Here are my notes:
100/15/1 Wondrich Mix
Aroma: Heat, Ethanol, Cardamom (from the Angostura), Bitter Orange Peel
Flavor: Syrupy, burnt orange. Glycerin-like artificial smoothness at first, but finishes with a sharpness from the rectified spirit. The Angostura Orange flavors (which I most associate with subcontinental spices) dominate.
The Violet Hour Picon Mix
Aroma: Dried Seville orange, marmalade-like. Reminiscent of Amaro Nonino.
Flavor: Lighter. More subtly bitter, but mouth-coating and lingering, evokes Gran Classico. No burned/cooked/caramel flavors.
Aroma: Suze...gentian, gentian, gentian, burnt orange. (Here, I stopped to wonder if Crêpe Suzette might have originally been made with Suze?)
Flavor: Gentian bitterness, orange sweetness. A smooth, caramelized finish. Pretty inoffensive, not particularly interesting.
Vintage Amer Picon
Aroma: Brandy-soaked fruitcake? A bit musty. Clearly higher proof than the last two.
Flavor: Clean/angular, burnt bitterness. Orange only appears in the aftertaste, but the finish is ridiculously long. The orange note is more Campari-like than any of the others. There's a sweetness to it, and some hogo or something very similar...reminds me of the lower-proof Inner Circle rums (blue/red dot), though this could just be the age of the bottle and/or whatever bleached the label showing through.
I'm left with the impression that the original started with fruit-based distillate, likely grape, not neutral spirit. In playing around with trying to recreate the flavor, I mixed up a blend of Amaro CioCiaro, Louis Royer Force 53, and Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao (2:1:1)...it wasn't all that close. Swapping the Force 53 for Lemon Hart 151 and adding a couple drops of Ango Orange felt like I was getting closer. That said, I'm not sold on the integrity of my original sample. I have another sealed bottle and will have to do a side-by-side once the first starts to get low.
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.
DeVoto, The Hour