At Mascareta we gathered around the bar for an impromptu amari tasting. La Dispensa di Amerigo is a line of products offered by the owners of a longstanding restaurant in the Emilia. The guiding philosophy is traditional recipes, some help from enthusiast friends, and no use of chemical additives. There are a wide range of options across what they sell, including vinegar, jarred cheeses and pasta sauces. In terms of spirits, there are several, including a Rosolio (!), a Zabajone, and a lemon liqueur. And also those that I tried, which started with a Fernet.
The Nocino, on the other hand, I thought was very good. Certainly better than most of those currently imported into the States, which actually isn't that many. The recipe calls for green (underipe) walnut husks picked in late June, steeped in alcohol with sugar, and then aged for 3 years. That's it. Nothing additional, and no junk in there. It was 40% alcohol.
Pelinkovac, associated with Abuja (definitely click on that Abuja link). Apparently Abuja and the Northern Italian town of Gorizia have a long history together, which unfortunately seems to have ended when the family sold the distillery a few years back. Today a larger corporate concern located in Trieste makes this Pelinkovac, but they have kept the old label, and apparently the old recipe as well.
It's a shame to hear that the family sold the store, but at least this is still being made.
The taste is dry, dry, dry. Super twisted up biting brambly dry. Twigs dry. It was a little simple and a little disjointed, but I liked it anyway. If you like bitter, like I do, then by all means pour yourself a glass should you have the opportunity. Or mix with a big whiskey or lightish, dryish beer. That would be nice.
Gianni Capovilla, and I must admit, this is one of the best grappa I have had from him. It's probably not cheap, of course. But here was the extra gravitas melded with the clarity of the style. Excellent.
There was a extra level of depth here, and what I thought for a moment were blue fruit notes. Funny how taste can play tricks on you like that.
This Petrus? Super bitter, and if you are a fan of Santa Maria al Monte, as I am, you will like this too. Maybe it is not quite in the same league as Santa Maria al Monte, but what is? Anyway, quite good. And not afraid to finish dry.
This amaro would be an interesting find for somebody who likes the Nardini amaro. Medium weight, brown, probably colored, and with a soft/sweet finish, this similar in many respects to Nardini, except I thought I picked up more gentian here. Certainly some sort of exoticism.
I found this particular bottle in Sardegna, but apparently it is from Milano. For that reason it is a little surprising that I'd never seen it before, since I have traveled to Milano now and again. But there you go.
Lemon peel, eh? I don't recall seeing that on a Nocino ingredients list before. That must account for the color of the label.
Here were the stats, in case you are curious. Should you be flying out of Sardegna, I found the duty free shop near my gate to have an impressive selection of Mirto options. There were probably 25 different bottlings there for purchase.
Which brings me to the admission that no, I didn't get to try everything along the way, but I did give it a go on this run, and I'll try to pick up the spares on a return visit.