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Darker, heavier, and richer than the original Cynar, this 70 proof release is definitely a high octane version! Although many of the defining characteristics of Cynar remain, this is quite a different experience, starting with the nose, which is spicy and expressive with cinchona bark-driven bitterness, black pepper, dried orange peel, and rhubarb root. The signature sweet caramel core is still there, but with deeper, earthier bass notes this time around, joined by delicate dried orange peel before transitioning to a peppery mid-palate. Cynar takes its name from cynarin, a compound found in artichokes, and the bitter vegetal property in the midpalate indeed evokes a bitter artichoke leaf. The finish is long and spicy, carrying through the bitterness while deftly balancing it with caramel sweetness that adds depth and complexity. Great mixed with seltzer or as a swap for Fernet Branca.