Last night was the Historic Liqueurs Tasting. The results are as follows:
Best maraschino/marasquin liqueur: Luxardo Maraschino
Others tasted were Maraska Maraschino and Briottet Marasquin. Maraska’s product seemed to the tasters to be poorly distilled, while Briottet’s seemed just too low in proof for the marasca brandy flavor to come through in the liqueur.
Best traditional Curaçao liqueur: Briottet Curaçao Orange Liqueur
Others tasted were Senior Curaçao of Curaçao and Marie Brizard Orange Curaçao. Senior’s product seemed worthy to the tasters, not least for it’s bitterness due to the fact that it is made of the the peel of the Curaçao orange without being mixed with any less-bitter variety. Some would find this product too bitter, even though very sweet. The tasters agreed that Marie Brizard’s product had no detectable bitterness and it was wondered how much Curaçao orange peel was used in the making. Briottet’s product seemed to have the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. Maybe someone at Southern Wine & Spirits will wake up and make this available to us here in the Los Angeles area.
Best Triple-sec Curaçao liqueur: Grand Marnier Cordon Jaune
Grand Marnier Cordon Jaune is not to be confused with the more recognizable Cordon Rouge (orange-flavored brandy liqueur). Others tasted were Luxardo Triplum, Joseph Cartron Curaçao Triple-sec, Gabriel Boudier Curaçao Triple-sec, Briottet Curaçao Triple-sec, Combier l’Original, and Cointreau original. The Luxardo was favored by the tasters as a higher-quality selection that could be a viable ‘well’ product. Both Gabriel Boudier’s product and that by Briottet were thought by some tasters to be worthy of honorary mention. The biggest let-down was Combier’s product. It seemed that most of the flavor of the orange peel was distilled right out of the product. I felt all along the the top spot would go to either Cointreau or Grand Marnier Cordon Jaune, and it wasn’t immediately clear which was better. All the tasters remarked that Cordon Jaune was obviously distilled very skillfully and that, compared to it, Cointreau carried a slight harshness that was not part of the bitterness of the Curaçao orange peel. The consensus was that Grand Marnier Cordon Jaune was just slightly better than Cointreau original. Maybe someone at Southern Wine & Spirits will wake up and make this one available here in the Los Angeles area, also.