhubarb spirit. When they couldn’t quite get it right, they decided to turn it into a base for amaro. One thing led to another, and pretty soon, they were asking bartenders in Seattle (and then in four other cities) to create an amaro for them.
That’s now known as Project Amaro, and they’re up to a couple dozen limited-release entries. Some of them, however, are so popular that they’ve stayed in production. Which brings us to BroVo Project Amaro No. 14, the work of Mike Ryan, a Chicago-based bartender for Kimpton Hotels.
It begins its life as neutral grain spirit infused with rhubarb, then rests in used Heaven Hill barrels, before being macerated with Guatemalan chocolate, sarsaparilla, thyme, cinnamon and vanilla. They finish it with gentian and agave nectar, then age it a bit more.
You’ll get those flavors almost in reverse–the bitterness from the gentian and the sweetness of the agave hitting you first. Then you’ll get the cinnamon spice, before it all resolves into a long finish of chocolate and root beer.
You could easily sip it on its own with dessert, but it also plays awfully well in cocktails alongside Carpano Antica.
— 32% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★★