Review: Amaro Alta Verde
Italian distillery Antica Erboristeria Cappelletti is best known for its eponymous aperitivo — but it makes a variety of bitter liqueurs, including this one. Amaro Alta Verde is a truly unusual amaro, pale green in color and flavored primarily with Assenzio, a variety of wormwood. “A complementary blend of alpine herbs, citrus and spice frame and lighten the classic bitter profile,” per importer Haus Alpenz.
Let’s give it a whirl.
The nose of the amaro is pretty, almost beautiful, heavily floral and perfumed with notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, grapefruit peel, and pine needles. The palate, however, shifts into another gear, offering an overwhelming bitterness — beyond that of a fernet — that is pungent with a hoppy, evergreen, gentian character. The body delves deeper from there, with notes of blood orange, grapefruit peel, mint, and dark chocolate all emerging as the finish builds. But it’s the incredible, bracing, herbal/earthy bitterness that lingers well into the finish and which sticks with you for the long haul. It’s got a power that’s difficult to underestimate, akin to drinking Angostura straight from the bottle. Many will find this utterly overwhelming. For my money, and after a big meal, I think it really hits the spot perfectly.
A- / $24 / alpenz.com