Review: Bully Boy Distillers Amaro Rabarbaro
Boston’s Bully Boy Distillers makes a somewhat traditional amaro, but this Rabarbaro expression is built around a more uncommon recipe. The “Rabarb” is for rhubarb, which is paired with black cardamom, marjoram, chamomile, cloves, yarrow, amd bitter orange to make a decidedly unusual experience. (The company suggests using it as an alternative to sweet vermouth in various cocktails.)
The nose here is strongly vegetal, immediately reminiscent of Cynar, but mildly sweeter, with a gentle fig note evident. The palate is immediately sweet and very fruity with raisin and prune notes, almost coming across as syrupy at times, but this quickly fades as bold green vegetable notes quickly take hold again. The rhubarb character is quite evident, to the point where it’s almost pungent. Some spice briefly lifts things up, but as the finish takes hold, the amaro really falls back on its sweeter elements. Quite pruny and cloying, the spirit ultimately evokes an herbal-infused sugar syrup. The aftertaste is unyielding, leaving you with the taste of rhubarb clinging to the mouth for the better part of an hour.
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