Spirited Reviews November 2016

  • Spirited Reviews November 2016 image 1

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

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

Producers - If you have sent a sample for reviewing and it is not yet showing on this site, then please bear with us. Travel and other commitments have caused a back log of over 200 products. We hope to catch up during December.

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

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé 2006 Champagne
The suggests a light berry rich champagne but the palate is incredibly full-bodied, dry and complex.

Campari Negroni Ricetta Originale
Your mixing days are over - simply pour over ice, add a slice of orange or swathe of orange zest, luxuriate and savour.

Cherry Rocher Génépi
Beautifully balanced and fabulously complex with herbal and floral grassy genépi, honeyed richness and light freshening spice.

Vermouth La Copa by González Byass
Bittersweet, with jammy raspberry and blueberry fruit richness, and sweet vanilla balanced by fruit tannins and herbal rootiness.

Difford's Guide rating 5/5 [exceptional]

Vermouth del Professore 2015 Vintage Antica Ricetta Vermouth
Bittersweet with a quinine-like notes, zesty orange, vanilla and enlivening cinnamon and black pepper spice.

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2007 Champagne
Medium to full-bodied with harmoniously married flavours. Toasty and lightly nutty with orchard fruit and refreshing citrusy bite.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Dry, nutty and spicy with a distinctive saltiness. A Rare Breed indeed.

Tarquin The Hopster Limited Edition Dry Gin
Wonderfully clean and juniper forward this Cornish gin is invigorated by a trio of hops.

Difford's Guide rating 4.5/5 [excellent]

anCnoc 35 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Honeyed green apple, vanilla and honey smooth wood smoke and mild spice.

Compass Box Spice Tree Extravaganza Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Spicy - particular clove, with rich vanilla and sherry.

Black Bottle Tea Bitters
Although designed to enhance cocktails made with Black Bottle Scotch whisky these versatile bitters are great used not only with other whiskies and dark spirts in general, but also worked well when we tested them in both gin and vodka based cocktails. Predominantly Lapsang Souchong in flavour, these bitters are a welcome addition to the enormous range of bitters available and are the first tea bitters we have come across.

Arquebuse de l'Hermitage
Dry, herbal and incredibly complex. Reminiscent of Green Chartreuse without added sugar.

Brighton Gin
Juniper led and classically London dry in style, Brighton Gin is as wonderfully traditional and English as the seaside town where it's made.

Difford's Guide rating 4/5 [recommended]

Highland Park Fire Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Dry, spicy and lightly smoky - a tad on the overly woody side

Whitstable Bay Red IPA
Zesty orange oils dominate this dark toasty IPA.

Blackdown Silver Birch Vodka
Spicy - white and black pepper this Silver Birch Vodka has attractive piney nuttiness. Sadly bottled at a mere 37.5% alc./vol..

Strane Oaked Gin
This powerful aged gin has attractive zesty citrus and smoky notes.

Difford's Guide rating 3.5/5 [commended]

Blue Bottle Dry Gin
Spicy with pronounced black pepper and nutmeg. That spice, coupled with the high 47% alc./vol., means this gin is more suited to G&Ts than cocktails.

Difford's Guide rating 3/5 [mediocre]

Asterley Bros. Dispense Modern British Amaro
Amaro may mean 'bitter', but dependent on batch, this particular example may be overly so. Even the better of our two samples was a tad too bitter and suited to mixing rather than being enjoyed neat on-the-rocks as is traditional of an Italian amaro.

Products reviewed in October 2016

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