Bardstown Bourbon Company Amaro Nonino Review

Bardstown Bourbon Company Amaro Nonino is a recent release in their Collaborative Series. It is a blend of straight bourbon and ryes finished in Amaro Nonino Reserva barrels for 17 months. The result is a delicious whiskey, displaying the Amaro's flavors, but in a very complementary way. Learn all about it in our full review!

Amaro Nonino
Straight Bourbon & Rye
Finished in Amaro Nonino Barrels
Collaborative Series
111 Proof
Bardstown Bourbon Company
MSRP: ~$160
Review

Please enjoy our Bardstown Bourbon Company Amaro Nonino Review!

Bardstown Bourbon Company Collaborative Series

According to Bardstown Bourbon Company’s website, “The Collaborative Series celebrates the art of finishing, working with respected producers of beer, wines, and spirits, by aging fine whiskey in their barrels to create truly unique products.” For this particular whiskey, the collaboration is the finishing of a blend of straight bourbon and rye whiskeys in Amaro Nonino (Quintessential) Riserva barrels for 17 months.

The Component Whiskeys

The Bardstown Bourbon Company is all about transparency, and that holds true with the BBC Amaro Nonino. There are 3 different straight whiskeys in this blend:

  • 80% Kentucky Bourbon – 12 yr – Corn 75% / Rye 13% / Malted Barley 12%
  • 10% Indiana Rye – 7 yr – Corn 45% / Rye 51% / Malted Barley 4%
  • 10% Indiana Rye – 6 yr – Rye 95% / Malted Barley 5%

The interesting thing about Bardstown Bourbon Company’s transparency is that, while they provide lots of information, they can not always reveal the distilleries who make the component whiskeys. However, by listing the mash bills, one can deduce who they might be. For this particular whiskey, we know that the bourbon has a mash bill which is usually associated with Jim Beam or Wild Turkey. Since I know that BBC has used older Wild Turkey in the past, I am guessing that distillery is the source of this bourbon. The source of the ryes is easier to deduce. Both were distilled in Indiana, and they both use mash bills which are associated with MGP (now known as Ross & Squibb). So, that is who almost certainly distilled the ryes in this blend.

Amaro Nonino Quintessential Reserva

Amaro Nonino Quintessential Reserva, the aged liqueur whose barrels are used for finishing these whiskeys, is produced in Italy by Nonino. While it is an Amaro, it is less bitter, a bit lighter in body, and softer in flavor profile than many of its brethren. The Noninos were known for elevating the Grappa category, and thus, much of the information found online about their Amaro states that it is made with Grappa, which is incorrect. The Noninos go to great effort to describe their development of a unique grape spirit, which they call Grape Distillate Ùe®. This spirit differs from Grappa in that the whole grape is distilled, both the pomace and juice, whereas in Grappa, only the pomace is used.

For the Amaro Nonino Quintessential Reserva, this distillate is first aged for a year in oak barriques and small casks, and then aged another 24 months combined with “Quintessentia®, which is the Nonino’s blend of herbs, spices, fruit, berries and roots. Suffice it to say, those barrels should have a significant amount of flavors in them when all is said and done. Therefore, I would expect a significant flavor contribution to the whiskeys. We’ll see if that is indeed the case.

Amaro Nonino Quintessential Riserva  Photo credit: https://www.grappanonino.it/
Amaro Nonino Quintessential Riserva
(Photo: https://www.grappanonino.it)
Tasting Notes – Bardstown Bourbon Company Amaro Nonino Review

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Lightly fruity red wine, tart orange peel with some pulp as well; brown sugar, mildly sweet caramel; light dry oak; noticeable alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Caramel, tart orange peel and pulp, moderately syrupy simple syrup sugar sweetness; fairly subtle herbal notes; light dry oak and white pepper spice later on
👉🏻Finish: Considerable white pepper spice with tart orange citrus; long; moderate burn; faint barrel char and dry oak

The flavors of Bardstown Bourbon Company Amaro Nonino evolve in a very interesting way. Initially, on the nose, caramel stands out. Then, it is gone, and the lightly fruity red wine, tart orange peel with some added sweet pulp and brown sugar appear. Thereafter, the caramel comes and goes. Light dry oak is noticeable later.

The taste is surprisingly similar to the nose, at least at first. The caramel and orange notes are dominant, but the simple syrup sweetness increases as time goes on. Subtle herbal flavors, from the Nonino, and light dry oak are present, as well. White pepper spice appears later on in the taste, and grows into the finish. The tart orange flavors linger on, as well. The finish is long, with a moderate burn.

Bottle & Glencairn - Bardstown Bourbon Company Amaro Nonino Review
Conclusion

Bardstown Bourbon Company Amaro Nonino was all that I had hoped for, and more! The Amaro’s flavors very much complement the rye and bourbon blend. One might think this would taste like a Black Manhattan, but it really doesn’t. It has its own character. My only “complaint” is that I just wish there was more of this around. Unfortunately, it was a very limited release that sold out quickly. However, I found this bottle long after I had given up hope of getting one, so keep your eyes peeled; maybe you’ll find one too! Cheers!🥃

We hope you have enjoyed our Bardstown Bourbon Company Amaro Nonino Review! If you would like to learn more about the distillery, check out our Bardstown Bourbon Company Tour Review! Have you ever had an American Amaro style liqueur? Learn all about one in our Terrativo Review!

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