This drink, like a TRUE Manhattan, is a pleasant before dinner drink, and contemplative in nature. But don't be fooled, for while it is a good drink, it is not a Manhattan. Don't, however, let this dissuade you from trying this drink. Buffalo Trace comes through despite the presence of Vya sweet vermouth; the Nocino, however, is hidden, which is too bad. Perhaps a "fat" 1/4 oz" is needed. My only other thought is to try Vya bianco vermouth, to tone down the sweetness. Otherwise, I rated this drink at 3.5.
I used Nux Alpina, Dolin Rouge, along with Massenez Creme de Cassis. This worked very well--surprisingly so, based on the tepid ratings others have given before. Maybe it was due to the specific combination? Potent, with a baked pecan/walnut flavor and nose, currant/raisin notes, and some bitterness throughout. It is more complex than that simple description. I would give this a 4.5 if I could, but since my wife really liked it I'll bump it to a 5.