Aggazzotti Nocino (Walnut) Liqueur Reserva Notte di San Giovanni
40% ABV, 750 ml
"Nocino is Emilia-Romagna's wonderful secret, and the Aggazzotti family has a sacred endowment of 1,400 walnut trees devoted exclusively to their unparalleled Nocino Riserva. On the feast day of San Giovanni (June 24th), the walnuts are picked when they are soft and green. Then they are carefully split and macerated with a neutral spirit in glass demijohns for a year. The demijohns are exposed to sunlight in the Aggazzotti’s open-air aging room, giving the Nocino its distinctive dark, almost black hue. After this year of maceration, the spirit is transferred to stainless tanks and blended with spices, and then aged for another four years before bottling.
Make sure you check that last bit about four years. Nocino has become very au courant these days, but the vast majority are hastily assembled "formulas" without depth, concentration or subtlety of flavor. The reason for these deficiencies is the lesser quality of walnuts and spices used, as well as the quick, mass-process manner of their production. Aggazzotti's Nocino is a true Riserva, with a total of five years necessary to come into being. In that amount of time, other producers will have bottled their Nocinos ten times. They all want to be like Aggazzotti, but on the cheap, and that just can't be done.
So, Aggazzotti's Nocino Riserva is founded upon their remarkable estate-grown walnuts and their painstaking, five-year process, but what about those spices? What are they? Well, that’s a secret preserved by the family since the 1800s, and we are all just going to have to live without knowing. No worries...the living is easy when you have a bottle of Aggazzotti's Nocino Riserva "Notte di San Giovanni" open. It's a hard-to-resist medley of spiked walnut with a savory molten core of raisin and burnt sugar. Besides neat, we love this stirred with a brown spirit in place of a vermouth. It's so good, and there really is nothing else like it."