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About Chambord Liqueur
Chambord Liqueur is produced at La Sistiere Château in the Loire Valley region of France. Although this liqueur is modeled after a raspberry liqueur that was popular in the region during the late 1600’s, the Chambord brand was only founded in 1982. It is currently owned by Brown-Forman, an American spirits company.
The production process to make this liqueur involves three over-arching steps. First, the juices are extracted from the blackberries, raspberries, and blackcurrants. These juices then go through a 4-week infusion process where they are mixed together with french spirits.
Step 2 involves a second infusion – this time for two additional weeks to capture more of the flavor. The berries are then gently pressed to release the remainder of the juices.
During step 3, the infusion is blended with additional flavors and spirits, including black raspberry, more raspberry varietals, Madagascan vanilla, Morrocan citrus peel, honey, and XO Cognac. To finish, the flavors are then balanced to ensure quality before bottling.
❖ ABV: 16.5%
❖ Distillery: La Sistiere Château
❖ Aging: N/A
❖ Price Point: Upper Moderate Price
Although Chambord does not list any tasting notes for this liqueur, it is flavored very purposefully with the ingredients below.
My Tasting notes
I began my tasting by picking out the nose notes. During my first whiff, I found that the raspberry notes were heavy and sweet, with a bitter edge to the scent. There was no alcohol bite at all to the aroma – only the distinct raspberry scent. Surprisingly, every sniff offered consistent notes, with no change over time.
I took my first sip, and it was very vanilla-forward. Following the vanilla were the sweet raspberry notes in the finish. After that sip, there was an aftertaste of sugar in both the flavor and mouthfeel. My second sip was similar, except there were additional citrus notes that began to waft up my nose as I sipped. Overall, the mouthfeel is slightly thick – and through this texture, I began to pick out the notes of honey. I found the marriage of the flavors to be very nice. Even though all the individual notes were identifiable, they blended together nicely into one larger flavor.
Overall, I enjoyed my straight tasting experience, and any folks with a sweet tooth will enjoying drinking it this way.
For my cocktail, I wanted to try one of the recipes from the official Chambord website. This Chapter 8 cocktail really caught my eye due to the unusual combination of grapefruit juice with a more fruity liqueur. I thought it would be a great way to test out this bottle of Chambord. Although the recipe didn’t specify, I shook my drink with ice for a chilled effect.
❖ 1oz Chambord
❖ 1oz Gin
❖ 2oz grapefruit juice
❖ 1oz lemon juice
garnish: sage leaves
- Combine the Chambord, Gin, and grapefruit juice in a shaker, and shake the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a cocktail glass.
- Garnish with an aromatic sage leaf.
I really enjoyed drinking this cocktail. I thought that the sage leaf garnish offered a nice touch, with the herbal aroma complementing the sweet fruitiness of the drink. Overall, Chapter 8 is very citrus-forward. The flavor of the Chambord is very subtle, but adds a nice depth and hint of fruitiness. Even though I couldn’t pick out the notes of the liqueur here, I could tell that it was adding an extra depth to the flavor that would otherwise be lacking. Overall, this cocktail has a nice balance between sweet and tart.
Overall, I would certainly recommend this liqueur, and I think it’s a solid choice for those who enjoy fruity spirits. That said, out of all the liqueurs that I’ve reviewed, Chambord has not been my favorite.
Upon reflection, it’s difficult to pinpoint why this bottle of Chambord didn’t excite me as much as other liqueurs for which I gave 5 stars. Is it the slight bitterness of the regional raspberries? Is it the consistent flavor that didn’t take me on a journey? Can my subconscious taste the fact that the product was bought out by a large corporation, who perhaps don’t cherish it the same way? Who is to say?
At the end of the day, though, this liqueur works really well for a variety of uses, and I can see myself purchasing it again and again. If you have a few extra bucks to splurge on a nice berry liqueur, it’s worth picking up a bottle of Chambord.
As always, drink responsibly.
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