Beverage hobbyists tend to tinker in wine, beer, even gin. A mom-and-pop amaro creator? That’s a new one. Pat Magner and Cindy Tegtmeyer are the producers of Amaro Cinpatrazzo — a portmanteau of their names — a labor of love inspired by trips to Italy and some heavy experimentation in their kitchen over the course of a year. After some trial and error, the Chicago-based duo released Cinpatrazzo, an American amaro that nods toward the bitter spirits of Puglia.
I encountered Pat and Cindy at San Francisco’s recent Craft Spirits Carnival, and they were nice enough to send some samples my way for a deeper review.
Amaro Cinpatrazzo showcases a deep crimson color, and the nose offers intense notes of dark chocolate/cocoa powder and sour cherry. A slight hint of mint takes the edge off of some brooding bitterness that’s laying in wait. The palate is much fruitier than I expected from the nose, cherry notes dominating alongside a rhubarb character and a note of sweet licorice candy. As the finish emerges, the amaro becomes quite soothing and bittersweet, with lingering notes of various bitter elements, including gentian, almonds, and cloves. The balance isn’t perfect here, but it comes together well in the end, offering a unique spin on the amaro formula that’s both unusual and rewarding.
B+ / $35 / cinpatrazzo.com