The nights are drawing in, the leaves are turning bronze. It can only mean one thing, Autumn is here. It’s my favourite time of year, not necessarily because it’s my birthday, but because… well I just love it. There’s just something warming about sipping a delicious, warming, premium tipple on a chilly evening and that’s what this blog post is all about, sharing with you the must haves for this Autumn.
Storywood Tequila Speyside 14 40% ABV To broaden ones horizons is to expand ones knowledge and acceptance of new experiences. Storywood Tequila Speyside 14 – will broaden your horizons. Born in Mexico and raised in Scotch whisky barrels, this majestic Añejo is a two-sided tequila. Within every amber sip hides notes of toasted oak, roasted nuts and treacle toffee. Harvested from the lowland region of Jalisco and combined with the natural spring water from Volcan de Tequila, that cascades down from the mountains. Like a mash up of your two favourite songs – this spirit juxtaposes Mexico and Scotland in a dram that will leave you wondering why no one did this already. Drink neat, on ice – or try in an Old Fashioned for a moment of Mexico, and the nostalgia of a cold Scottish loch.
Masters of Malt – £56
Tequila 1800 Silver 38% ABV Having just finished Queen of The South (Netflix), I’ve strangely warmed to tequila as a sipping spirit, on the rocks with a slice of lime of course, and you know what… it’s definitely my new way forward. 1800® Silver is in fact the best selling 100% agave premium tequila and it’s clear to see why when you take in its clean and balanced flavour has hints of sweet prune and roasted pepper. 1800® Silver is double-distilled with a special selection of blended white tequilas adding delicious complexity and character.
Tesco – £30
El Rayo Plato Tequila 40% ABV If you’re tiring of GnT, you may want to try a TnT! No, we’re not trying to ‘blow’ your minds (excuse the pun), but rather open it to what is a unique, if not more refreshing way to enjoy a delicious long drink with tonic. But first, the elephant in the room here, El Rayo Plato Tequila has to be one of the most stylish bottles on the market, with its Art Deco appeal, it oozes class and sophistication, and that’s before you even get inside it! Open it up and you’ll get notes of pepper, pineapple and flowers, which breaks the mould of tequila as we’ve been conditioned to expect it. As recommended, we teamed with a premium tonic and a slice of grapefruit and WOW… smooth, balanced, delicious. Nothing more to say apart from try it for yourself folks, you won’t be sorry.
Direct from El Rayo – £40
Black Fire Tequila Liqueur 33% ABV
Black Fire Tequila liqueur is a Coffee-flavoured spirit that combines the punch of an after-dinner espresso with a digestif. If you’re seeking a safe coffee flavoured liqueur this is not for you – take a walk on the wildside and enjoy the Black Fire enigmatic flavour profile of coffee, chilli, vanilla and agave. Only for the brave it must first be tried straight and then experimented with. It adds a whole other flavour profile to an Espresso Martini – with the vibrance of the chilli adding to the tequila and joining together to leave you wanting more of this unique creation. This spirit is comforting and created using cold maceration and all natural extracts, which are employed to give a clean overall character. Finally the bottle is a site to behold with the aesthetics of a fantastical alchemy lab from a wizards quarters. It is also vegan-friendly.
Master of Malt £20.95
Cut To The Smoke Rum 40% ABV Long time fans of smoked spirits and peaty whiskys – we were ecstatic when we were made aware of Cut To The Smoke Rum, by Cut Rum. The first smoked Rum in the UK! With strong smoked flavour, hints of tobacco and early morning coffee – we fell in love with this down and dirty number – clearly designed for long term Rum connoisseurs looking for their next fix. Not only does this sip well on its own, but is an incredible component to your favourite Rum based cocktail – try a ‘Smoke Storm’ Cut to the Smoke Rum, Ginger Ale, Bitters and a slice of Lime. Delightful. Using American oak chips in their smoking method, the flavours combine to create a complex flavour and one of a kind, trendsetting Rum.
Masters of Malt – £26
Jack Ratt Lugger Rum 40% ABV The first thing that stands out about award winning Lugger Rum is the totally unique bottle. Before we knew it we’d been discussing its quirkiness for 10 mins before getting around to trialling its contents! Produced by Lyme Bay Winery in Devon, this is made with Caribbean rum aged in bourbon barrels and spiced with nutmeg, orange peel, clove and vanilla. On the tongue expect honey and caramel, with underlying banana. The subtle taste of vanilla together with the rich taste of the bourbon casks just makes it so/too easy to drink. This is a BIG RUM in our books! There’s some interesting history here too… the name comes from Jack Rattenbury, a notorious smuggler in the west of England, and the type of fishing boat he would use to smuggle his contraband.
Master Of Malt – £35.95
Black Tot Finest Caribbean 46.2% ABV This is a funky little number bottled at 46.2% ABV by Elixir Distillers. Black Tot Finest Caribbean is in fact a blend of rums from Guyana, Barbados and Jamaica. On the nose, this is deep and punchy with a sweetened finish – pineapples, bananas and syrup. On the palette expect butter toffee, banana cream, apples and a dark chocolate. To finish, think mocha and roasted bananas. Light the fire, pour yourself a Black Tot over ice, find your favourite chair, close our eyes and instantly transport to very happy times in the Caribbean. To sum up… we like this, perhaps a little too much!
The Whisky Exchange – £40
Cranes Cranberry Gin ABV 37.5% Handcrafted in Cambridgeshire in small batches, Cranes Cranberry Gin uses only natural ingredients and a whole new dimension to a ‘fresh GnT. It’s smooth, fruity and delightfully sharp as you’d expect with a cranberry drink. Couple it with a premium Indian tonic and you’ll immediately pick out the junipers followed by the fruity notes of the cranberry. If you like a dry finish then this should be on your wish list. The beautifully crimson liquid itself with its amazing tones will brighten up any drinks cabinet or bar too!
Amazon – £27
Warners Pink Berry & Double Juniper Non-Alcoholic Gin 0% ABV Non alcoholic gin is gaining in popularity. Hailing from the highly regarded Warner’s distillery in Northamptonshire, we trialled both the Pink Berry and Juniper Double Dry and have to say, both left a rather positive impression. With zero alcohol content, it may not be to all gin drinkers tastes, but once you taste it, you realise that it absolutely earns its place in the drinks cabinet. It’s all about the botanicals here, with the added bonus that you can drink as much as you like and forget about the potential for headaches! Pink Berry notes – fragrant & tangy, combining raspberries and blackcurrant sage with a kick from chilli, ginger and Szechuan pepper. Juniper Double Dry – herby juniper, with woody cinnamon and fragrant, zesty citrus, along with waves of cardamom spice. For the perfect serve: pour 50ml 0% Warners gin into a glass with ice and top up with 35ml of premium Mediterranean tonic water. Garnish with a slice of fresh orange and a slice of fresh ginger for a wonderfully refreshing non-alcoholic yet fully grown up drink.
Virgin Wines – £20
anCnoc Peatheart 46% ABV anCnoc Peatheart is true to its name. Peatiness can be controlled by the amount of peat burnt and the humidity of the barley. Peat smoke produces chemicals called phenols and it is by its phenol content that a whisky’s ‘peatiness’ can be measured. This phenol content is expressed as PPM (parts per million) and to ensure consistency, Peatheart uses barley, specified by the anCnoc Master Blender, malted to 40PPM. Cut by hand using traditional tools, peat is an essential part of the north and west Scottish uplands. This distillery celebrates its heritage in its Whisky. On the nose, the dram gives an initial smoky burst which gives-way to fruitiness. Then pears, citrus and notes of apple with just a touch of tobacco in the background. On the tongue you are presented with smoke laced with leather and sweet stewed apples with a very subtle hint of chocolate. There is simply no other way to enjoy this phenomenal dram than on its own, in your favourite glass.
LIQUEURS AND WILDCARDS
Conkers Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur 25% ABV Coffee lovers look no further – this is a Coffee liqueur, but not as you know it. A tribute to the dramatic jammy fruitiness of a Grade 1 natural coffee, precisely roasted to deliver a bold coffee with liquorice and cocoa, whilst enhancing natural vanillas and hints of stoned fruits and caramel. This dram is a dream for caffeine addicts seeking a more complicated liqueur that is the night, to their day. On the nose it is mellow and malty with a classical earthy tonality you would expect, but on the tongue it hits with a dark chocolate, malty flavour with a hint of ripe berries – finishing with a caramel and coffee. Even better, it is available in decaf, so it won’t keep you up at night.
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