Review: Ambros Banana Whiskey
Day-O! Who’s ready for banana flavored whiskey?
Ambros bills itself as “the first shelf-stable, flavored liquor infused with only 100% real fruit.” I’m assuming they mean bananas, not all fruit, but that’s still an intriguing concept. Here’s what we know about what’s in the bottle:
The process: Each batch is infused with 50,000 bananas (no fruit purees, juices, natural flavors, or syrups) that are hand-peeled at a state-of-the-art facility in Nevada, where three-year Irish whiskey is infused, bottled and labeled onsite.
Why bananas: The world’s most consumed fruit (100 billion annually) and underutilized cocktail flavor, bananas can stop their ripening process at any of their eight ripening stages, and real banana flavor pairs surprisingly well with other spirits and ingredients.
Note that the instructions direct you to shake if needed, but I didn’t notice any solids either before or after shaking.
Up front, the nose of the whiskey hints more at banana-flavored candy than banana fruit, sharp and sweet, with a generalized pungency that makes picking out any particular fruit difficult. If you didn’t know better, you might think this was heavily infused with lime — or something more like Rose’s Lime Juice, really — based on the citrus character that overwhelms the nose.
The palate at least does showcase banana more clearly, but it’s more akin to dried banana chips. Also, the choice of young Irish whiskey as the base ensures there’s minimal influence from the light-bodied spirit underneath — my instinct is that a bolder bourbon base might have been more appropriate. Eventually, a caramel element that influences the finish hints at more of a flambeed Bananas Foster character rather than fresh banana.
Bottom line: This is really weird stuff, and it’s pricy for a flavored product. Ambros offers cocktail suggestions on its website, of course. I tried the Banhattan (you surely get the concept), and found it undrinkable. Mixing up something with a blender is probably your best bet… while watching the below video.
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