As product names go, Amaricano — an American amaro — is pretty genius.
The brainchild of Seattle-based Fast Penny Spirits, the company produces two amari inspired by Italian recipes — one dark, one a bright shade of yellow. Both products support women in business, with 3% of revenues donated to woman-focused nonprofits.
So the charitable aims and the name are great, but what’s in the bottles? Let’s give these two expressions a try.
Both are 60 proof.
Amaricano Amaro – “Inspired by Italian tradition, Amaricano balances rich and herbaceous tones for a breathtakingly bold experience. Distilled West Coast grapes frame this lush amaro, brimming with cocoa nibs, Rainier cherries, Yakima hops, and locally foraged truffles bound with a bevy of botanicals.” Truffles, you say!? Lots of gentian and a black cherry undertone gives the nose a rich, Fernet-like quality from the start. Licorice and dark chocolate play supporting roles. The palate is immediately bitter-forward, but those cherries quickly come to life. Drenched in dark chocolate, there’s enough sweetness here to quickly temper the harder, more bitter edge, turning slightly raisiny and pruny as the finish emerges. Again, a reprise of chocolate here as things get sweeter, alongside some cinnamon, brown sugar, and a drop of vanilla. Really quite lovely, although I never got even a hint of truffle. A- / $52
Americano Bianca -Made with 45 botanicals, including saffron, hops, and black truffles again. There’s a huge chamomile tea note on the nose here, almost to the exclusion of everything else. The saffron emerges with time, but the herbal tea character is by far the driving force. Considerably sweeter and less bitter (and stickier) than the standard amaro, here we take a trip through the garden, light notes of golden raisins, mandarin oranges, and bergamot tempering a hefty perfume character the best they can. Ample saffron on the finish evokes a less sweet version of Strega, for which this would easily serve as a less aggressive substitute. B+ / $52