One of the best cherry liqueurs out there. Will ruin you for the others out there.
Note: This liqueur is made from a blend of three different cherries from bitter to sweet along with sugar from sugar beets from Normandy and pure alcohol from Paris along with some elderberry juice to give it some color. It is 100% natural and so it does not use cheap bulk ethanol, artificial colorants, corn syrup,and chemical flavors like some (O. K., most) of its competitors to produce some of those god awful cherry cough syrup flavored abortions they try to pass off on the unsuspecting public, especially in this country.
Established in 1834, the Combier distillery is the oldest active distillery in the Loire Valley area. Designed by Gustav Eiffel and using the same antique copper pot stills – which add complexity, nuance and depth to their products – unlike the column still used for most bulk liqueur production. Hand-crafted from select natural ingredients and about as natural as one can get with a liqueur.
Appearance: Bright, clear, color is very similar to a aged port red going to tan/tawny. Not overly thick-bodied like many liqueurs and pristine in appearance – a cherry liqueur that does not resort to a some unnatural fluorescent color. On swirling, leaves a tenacious oily even coat on the glass with long legs developing.
First Impression: Intensely cherry including the skin oils, a nicely done blend of different types of cherries – the smell and nuances of real cherries cannot be mistaken. Bouquet is both aromatic and deep at the same time, a wonderful blend of scents across a spectrum.
Taste: Nicely rich mouthfeel, with a slight nips at the sides of the tongue from oils and alcohols a slight tangs and fleeting bitter notes mixing with sweet. Elderberry and spices also help round out and add to the complexity.
Drinks: Hundreds of them potentially – there are many cocktails calling for cherries but in different forms and level of sweetness (from dry Maraschino, Kirsch, Eau de Vie, to sweet Cherry Heering. We concentrated on some of the classics such as an Aviation, Last Word, and Blood and Sand.
In an Aviation it changed the normally hazy clear drink to pink and was a good bit sweeter, the last word sweeter and a bit muddled color rather than celadon green and not as spare, Blood and Sand a bit lighter colored than normal and slightly drier – remarkably like a Manhattan with a splash of fruit cider..
Bottle: Frosted glass, simple labels and graphics. Neck foil/cap is pewter / silver with red and black lettering.
Final Thoughts: Beats many of the cherry-flavored competition hands down. If you are serious about using quality ingredients you need a bottle of Combier for you bar – and really it’s not that expensive. Take a look at our Cocktail Math tables on difference between using cheap crap vs. quality ingredients.
Also good in cooking -sauces, glazes, or on ice cream. Sinful in or on a chocolate cake. Try it in your mineral water for the for a adult alternative to soda (in Sweden this would be called Safft using lingonberry syrup).
or the original company website http://www.combier.fr/anglais/default.htm to see even more products.
American Site: Good information, drinks section,drinks competition and ordering instructions.
French Site: Much more information and products – amusing jazz loop too.