Armida is a blend of three Straight Bourbon Whiskeys finished separately in Pear Brandy, Jamaican Rum, and Sicilian Amaro Casks. The ripe, floral pear notes provide a soft entrance into a whiskey that is adorned with hints of spice and arid citrus derived from the Amaro casks (and also the toasty bourbon itself). This mélange of flavor is framed by the tropical sweetness found in rum finished whiskeys. Armida is a journey for the palate: from a brisk northern orchard to an ancient island, it ends up exactly where we intended, with an immensely complex and satisfying whiskey.
Appearance: Bright gold with a pale rim.
Nose: Opens with creamy and sweet notes of carrot cake, dulce de leche, and chestnut honey. The pear brandy’s influence inflects the core aroma, with poached pear leading blackberry and dried lime peel. Shimmering at the edges are countless herbs and dusty spices. Notes familiar to Sicilian amari, such as fennel seed, aniseed, nutmeg, and cacao are there. As Sicily was once part of the Duchy of Savoy licorice, wormwood and chamomile are encountered here, in Savoy’s tradition of genepy and absinthe.
Palate: Lush sweetness is kept in check by some sandy tannin and high strength. Here, the rum takes center stage, with blackstrap molasses, sambuca, and olive brine arriving first. The rich dark character builds with date and chipotle leading into pipe tobacco and walnut. The amaro is never far behind, exhibiting licorice root, gentian, green cardamom and kola nut.
Finish: Green almond enriches an otherwise dry finish of black tea and slate.
With a few drops of spring water
Even more herbal complexity arises, notably clove, tonka bean, catnip and sassafras. With the heat in check, the full sweetness of the palate reveals maple syrup, candied ginger, and chicory coffee. The finish grows juicier, with bright grenadine fading to juniper berry.
Cocktail Suggestion: Armida Paper Plane Looking for a cocktail that’s super-flavourful, but not too strong for a sunny afternoon? Enter the Paper Plane, a bourbon and amaro-based cocktail with the same laid-back, breezy spirit as a perfectly lofted paper plane.
While it tastes like a classic, the Paper Plane was actually invented in 2007 by New York bartender Sam Ross. (He’s also responsible for another modern classic, the Penicillin.) In addition to being delicious, it’s also an easy cocktail recipe to remember, since each of its four major ingredients—whiskey, Amaro Nonino, Aperol, and lemon juice—are used in equal parts.
Our riff on this refreshing yet complex cocktail features Barrell Armida, our blend of bourbons finished in pear brandy, rum, and Sicilian amaro casks. The grapefruit and lemon riff on the whiskey’s fruity tones contributed by the pear brandy casks, while the gently bitter, citrusy flavors of Amaro Nonino and Aperol pair beautifully with the spicy notes of the bourbon, rum, and Sicilian amaro.
Recipe by mixologist Nic Christiansen, Single Barrel Program Manager and Assistant Blender at Barrell Craft Spirits
● ¾ oz Barrell Armida
● ¾ oz Amaro Nonino
● ¾ oz Aperol
● ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
● Strip of grapefruit zest, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin. Add ice and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a grapefruit peel.