Brands

Never Never Shows Us The Dark Side Of Amaro

Australia’s Never Never Distillery, in collaboration with renowned cocktail bar Black Pearl have created an Amaro like no other

By: Tiff Christie|October 3,2019

The boys at Australian distillery Never Never have weaved their magic yet again with the release of the world’s first roasted juniper amaro.

Released as part of the brand’s Dark Series, the expression was created in collaboration with acclaimed Melbourne cocktail bar, Black Pearl.

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The creation of the Black Juniper Amaro has been a ‘labour of love’ for the South Australian distillery, taking over a year of research and liquid development. The distillery worked hand-in-hand with the bar to create a unique twist on an alpine amaro style.

“It’s been a pleasure working with the Black Pearl team,” commented Never Never Brand Director, Sean Baxter. “From the outset, their innate understanding of balance has enabled us to create a complex and unique amaro offering.”

Tash Conte, owner of the Black Pearl and industry icon, loved watching the product come together between the two teams. “When you get to work with old friends that you love and believe in, it’s something that doesn’t happen too often. but when it does, and it tastes this bloody good, Sean, George and Tim are truly inspiring”.

The amaro combines three different juniper components: roasted juniper, spent basket juniper from the Never Never gin production run, and fresh juniper, all steeped in neutral spirit and then hand-pressed using a hydro press to extract maximum flavour.

“We wanted to make something versatile yet delicious,” Baxter continued. “We all collectively love the alpine amaro style; it’s a style that offers so much in terms of creative direction and ingredient selection.”

For those unfamiliar with Alpine Amaros, they tend to be driven by herbaceous, root flavours in comparison to their southern counterparts which focus more on citrus.

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By using Juniper as the heart of the Amaro, Never Never has created an unique flavour direction that adds depth and complexity with the primary components of bitterness, sweetness, pine and menthol character.

“It was such an incredible discovery when Tim first gave us a sample of the roasted juniper component, and it reminded me of the rich earthiness of freshly roasted coffee,” Baxter continued.

The amaro combines three different juniper components: roasted juniper, spent basket juniper from the Never Never gin production run, and fresh juniper, all steeped in neutral spirit and then hand-pressed using a hydro press to extract maximum flavour.

Black Pearl team members Shay Chamberlain and Matt Linklater travelled to Adelaide to assist with the creation, where spent juniper from the Never Never gin production was used. As well as the natural bitterness that comes through the roasting process, additional bittering agents such as wormwood, gentian and quinine were also used.

“Each ingredient has been selected not only for flavour but for their digestif properties,” says Head Distiller Tim Boast. “It makes it perfectly suited to the after-dinner occasion, mixed with cola or in a cocktail,” Boast continues.

The creation of the amaro rounds out a massive year for the Never Never team, who recently took out World’s Best Classic Gin at the start of the year and are halfway through their new distillery build in McLaren Vale.

“When we started our little distillery, we wanted to always involve our friends and peers in the creative process,” says Baxter, “this is why the Dark Series was created, to enable us a place to be able to experiment.”

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“The Dark Series has always been full of exciting production processes and quirky flavour combinations,” says Baxter. “More importantly, it’s a place where we can grow as a company, trialling new products and innovating constantly.”

Tim Boast, Head Distiller at Never Never, feels that innovation is a crucial part of the Never Never story.

“Brands that refuse to innovate will quickly be overtaken in this super-competitive market,” Boast says. “For us, juniper isn’t just a flavour that works in gin; it works across so many different formats.”

The Black Juniper Amaro is the fifth Dark Series to be released by the Never Never Distilling Co and is their first amaro product.

Tasting notes

Colour: Cold brew, dark amber, burnt chestnut, stout.

Nose: Roasted juniper, brulee, dark toffee, toasted pine.

Palate: Sweet, waxy, juniper extending into wooded alpine bitterness. Coffee and menthol combine with black cardamom.

Finish: Rounded bitterness with a full mouth feel.

For more information visit neverneverdistilling.com.au

Black Rock

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Ingredients

45mls (1.5oz) Black Juniper Amaro

Instructions

Add a large block of ice to a glass, then pour over the Black Juniper Amaro, then garnish with Orange.

Black Adder

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Ingredients

45mls (1.5oz) Black Juniper Amaro

120mls (4oz) Cola

Instructions

Add a block of ice to a highball glass, then add Black Juniper Amaro and Cola.

Ragazzino

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Ingredients

45mls Triple Juniper Gin

30mls Sweet vermouth

15mls Black Juniper Amaro

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir to combine. Pour over a block of ice and garnish with an Orange Twist.

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Never Never Shows Us The Dark Side Of Amaro

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