Amaretto di Saschira (Luxardo)
Review: Amaretto di Saschira (Luxardo) 91.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted February 8, 2014
Luxardo S.P.A. was founded in 1821 in Zara, a port city on the Dalmatian coast of what is now the Republic of Croatia. At the conclusion of World War II and as a consequence of the borders within Europe having been redrawn, the company transferred its holdings to Torreglia in 1947, and has remained an Italian Company, 100% controlled by the founding family. Luxardo is one of the oldest European firms which produce liqueurs, and now almost 200 years after it was established, it remains in the control of the sixth generation of the original Luxardo family.
Amaretto di Saschira is the Company’s almond based liqueur, and according to Global Export Manager, Matteo Luxardo, whom I met in Edmonton about 16 months ago, this Amaretto is produced using natural ingredients which include real almonds for flavouring. Matteo indicated the liqueur will be slightly drier than other Amaretto brands featuring the well-rounded taste of both natural almonds and vanilla. The spirit is bottled at 28 % alcohol by volume and packaged in an elegant bottle created by German designer Ady Ferner.
In the Bottle: 4.5/5
My preferred size of bottle of Amaretto is the 200 ml configuration. I am, of course, more likely to be enjoying myself with a nice rum or whisky and so my consumption of Amaretto is strictly confined to cocktails or as a compliment to my afternoon coffee (when I am not working of course).
The 200 ml bottle shown to the left retains much of the style and elegance of the larger 750 ml bottle, but in a form which suits my needs better. I am not fond of the closure which tends to get sticky and hard to open. This is a problem which plagues sweet liqueurs, and it would be nice if a different style of closure (perhaps a synthetic cork of some kind) were more widely used in the industry.
In the Glass 9/10
The spirit displays a rich coppery colour when it is poured into my glass, although I should note that despite this rich hue, it is noticeable lighter than other Amaretto brands I have sampled in the past. The Amaretto di Saschira is slightly thickened which gives the spirit the appearance of maple syrup in my glass. The nose is sweet and inviting with a strong likeness to marzipan (a mixture of crushed almonds and powdered sugar), and with a very noticeable vanilla overtone. I also sense hints of orange peel, and an underlying earthiness which reminds me of crushed apple seeds.
In the Mouth 55.5/60
When I take a sip of the Amaretto, I am very impressed by the luscious marzipan flavour and the soft, rich mouth-feel. There is nothing artificial or medicinal in the flavour profile. The spirit which is very sweet somehow avoids the impression that it will become cloying. There is also a nice sweep of vanilla flavour, and a lovely dry nuance within the luscious marzipan. If you have ever chewed on an apple seed, you will recognize this tannin-like dry flavour immediately. This is simply delicious!
In the Throat 13.5/15
The finish is sweet, nutty and dry all at the same time with a wonderful balance between those three impressions. Although the liqueur is rich. it avoids being heavy and uncomfortable. When sipped over ice it is especially good!
The Afterburn 9/10
If you follow my cocktail recipe suggestions, you will have noted about ten months ago that I began to recommend Luxardo Amaretto whenever a recipe I used called for an Almond liqueur. Simply put, the Amaretto di Saschira has won me over with its rich flavour and subtle dry nuances. I suspect that if you try it, you will be won over too.
You may read some of my other Liqueur Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
(cocktail by chip & forrest)
For this cocktail I turned to my good friend, forrest, who has a wonderful site called “a drink with forrest“. I gave him a few thoughts I had regarding well aged premium aged rums with their complex oaky taste profiles, and my wish to do a nice twist on a traditional cocktail called “The Godfather” which is a Scotch and Amaretto combination.
Forrest loved the idea, and he sent me this offering:
The El Padrino
(Spanish for Godfather)
The name El Padrino fits perfectly with the mood and feeling I was trying to capture with my original suggestion as premium aged oaky rums may truly be called the Godfathers of Rum!
2 oz Premium Aged Rum (suggested rum Flor de Cana Centenario Gold)
1 oz Amaretto di Saschira
1/8 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Build on ice in small rocks glass
Garnish with a thin slice of lemon.
What can I say, forrest tweaked my idea and together we (actually mostly him) made a premium rum cocktail that is simply divine.
Although this rum was originally designed for the Flor de Cana 18 Year Old Rum, it will works very well with any premium aged rum with a complex oaky taste profile.
I am sometimes asked what my numbers actually mean. In order to provide clarification, you may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)