28% Alcohol (56 Proof)
Amaretto is much like any liqueur, often too sweet and funky, rarely hitting that perfect balance between flavor, sweetness, and alcohol content. It's a fine line to tow. Unfortunately, the market is flooded with liqueurs that are cloyingly sweet and almost unbearable to drink unless heavily mixed and hidden. Trust me, I've had many. Disaronno happens to be one exception (I've reviewed a few from Hiram Walker, as well, which are also above average).
Disaronno, which used to be called Amaretto di Saronno, is an Italian liqueur. I find it odd that they don't even call it "amaretto," but simply "an Italian liqueur." It is reportedly made from a recipe dating to 1525 which includes apricot kernel oil, burnt sugar, and "seventeen various herbs and fruits." I don't know if all of that is accurate, especially the date of the recipe, but who cares. It may just be a marketing gimmick, but what really matters is how it tastes.
Disaronno pours an dark amber, with hints of ruby. It smells of fresh cherries, vanilla, and of course, sweet almonds. You sip and get a deep, sweet almond extract, followed by what I can only describe as milk chocolate covered cherries, with hints of vanilla and fruit (coming from the apricot oil is my guess). It finishes smooth and leaves a sweet, lingering cherry and nutty taste in your mouth.
I have to say, this is clearly the best amaretto liqueur I've ever had. It's popular for good reason, definitely. Just ask my wife. She rarely drinks, as in pretty much never. I've tried to find things she enjoys (Smirnoff Melon Vodka for example), but almost all attempts have failed horribly, leaving a bottle of nasty shit in my liquor cabinet that I have to drink. (I can't throw it away, that's a waste of alcohol!) Disaronno, however, has changed that fate. Now at least she will have a drink at least every week or two. I'm not saying I want her to get drunk, but hey, loosen up. I don't want to always be drinking by myself. Plus, moderate drinking is good for you. So there, drink up, wifey! Have a few! Get wild! ...Okay, so drinking to the point that you get buck wild probably isn't good for you, but that's beside the point. Anyway, so Disaronno it is. My wife enjoys it on the rocks with some Coke or Pepsi, which actually tastes pretty damn good honestly. If I'm mixing something with cola, I generally prefer a spiced rum like the Kraken or Captain Morgan, but this clearly works. It's just a shame that it's only 56 proof. I'm not saying I want another Bacardi 151, but c'mon! At least give me a solid 80 proof like most spirits. Oh well, it still works, and I will still keep finishing my wife's Disaronno and Cola when she says she's "full," while enjoying it.
Drink This: if you want one of the best amaretto liqueurs around. Drink it on the rocks or mixed with cola, I'm telling you! Delicious.
Don't Drink This: if you are looking for something high-proof to have neat. This could be had neat, certainly, but the sweetness will turn off many whisky drinkers.
If they someday make a Disaronno that's 100 proof, consider me there waiting in line at the liquor store for a bottle.