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Disaronno Originale

Review: Disaronno Originale (Amaretto Liqueur)   (81/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka the Rum Howler)
Published November 09, 2014

Disaronno Originale is an Amaretto style liqueur apparently based upon a recipe which may date from as early as the year 1525. It is produced in Saronno, Italy by Illva Saronno S.P.A., and is distributed in Canada by Peter Mielzynski Agencies Ltd. (aka PMA). The Amaretto flavour of this liqueur is the result of an infusion of apricot kernel oil with neutral alcohol, caramelized sugar, and the essence of up to seventeen selected herbs and fruits. Amazingly, despite what seems to be an obvious almond flavour, Disaronno Originale apparently does not contain the essence of any nuts or almonds. The spirit is bottled and sold at 28 % alcohol by volume.

DSaronno750Canada_okIn the Bottle 4.5/5

The Disaronno bottle is made from special faceted glass apparently created by master-glass craftsman from Murano Italy. The closure is a large square screw cap which adds to the distinctive character of the presentation. The label is clear and easy to read, and I like what I see. My only quibble is that I would like more information about the spirit and it’s long history on the front label.

In the Glass 8/10

The liqueur shows itself in the glass as a nice rich amber liquid which has a thickened almost sticky or syrup-like appearance. The breezes above the glass reflect an almond-like scent, which gives me impressions very much like I am sniffing a mixture of crushed apple seeds and apricot brandy (this is probably the apricot kernel oil I am sensing). There is an obvious sticky sweet aroma in the air which carries indications of butterscotch, canned fruit (peaches and apricots), and hints of maple. Under all of this is light candied spiciness which brings to mind slippery impressions of orange peel, cinnamon, liquorice and menthol.

I like the nose; but I sense some unwanted astringency within the breezes which has an almost chemical-like nature. As far as I know, Disaronno Originale contains no artificial flavours or additives, yet my nose seems to sense a touch of this type of discord.

In the Mouth 48.5/60

The first impression I receive when sipping this liqueur is that this is a very sweet spirit, almost cloyingly sweet in fact. Sweet flavours of butterscotch and maple seem to swamp the palate at first, and only after my palate adjusts to the sweetness do I notice a strong influence of the amaretto-like flavour of the liqueur as well. This almond-like flavour has a light underlying bitterness and a dry tannin-like dry which tastes crushed apple seeds. There is also a touch of cinnamon-like spiciness, and an undercurrent of rich apricot brandy.

For myself, the initial cloying sweetness of butterscotch and maple lessens my enjoyment of this amaretto liqueur. I want to taste more of the lightly bitter almond, and perhaps more of the seventeen selected herbs and fruits essences as well. However these flavours are settled firmly beneath the sugared sweetness of the spirit, and they are very difficult to tease out.

In the Throat  12/15

The liqueur is very sweet through the finish, although the light flavours of candied spice and a lingering impression of crushed apple seed helps to save the score.

The Afterburn 8/10

I was expecting to enjoy Disaronno Originale much more than I actually did. However, on the nose there was a light impression of something artificial, (which although I did not mention it again was also noticeable as I tasted the spirit). As well there was an almost over the top sweetness which also detracted from my enjoyment. I did however, mix a few nice bar drinks which I quite enjoyed, one of which I have shared below.

My final score of 81/100 reflects the fact that this liqueur may be more suitable for mixing in tall and short cocktails rather than for sipping.

If you wish to have some comparison reviews of other Amaretto Liqueurs you may click here.


Suggested Recipes:

SAM_1334Gladiator’s Punch

1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Southern Comfort
1/2 oz Amaretto Disaronno Originale
1/4 oz Patrón Citrónge Orange liqueur
1 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Soda to fill

Build in a tall glass over ice
Add a lemon or lime slice into the cocktail for garnish
Complete with Soda
Enjoy as a tall mixed drink on a warm lazy afternoon.

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


My Reviews contain a rating or score out of 100, and these scores can be interpreted using the following scale:

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing spirit. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:

70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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