Amaro Collaboration Announcement
South Australian distillery Never Never Distilling Co. has collaborated with Black Pearl, Fitzroy, to create the world’s first roasted juniper amaro.
Black Juniper Amaro was created using roasted juniper berries that develop a dark, earthy profile when gently toasted, a practice that has not been seen in the amaro category before.
The amaro, created in collaboration with one of Australia’s most prominent bars the Black Pearl, 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,” comments Brand Director of Never Never, Sean Baxter. “From the outset their innate understanding of balance has enabled us to create a complex and unique amaro offering,” Baxter says.
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,” Conte says. “But when it does, and it tastes this bloody good, Sean, George and Tim are truly inspiring”.
“We wanted to make something versatile yet delicious,” Baxter continues. “We all collectively love the alpine amaro style, it’s a style that offers so much in terms of creative direction and ingredient selection.”
“The roasted juniper character that forms the heart of the amaro is such a unique flavour direction, it adds incredible depth and complexity to the final product.”
“It was such an incredible discovery when Tim first gave us a sample of the roasted juniper component, it reminded me of the rich earthiness of fresh roasted coffee,” Baxter says.
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.
By utilising spent juniper from the Never Never gin production, it makes the process entirely unique and intimately connected to the brands juniper story.
The natural bitterness of the amaro is created through the roasting process, however it is supported by the addition of bittering agents such as wormwood, gentian and quinine along with one or two other non-disclosed ingredients.
“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.”
“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.