A one of a kind. Bitter, herbal, and slightly sweet.
Our Caffé Amaro is a one of a kind take on Coffee Liqueurs. Amaro (the Italian word for ‘bitter’) is a category of liqueur characterized by its bitter, herbal, and slightly sweet flavor which stems from the use of botanicals, herbs, and cane syrup. Caffè Amaro is a collaborative spirit with Kansas City-based coffee roasters, Thou Mayest who selects a single origin coffee roast that we utilize to contribute to the flavors the botanicals generate. Our Caffé Amaro spends a brief amount of time in a whiskey barrel resulting in a rich, bittersweet flavor that works great in cocktails or can be enjoyed by itself after a meal.
FORMAT AVAILABLE: 750ml
SPIRIT BASE: Grain Neutral Spirit distilled from Corn
BOTANICALS: Juniper Berries, Cardamom, Orange Peel, Star Anise, Spearmint Leaves, Gentian, Vanilla Beans
SWEETENER: Evaporated Cane Syrup
COFFEE BEAN: Sumatra
CAFFEINE INFO: Each 750mL bottle contains approximately 467mg of caffeine, or the equivalent of less than 5 hot drip cups of coffee in the entire bottle. The point is, you’ll feel the alcohol before the caffeine, but if you’re hypersensitive to caffeine, this product may not be for you.
RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 2016
AVAILABILITY: Always available
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Ryan Maybee, a bartender and one of the J. Rieger & Co. co-founders, developed early versions of our Caffè Amaro at his bar, Manifesto. He was wanting to utilize coffee flavor in a cocktail but the only products that existed were excessively sweet. Ryan experimented by steeping botanicals in neutral grain spirit, then adding cold brew coffee in small batches to create the missing ingredient for his cocktails. As the recipe evolved, more bitter ingredients were added in order to make it a true Amaro. Gentian was included to give it a strong bitter base in the tradition of many Italian Amari. Orange peel, cardamom, and mint, among others were added to fill out the flavor. Once we decided to produce this as a J. Rieger & Co. product, we spent about 18 months figuring out how to perfect the recipe to blend with the cold brew coffee, and of course be able to scale it up to a commercially viable product.
Nathan Perry, head distiller and creator of the Caffè Amaro process: “Caffè Amaro is a pain in the ass to make. It takes no less than 10 separate transfers from different tanks/barrels to make this product work. We steep a blend of botanicals in a corn spirit until the flavors are exactly right for our base. We then make a gigantic batch of coffee that we will use to blend into our base. We take the amaro spirit and coffee blend and put it into used whiskey barrels that have been specially prepared for this process which allows the Amaro to meld together perfectly. The addition of cane syrup prior to bottling adds just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the bitter botanical base.”
While this product is complicated, every ingredient and step in the process is reflected in the final product. The first aroma is a combination of Black licorice, Menthol, Citrus, and coffee. The flavor brings out the clean mint flavors with a hint of pine. With a well balanced rich sweetness that is balanced with an earthy bitterness it is ideal for sipping neat.