Spirited Reviews September 2016

Words by Simon Difford

Spirited Reviews September 2016 image 1

The following are new products we've received and other products reviewed during September 2016. Products are listed according to their Difford’s Guide rating.

Please click on product names for full tasting notes and further information.

Difford's Guide rating 5+/5 [outstanding]

Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto
Superbly balanced and complex with zesty, herbal, bitterness and honeyed sweet notes harmoniously complementing each other, garnished with a floral bouquet.

Difford's Guide rating 5/5 [exceptional]

Jägermeister Spice
This German take on a spiced amaro has flavours of allspice, cinnamon, ginger biscuit and light black pepper spice. Consider using in a cocktail in place of Allspice Dram.

Difford's Guide rating 4.5/5 [excellent]

Bimber London Dry Gin
Classic 'London dry' in style with invigorating nutmeg and peppery spice. Pleasing subtle parma violet floral notes.

Angostura 1787 Trinidadian Rum
Very fruity and quite sweet with vanilla fudge, passion fruit, warming spice and faint funkiness.

Wight Mermaids Gin
Refreshingly clean, lightly spicy and hop influenced. An invigorating gin.

Williams Chase Great British Extra Dry Gin
Classic London dry gin in style with cleansing black pepper spice.

Badger Firkin Fox
Very quaffable with a cleansing citrusy hops that while bitter and not overly so, in perfect kilter with fruit bready malt.

Bimber Blackcurrant Infused Vodka
Like us, those of you brought up on Ribena and with a love of cassis with appreciate this dry spirituous take on the theme.

Bimber Summer Fruit Infused Vodka
Rich black and red berry fruit perfectly balanced with berry acidity, peppery spirituous spice and black tea-like tannins. Add sugar to taste!

Bimber Cherry Infused Vodka
Intensely flavoured and very slightly sweet. Ripe black cherry and black tea leaves with light black pepper spice. Not to be confused with lesser sweet cherry vodkas. This is very much a spirit rather than a liqueur.

Bimber Blackberry Infused Vodka
Dry black tea tannins, rich blackberry fruit and light black pepper spice characterise this adult take on a blackberry flavoured vodka.

Difford's Guide rating 4/5 [recommended]

Willem Barentsz Premium Gin
Jasmine blossom distinguishes this otherwise botanically classic London dry gin. Indeed, it would be fair to describe Willem Barentsz as a jasmine flavoured London dry gin - so much so that it could perhaps benefit from the jasmine being dialled back.

Kingsbarns New Make Spirit Drink
Perhaps not a malt you'd buy to drink neat but Kingsbarns New Make Spirit offers an exciting early glimpse of what the future whiskies produced by this new Lowland distillery might be like, and it is an interesting base for cocktails.

Garden Tiger Dry Gin
Some will love this intensely flavoured gin while others will find the spice notes overly dominant. However, we admire Barney's [the distiller) desire to make something other than another London dry gin with a subtle twist.

Timothy Taylor's Boltmaker
Pronounced pine bitterness (perhaps a tad overly so) with malty caramel and citrus.

Frey Ranch Gin
Intense cardamom with attractive juniper with notes of both pine and overripe banana.

Marqués de Riscal Gran Reserva 2006
Rich red berry fruit, dry tannins, toasty oak and enlivening black pepper spice presented in a full-bodied red with a long dry finish. Needs to be accompanied by food and will stand up to bold flavoured dishes.

Rock Sea Vodka
It's hard to fault this very clean and neutral vodka that is made more distinctive by faint sea salt notes.

Kingscote Cuvée Christen Brut
Zesty lemon, rich honeyed pastry and apple crumble with stewed rhubarb.

San Matias Gran Reserva Añejo Tequila
Lightly spicy with pronounced varnished oak, vanilla, caramel and dried grass.

Bimber Oak Aged Vodka
A vodka prepared in a manner similar to that of spiced rum, but without the sugar and much more about the wood than the added spice. Dry and lightly spicy with attractive woodiness and buttery vanilla.

Difford's Guide rating 3.5/5 [commended]

Modha True Maharaja Premium Cardamom Beer
Light bodied with grassy hops and mild cardamom spice.

Difford's Guide rating 3/5 [mediocre]

Difford's Guide rating 2.5/5 [disappointing]

Difford's Guide rating 2/5 [pretty awful]

Difford's Guide rating 1.5/5 [shameful]

Difford's Guide rating 1.5/5 [disgusting]

Products reviewed in August 2016