Tag Archives: Germany

Azteca Tequila Blanco, 38%

Tequila is booming – at least according to a Spirits Business article here – and I’m enjoying the rise of this tasty distilled Mexican beverage.

Especially when it appears in my local Lidl.

Lidl keeps abreast of drinks trends & their own label spirits range is worth exploring – so much so they won Icons Of Whisky Own Brand Supermarket of the year at the 2022 World Whiskies Awards!

Impressive!

So how does their Azteca Tequila Blanco fare?

A welcome earthy agave nose.

Smooth & oily mouthfeel.

The rich agave notes return on the rear with a soft dry peppery spice livening up this very well balanced tequila.

Azteca satisfies my tequila tendencies!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Galway Bay, Counting Off The Days, Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, 13.6%

Well I was in Galway – the county at least.

And I did have a couple of Galway Bay beers to share.

So the evening started off with an enjoyable dark lager – Tmavy Lezak at 5% – which is always a favourite style of mine.

Having first encountered a black lager at a shopping centre in Potsdam, Germany – visually appearing as stout yet tasting like a slightly burnt fresh lager gave an entertaining experience – I seek out these enjoyable beers & Galway Bay’s offering didn’t disappoint.

The main event however was a stonking 13.6% Barrel Aged Imperial Stout by the name of Counting Off The Days.

Rich dark & chocolatey – & that’s just the nose!

The palate was so rich & dense with flavour you could chew on it.

Yet there was a lively fresh vanilla from the barrel ageing too.

Top stuff!

We had a whiskey chaser on standby for afterwards – but I’m afraid Counting Off The Days counted us out & we were unable for additional alcohol.

One to drink & enjoy with friends.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Galway Bay Brewery website here.

Stork Club Straight Rye, 45%, Germany, v’s Balcones Rye, 50%, Texas

Some blogs sink without trace – while others gather a bit of traction.

There’s little advance knowledge as to what will – or won’t – capture attention beforehand & it’s often the unexpected that gets results.

Old Grand-Dad was one of them.

Living up to it’s ‘cult’ status a fellow whiskey fan expressed interest in sample swaps.

As I’m sitting on close to 100 opened bottles that will damage my health if I drank the lot – I’m still damaging my wallet by eagerly seeking the next flavour adventure.

My cupboard is always open for exchanges so Old Grand-Dad went one way & a couple of ryes came mine.

2 rye c/othewhiskeynut

I was very pleasantly surprised by the package!

c/oStork Club Distillery

Stork Club Straight Rye, 45%, Germany

My previous encounter with this distillery was back in 2015 when I came across their rather enticingly labelled Sloupisti Single Malt.

Sloupisti Single Malt c/o deutsche-whiskys.de

Sloupisti has undergone both an ownership & rebranding exercise since – resulting in the Stork Club Rye before me.

The nose exuded an earthy, almost farmhouse style of rye.

A very grounded feel to the palate. Rich & vegetal, powerful yet smooth.

A signature dry rye spice finished of proceedings – undoubtedly boosted by the 45% ABV.

Stork Rye c/othewhiskeynut

Using German grown rye & partially aged in German Oak has brought out a rather unique taste of locality & place.

Very enjoyable.

c/oBalcones

Balcones Rye, 50%, Texas

Balcones also briefly entered my sphere with an entertaining sample of their Single Malt Whiskey.

c/oBalcones

This Texas Rye initially offers up a more traditional nose of sweet vanilla & dark caramels.

A rich earthiness – not normally found in US rye – began to make it’s presence felt in a very attractive & enticing way.

For 50% I found Balcones Rye to be full of flavour with a rich warm spiciness on the finish wrapped up with a hint of tobacco too!

Dry yet lip smacking all at the same time.

Using Texas grown rye – along with crystal, chocolate & toasted rye in the mashbill – a melange of unexpected & highly engaging flavours were experienced.

Balcones Rye c/othewhiskeynut

Thoughts

Both these ryes are a delight.

Using mashbills & ingredients not normally encountered elsewhere the range of flavours are boosted adding a richness of depth & complexity I found very alluring.

Both push the rye category forward in new & exciting ways.

Suits me!

Sláinte

Cut To The Smoke vs Pott 40, Rums, 40%

Continuing my miniature rum exploration are 2 previously unknown offerings.

Cut To The Smoke c/othewhiskeynut

Cut To The Smoke, 40%

Cut Rum are distributed by ProofDrinks in the UK & To The Smoke claims to be the first smokey rum on the market.

I had to give it a go!

Rich dark brown appearance. Burnt toffee kind of nose. Enticing!

Soft, easy & smooth. Develops a lovely umami meatiness – like a honey glazed roast topped with spicy seasoning.

An entertaining little number!

Pott 40 c/othewhiskeynut

Pott Rum 40, 40%

Pott Rum 40 has German writing on the label & I’m assuming originates from a ‘rumhandelshaus’ there.

Lighter shade of brown. Soft hint of funk.

A luxurious mouth coating envelops the palate in dark molassey depth topped off with gentle spice & fruity funk.

Nice!

Tasty duo c/othewhiskeynut

This duo are exemplars for the world trade in rum.

You may not know the distillery of origin, country or even marks used in the make up of these rums – but goodness – they are both highly enjoyable drinking experiences.

I’d gladly explore other offerings from both the Cut & Pott Rum ranges!

Sláinte

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, Märzen, 5.1%

I’m smitten with Märzen.

Smoky heaven c/othewhiskeynut

The smoky BBQ flavours just win me over.

Using barley dried over a beechwood log fire – the richness, depth & above all – smokiness – of this traditional German style screams out YES to my palate.

Smokebeer! c/othewhiskeynut

I’ve moved over to the Rauchbier side!

Prost!

Exploring The Penetration Of Irish Whiskey In The German Supermarket Sector.

A random tweet got me thinking.

Obviously I checked on the link & was blown away by Lidl offering a cask of new make whisky to it’s customers!

Lidl whisky cask c/oLidl.de

My inquisitive mind led me to checking out what else they had.

Let’s put it like this – the depth & spread of whiskies on offer would qualify the shop as being a specialist whiskey outlet in Ireland!

The bare figures are pretty outstanding;

Total bottle selection…………………………..127.

Comprising of;

Scotland…………………………………………………….84

America……………………………………………………..19

Ireland……………………………………………………….10

Japan & Taiwan………………………………………….4 each

Wales & Austria…………………………………………2 each

Canada & South Africa………………………………1 each

At only 8% of the market – Irish Whiskey clearly has a long way to go!

But who was flying the Irish flag?

First off – in order of appearance here – Lidl own brand Dundalgan.

Dundalgan Blend c/oLidl.de

Next up – the ubiquitous Jameson in Original, Black Barrel & Caskmates varieties.

Jameson Original c/oLidl.de

Irishman Single Malt made an appearance.

Irishman c/oLidl.de

Kinahan’s popped up with their tasty Kasc Project.

Kinahan Kasc c/oLidl.de

Kilbeggan followed.

Kilbeggan Blend c/oLidl.de

With Paddy being the last whiskey.

Paddy c/oLidl.de

A couple of liqueurs wrapped up the Irish contingent.

I’d definitely be like a kid in a sweet shop drooling over the extensive choice!

Aldi Sud meanwhile had only 8 whisky on offer – 5 Scotch & 1 each from Japan, Canada & Germany. Ireland didn’t even feature!

Sláinte

Header image c/oextra.ie

3 White Rums for Under €20

Update!!! On January 4th 2022 Ireland implemented a Minimum Unit Pricing policy on alcohol. The minimum price for a 37.5% rum in 700ml bottles will now be around €21.

There’s some tasty bargains to be had for under €20 – if you’re prepared to explore.

Contrary to popular myths these supermarket offerings certainly don’t all taste the same – and nor are they short on flavour either!

Today’s comparison are 3 White Rums currently available from 3 large multiples across Ireland.

All are presented at 37.5% ABV with minimal information as regards distillery of origin or processes used.

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Old Hopking from Aldi, ‘Bottled In Germany’, failed to excite me.

A floral nose – reminiscent of gin – put me off & the taste was rather bland too.

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JG Kinsey from Dunnes, ‘Bottled In The UK’ with ‘Imported Caribbean Rum’ impressed.

A soft funky aroma followed through on the palate with a pleasing peppery finish.

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Liberté from Lidl & ‘The Réunion’ proved enticing.

An impressive fruity funk flowed through both the nose & palate finishing of with a joyful prickliness.

For elegantly displaying the essence of rum, Liberté is my winner – with JG Kinsey a close 2nd.

I’d happily buy both again.

You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a tasty rum!

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Old Hopking, Premium White Rum, 37.5%

After having a run of underrated bargain basement beauties with Lidl’s Liberté Rum & Dunnes’ JG Kinsey Whisky – I suppose a disappointment was inevitable.

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Old Hopking White Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Aldi’s Old Hopking White Rum is presented with a rather plain white label that gives little away.

‘Bottled In Germany’ it says. A common practice using ‘Imported Rum’ from undisclosed sources. Where the sugarcane or molasses came from is not stated – nor method of distillation. At this price point  – that information is a bonus.

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‘Perfect for mixing’ c/othewhiskeynut

So onto a taster.

Oh dear!

A perfumed floral aroma greeted me.

More reminiscent of my wife’s gin rather than a rum!

This followed through in the palate – which was smooth & mellow – with a mild heat to keep it real – but otherwise no defining character.

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‘Imported Rum’ c/othewhiskeynut

Old Hopking is a simple easy sipper – but I wasn’t expecting a rose garden in my rum!

Sláinte

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Galway Bay, Märzen To The Fire, 5.5%

Smoke isn’t exclusively either peat – nor restricted to whiskey.

The fuel used to dry the barley – or other grains – imparts a wide variety of flavours to the resultant beverage.

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Smokin’ c/othewhiskeynut

For this Galway Bay Märzen – a popular style of German lager – beechwood is the choice.

I was keen to sample the results.

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Beechwood smoked. c/othewhiskeynut

There’s an element of trompe l’oeil going on here.

You expect a dark, heavy ale – but get a light, refreshing lager overlaid with a soft, attractive wood fired smokiness.

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Ingredients c/othewhiskeynut

An excellent accompaniment to those lazy sunny afternoon BBQ’s.

Sláinte

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Ron Rumbero, 4 x 40ml miniature pack, 15% to 38%

I don’t know if Lidl are ahead of the posse predicting a Rum revival – but they have another miniature selection I couldn’t resist.

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Cuban Rums Ahoy! c/othewhiskeynut

Comprising of 4 x 40ml servings under the Ron Rumbero label – courtesy of Bimmerle KG, a German spirits producer & importer – with Cuban Rum being the source.

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Spiced c/othewhiskeynut

Ron Rumbero, Spiced Spirit, 37.5%

An attractively well balanced spiced rum offering. A bit too sweet for my liking – but a dark chocolate start contrasts with a gentle chilli led spicy finish.

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Cream Liqueur c/othewhiskeynut

Ron Rumbero, Cream Liqueur with Rum, 15%

An easy going creamy liqueur that provides an entertaining alternative to the whiskey derived offerings. Sweet, thick & creamy with a decent hit of rum on the finish too!

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3 Anos c/othewhiskeynut

Ron Rumbero, 3 Años, 38%

Now this one surprised me! A definite vegetal funk on the nose. Slightly sweet yet smooth palate with a lovely flourish of spice on the finish. A great combination.

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7 Anos c/othewhiskeynut

Ron Rumbero, 7 Años, 38%

Rich, warm & inviting. Slightly oaky. Smooth delivery. The dry oaky tannins are reminiscent of a good whiskey. Not bad.

Thoughts

A lovely little quartet of rums to whet your appetite.

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The back label c/othewhiskeynut

When choosing my favourite I had a little surprise. Normally I’d go for the aged version – but with these – the wonderful balance of the funky start & gorgeously spicy finish of the 3 Años won out in this instance.

If only I could get a full size bottle for the shelf!

Sláinte

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