One of the best selling, best known and most delicious Italian Amaro bottlings on the market. Confusingly, Montenegro is not produced in the small Balkan nation, but actually in the Italian city of Bologna. It is distilled in a factory in the San Lazzaro di Savena region of the city.
The Amaro takes its name from Princess Elena of Montenegro, who was the bride of Victor Emmanuel III, the then King of Italy. Montenegro was created by Stanislao Cobianchi, a distiller and herbalist, in 1885.
Cobianchi travelled around the world collecting botanicals that would make his liqueur. Eventually he settled on forty different ingredients, from four different continents. The botanicals include wormwood, nutmeg, cloves, oranges, marjoram, oregano, coriander, saffron and liquorice root.
Flavours are extracted from the botanicals in three ways: boiling, maceration in neutral alcohol for up to 30 days and distillation. Then, twelve “mother essences” are made into six flavour profiles: bitter and herbaceous, spicy and floral, chocolate and caramel, fresh and balsamic, vanilla and red fruits, and warm and tropical. To this “Il Premio” (the Prize) an intense micro-distillation of five botanicals is added. Just 1 litre of this powerful stuff is required to produced 15,000 bottles of Montenegro.
The Amaro possesses flavours of caramel, cola, black tea, root beer, anise, cherries, vanilla, wormwood bitterness, some sweet herbal notes, subtle earthy spice, pepper and mandarin.
At 23% ABV, this is an approachable Amaro that works brilliantly as an after dinner digestif, or served as a shot. An industry favourite amongst bartenders, this flavoursome liqueur has increasingly found its way into cocktails such as the Paper Plane, or mixed with Mezcal for an “M&M” shot.
The bomb of flavor!