Back stories. Love em! Can’t get enough of em! So before I get to my review of the Italian liqueur that you see in the above photo, let me tell you a bit about how I got my grubby mitts on this sample…
Way back in late October (October 28th, 2014 or NYC WhiskyFest Eve), our dear friend The Coopered Tot (aka Josh Feldman aka Coop) hosted an intimate #WhiskyFabric gathering at The Morgan Library in Midtown Manhattan. In addition to Josh and yours truly, the following people traveled great, and not so great distances to join us:
- Allison aka The Whisky Woman (NYC)
- Aaron aka The West Coast Office (Los Angeles, CA)
- Miracle Max aka Miracle Max (South Jersey)
- Sarah aka The New York Office (NYC)
- Alwynne aka Miss Whisky (London, England)
- Linh aka The Whisky Anorach (Los Angeles)
- Susannah of the What Tastes Good blog (NYC)
As is usually the case when a group of whisky aficionados get together, the conversation flowed as freely as the whisky being poured. Here is just a brief sample of what went down during this epically epic tasting session that we called #BloggerFest14…
Max perplexed us with sporadic bird calls while discussing his love of Inchgower and the scent of “French Whore Perfume” with Josh.
A lovely Canadian woman was teased about her ever changing accent. One minute she sounds English, the next minute, she sounds Canadian! Pretty weird, Eh?
Josh walked us through a few “dusty” whiskies from the 1950s and 1960s, and Alwyne dazzled us with her Canadian generosity by sharing her itty bitty samples of the most recent Diageo Distiller’s Edition releases. She even published our comments on her blog!
While the majority of the night was spent tasting whisky, Allison was kind enough to change things up a bit by sharing her sample of an Italian liqueur called Nocino Caselli. Since I really enjoyed the change of pace after trying so many whiskies, Allison let me take the sample home with me for an eventual review. Here goes nothing…
È un liquore ottenuto, secondo l’antica tradizione, mettendo in infusione in alcool puro le noci ancora acerbe raccolte alla fine di giugno con l’aggiunta di spezie ed erbe il cui tipo e dosaggio vengono tenute gelosamente segrete dal liquorista. Questo Nocino Classico viene prodotto con infuso invecchiato 2 anni.
Did you get all that? No? Guess there’s always Google Translate.
Let’s get on with the review…
- Appearance: Deep, dark, walnut brown color. Completely opaque. Looks really thick because after giving my glass a swirl, thick legs form, and they take a really long time to slide down the inside of the glass.
- Aroma: Incredibly aromatic with the slightest bit of alcohol vapors coming through. Really rich smelling with a healthy dose of caramelized sugar, bittersweet chocolate, balsamic vinegar reduction, a boatload of herbs that I’ll never be able to pick apart, and finally, some menthol and eucalyptus.
- Taste: Yowza! This stuff really coats your entire mouth with flavor. A touch of alcohol burn at the onset, but that quickly subsides. The mouthfeel is very thick and syrupy with an unusual texture. It almost has a melted chocolate quality to it because it feels a bit grainy. It’s nutty, chocolatey, and herbally all at the same time. Dare I call this a bit chewy? There’s a touch of bitterness at the very end, but the majority of the time, it’s the nutty/chocolatey/herbally notes that dominate.
- ABV: 42%
Growing up in a Sicilian household, I’m no stranger to this type of liqueur. Averna, Cynar, and Fernet Branca were constant staples, so intense flavors like the ones in Nocino Caselli don’t frighten me. Overall, I really enjoyed it and found it to be a bit more approachable when compared to something like Fernet Branca. My only complaint is that I found it to be a bit too sweet, so it wouldn’t be my first choice whenever I’m in the mood for this type of liqueur, but as a change of pace, this stuff is fantastic!