Spirited Reviews June 2015

Words by Simon Difford

The following are new products we've received and other products reviewed during May-June 2015. Products are listed according to the diffordsguide rating awarded to them. Please click on product names for tasting notes and further information.

diffordsguide rating 5+/5 [outstanding]

Fortaleza Añejo 100% agave tequila
Rich caramel and butterscotch roasted agave with dry spicy oak and cinnamon spice. A fabulous Añejo showing its extended aging period.

BarSol Supremo Mosto Verde Italia pisco
Wonderfully aromatic with natural sweetness, floral and fresh fruity notes. Try a Pisco Punch with this.

Martini Riserva Speciale Ambrato Vermouth di Torino
A dry, floral and honeyed vermouth with intense flavours.

Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino Vermouth di Torino
Full-bodied, rich, bittersweet and very fruity with woody and herbal complexity.

diffordsguide rating 5/5 [exceptional]

Clynelish 14 year old Highland single malt scotch whisky
Waxy on the nose and fabulously fruity on the palate with elegant salty clove spice. Well-balanced with something of an island style, Clynelish 14 takes water well and is great value for money.

Compass Box Hedonism Quindecimus blended grain whisky
Vanilla fudge, clove, coconut and tropical fruit. Proof of how good gran whiskies can be.

Gancia L'Originale Bianco Vermouth
Sweet and honeyed with zesty lemon, ginger and cinnamon. Hints of fresh bay leaf.

BarSol Primero Quebranta pisco
This pisco makes a great Pisco Sour. Hay, green grapes and biscuit with pear and faint raspberry jam.
R/ 5/5

BarSol Selecto Acholado pisco
Blackcurrant, blackberry and fresh grapes with mild black pepper spice and hints honeysuckle and chocolate. Superbly clean throughout.
R/ 5/5

Amaro Di Angostura liqueur
Spicier than your average amaro. Subtle chilli heat along with spearmint-like freshness and zesty orange make this a cleansing after dinner digestive served over ice.

Ogilvy Scottish Potato Vodka
Creamy mouthfeel and grassy with nutty fudge.

diffordsguide rating 4.5/5 [excellent]

Berrys' Caroni 1997 bottled 2015 aged 17 years Caribbean rum
Pungent, full-bodied and characterful. Tar, light bonfire smoke and dry spicy cinnamon oak is mellowed by vanilla custard, floral notes and dark chocolate.

BarSol Perfecto Amor
A wonderfully fruity aperitif with plump sultana fruit and mild pepper and cinnamon spice. Reminiscent of pineau de charente.

BarSol Supremo Mosto Verde Quebranta Pisco
Intense ripe pear and blueberry with peppery spice.

Barsol Supremo Mosto Verde Torontel Pisco
Red berry jammy fruit, red grape must, lemongrass, floral and herbal notes with cleansing black pepper spice.

BarSol Selecto Italia Pisco
Incredibly aromatic and floral with honeysuckle blossom and rose petal. Red berry fruit and enlivening black pepper spice. Fabulous in cocktails.

BarSol Selecto Torontel pisco
Fruity, aromatic and complex with floral notes and a faintly oily mouthfeel.

Compass Box Peat Monster Cask Strength Magnum
To quote Compass Box, "Yes, it's big. Yes, it's peaty. Yes, it's smoky. But this is far from a one-dimensional monster."

And Union Friday Über American IPA
The label states "not for woosies" but is should say 'not for lovers of bland beer'. Brown bready maltiness with well-judged hop bitterness, peppery spice, zesty fruit and dungy notes (in an attractive way).

Gancia Americano Aperitivo Italiano
Sweeter and fruitier than Campari, punchier and drier than Aperol. Gancia Americano balances honeyed red berry fruit with herbaceous gentian bitterness and zesty citrus.

Chase Eureka Citrus Gin
As the name and label promises this is an incredibly citrusy gin. It is also superbly clean with mild juniper being more eucalyptus than Christmas tree.

Ledaig Dusgadh 1972 aged 42 years
Smoked pencil shavings, salty chocolate and vanilla fudge. Very smoky for its age.

Sauvelle Crafted French Vodka
The tall slender gloss black bottle with its embossed gold detailing certainly looks luxurious and the brand's black and white images of crafts people are suitably edgy. As for the vodka, cracked black pepper dominates, masking subtle vanilla and toasty notes. We liked the creamy mouthfeel.

Casamigos Reposado tequila
George Clooney lends celebrity endorsement to this very sippable but heavily caramel influenced repo.

Bhai apple cider
Faintly sweet but with perfect balancing acidity and underlying spice.

Gin Mare Mediterranean
A gin offering genuinely different flavours delivering what the label promises: a Mediterranean gin with olives, thyme, rosemary and basil.

Stovell's Wildcrafted Gin
This low pressure and temperature distilled gin has an interesting nutty character with subdued juniper.

Ardbeg Perpetuum
A rumbustious malt with tar, coal dust, peat smoke and creosote - as you'd expect of Ardbeg, but tamed with honey, pineapple, chocolate and creamy custard.

diffordsguide rating 4/5 [recommended]

Fee Brothers Molasses Bitters
Blackstrap molasses, chicory coffee and cinnamon flavour these punchy, although not so bitter, bitters.

Glenkinchie 12 Year Old Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Malty and honeyed yet light with spicy crème anglaise and chewy dry smoky salty oak.

Gancia Cuvée 24 Mesi Asti D.O.C.G. Metodo Classico
This sweet sparkler is fruity, floral and honeyed.

Crystal Head Vodka
Dry with pronounced cracked black pepper throughout and lingering charcoal.
/beer-wine-spirits/spirits/whiskey/BWS005132/colkegan-malt-whiskey Wheeler's Western Dry Gin
Boldly flavoured. Herbal sage and angelica root feature heavily with comparatively subdued juniper.

Dictador Claro 100 Months Aged Rum
Vanilla and buttery fudge with white chocolate and spice.

diffordsguide rating 3.5/5 [commended]

Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey
Exuberant, spicy and woody.

Carlsberg 0.0% alcohol free lager
While this alcohol free lager is never going to stand up, or even come close to a well lagered pilsner in the flavour stakes, Carlsberg 0.0% may be a lifesaver for nominated drivers. It's a tad bland but it's more flavoursome than water.

The Wild Geese Premium Rum
Fruity and grassy with vanilla fudge, caramel and assertive black pepper spice.

Thomas Henry Mystic Mango Lemonade
More boiled sweets (hard candy) flavoured than of succulent ripe mango.

diffordsguide rating 3/5 [mediocre]

Santa Fe Apple Brandy
Over exuberant youthful oak over dominates this apple brandy.

diffordsguide rating 2.5/5 [disappointing]

diffordsguide rating 2/5 [pretty awful]

diffordsguide rating 1.5/5 [shameful]

diffordsguide rating 1.5/5 [disgusting]

Click here products reviewed in April 2015

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