Tag Archives: Miniatures

A Maestro Dobel Tequila Trio, Silver, Diamante Reposado & Anejo, 40%

Tequila – It makes me happy.

Sang Terrorvision back in the 1990’s.

And both are still keeping me happy today!

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Tequila trio c/othewhiskeynut

This tasty trio from Maestro Dobel come in classy bottles topped with cork stoppers – even in miniatures!

Silver – otherwise unaged Tequila.

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Silver c/othewhiskeynut

A delightful full on flavoursome agave hit – rich earthiness abounds! It’s what I like in a 100% agave – and it certainly delivers.

A lovely exploration of the tequila genre.

Diamante Reposado – aged from 2 to 12 months in oak barrels.

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Diamante c/othewhiskeynut

Usually reposado tequila takes on a slightly golden hue from the barrel ageing – but Diamante Reposado has been filtered to remove the colour – and although exceptionally smooth & easy going with a touch of spice on the rear – I can’t help feeling some of those rich agave flavours have been stripped out too!

Añejo – aged from 1 to 3 years in oak.

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Anejo c/othewhiskeynut

A touch of woodiness, a hint of tobacco, a smidgen of smoke.

Añejo is an elegantly balanced & complex tequila displaying an agave base overlaid with flavours emanating from those wooden barrels.

A wonderful combination!

Picking a winner from this trio depends on the angle you’re coming from;

For agave fans – Silver is the truest representation,

Añejo would please whiskey drinkers,

While Diamante Reposado offers an easy drinking platform for cocktails.

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Back label c/othewhiskeynut

For me Diamante Reposado was a bit of a disappointment – but the full on flavours of both Silver & Añejo excited my palate.

They kept me happy!

Sláinte

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A Pair of Liverpool’s, 12 Year Old, Single Malt Whisky, 46%, 16 Year Old, Single Cask Rum, 43%

There is a Gin Distillery in Liverpool – but as far as I know no whisky or rum is made there.

This pair of plainly – yet strikingly bold – labelled bottles would therefore be sourced spirits for the Liverpool brand who are in turn part of Halewood International.

The simple design appealed to me – along with the high age statements – so a couple of miniatures were ordered – via Just Miniatures.

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12yo Single Malt c/othewhiskeynut

Liverpool Whisky, 12 Year Old, Small Batch, Single Malt, 46%

The whisky is light brown in colour with viscous legs.

A honeyed nose redolent of sweet summer fruits greeted me.

Soft, easy & inviting.

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Back label c/othewhiskeynut

Quite a spirity little number – but possessing a decent depth of flavour & a lovely prickly spice on the finish.

A very nice single malt indeed.

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16yo rum c/othewhiskeynut

Liverpool Rum, 16 Year Old, Small Batch, Single Cask, 43%

A deep golden brown – also with viscous legs.

Sweet caramelly nose with a hint of funk peeking through.

The palate was gentle & smooth. Layers of dark demerara coated the mouth before a growing oaky woodiness added drying tannic spice on the finish.

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Back rum c/othewhiskeynut

These are both fine spirits.

You may not know who or where they were distilled – but they are certainly enjoyable to encounter!

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A pair of Liverpools c/othewhiskeynut

Sláinte

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Jim Beam Black, 8 Year Old, 43%

There’s an attractive quality to miniatures.

The opportunity to try out unknown treasures – or non runners – before buying a full bottle.

The ease of transport – particularly when flying!

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Jim Beam 8 c/othewhiskeynut

And the chance to taste a wide variety of styles without breaking the bank.

This Jim Beam was part of a job lot auction acquisition.

A simple yet bold label design pleased me.

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Packs a punch! c/othewhiskeynut

Signature sweet bourbony notes with a touch of oakiness on the nose.

The charred casks coupled with added ageing had boosted the depth of the palate with more warmth & richness.

At 43% it packed a spirity punch – which I found attractive.

Miniatures are fleeting memories.

Especially when you find out the 8 Year Old was dropped in favour of an NAS – non age statement – I encountered here.

Sláinte

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Goslings Black Seal, Bermuda Black Rum, 40%

Goslings are a long established name in Rum.

Now part of the Castle Brands portfolio – which in turn is owned by Pernod Ricard.

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Bermuda heritage, Irish distribution. c/othewhiskeynut

This Black Seal Bermuda Black Rum is a popular seller from their varied range.

A decent pungently dark molassey treacle on the nose.

Easy delivery on the palate.

Mild mannered with a touch of spice at the end.

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Distinctive labelling! c/othewhiskeynut

No rough edges & perfectly balanced.

A pleasant easy sipping rum that just lacked a little character for me.

Sláinte

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Loch Lomond, Triple Pack, Single Malts, 46% x 3

Oh dear!

Are you ever disappointed reading positive reviews & kind comments regarding a whisky or distillery?

Well Loch Lomond was my moment.

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Loch Lomond miniature pack c/othewhiskeynut

Presented in an attractive triple pack for last years Open Golf Tournament – these 3 whiskies promised ‘innovation & character’.

I got smooth, soft, caramel laden blandness.

It started with Inchmurrin Madeira Cask.

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Mit Farbstoff c/othewhiskeynut

A fudgy caramel nose immediately repulsed me. The palate was far more forthcoming though. Soft fruits danced merrily with a lovely little flourish of gentle prickly spice on the finish.

The Lock Lomond 12yo was a sweet, honeyed, biscuity Single Malt that just lacked character.

I was hoping the peated Inchmoan would save the day.

Alas not!

Any welcome oomph the peat would deliver just got drowned out by soft, smooth blandness on the palate. Only on the finish did a gentle smokiness make it’s presence known.

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Nice design! c/othewhiskeynut

If I’m looking for caramelly single malts, Ben Bracken offers the same experience at half the price. Their Islay version knocks the socks off Inchmoan.

It’s not often I leave unfinished miniatures behind……………

If throwing caramel at your single malts is ‘innovative’ – forget it.

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Bacardi Carta Blanca, White Rum, 37.5%

I do love miniatures.

It’s a handy way of trying out spirits – in this case Bacardi’s entry level white rum – Carta Blanca.

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Bacardi Blanca c/othewhiskeynut

Now although it appears clear & transparent – this rum is aged for 1 to 3 years in bourbon barrels – the resulting colour has been extensively filtered out  – often using charcoal.

This potentially strips out some flavours too – so what did I find?

Well the nose was very soft & muted. A slight spirity element with a little fruity funk.

This followed into the palate – which had a rich mouthfeel – before it began to open up on the finish.

A pleasant prickly tingling, a touch of fruitiness, a touch of vanilla & a little spice.

Very easy drinking – nothing offensive or off here.

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Puerto Rican Rum c/othewhiskeynut

I can see why it’s the perfect blank canvas for cocktails.

Sláinte

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The World Of Rums, 4 x 40ml Miniature Pack

Miniatures.

Love ’em.

The opportunity to taste and sample a variety of styles & flavours before committing to a large bottle.

Lidl are currently showcasing The World Of Rums – including offerings from;

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4 Rums, 4 styles, 4 flavours c/othewhiskeynut

Panama – La Réunion – Cuba and Jamaica.

Rums are often categorised into styles based on their former colonial occupiers. It’s not particularly scientific or pretty – but neither is the use of Scottish Regions to define the flavour of whisky.

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Which one suits your palate? c/othewhiskeynut

Being Lidl –  it’s likely to be sourced private label brands too. As confirmed by ‘Imported & bottled by: ‘Pabst & Richarz Vertiebs GmbH‘ on the outer packaging.

But what interested me were the differences of flavours showcased by the individual rums themselves.

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Sir Francis Drake 6yo c/othewhiskeynut

Panama. Sir Francis Drake. 6 Years Old. 40%

Spanish style. Light, buttery & sweet.

Pale straw. Vanilla sweetness followed by darker molasses & treacle notes. Soft & sweet palate – a bit too sweet for my liking – but develops a pleasant oaky spice from the cask ageing.

Easy & enjoyable.

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Coeur Du Soleil c/othewhiskeynut

La Réunion. Coeur Du Soleil. White Rum. 37.5%

French style. Rich , fruity & complex.

Clear spirit. Pungent vegetal nose – reminds me of Mezcal. Palate was smooth & characterful. The earthy herbaceous notes give a slightly savoury yet sweet appeal that slowly fades.

Very alluring.

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Ron Santero 3yo c/othewhiskeynut

Cuba. Ron Santero. 3 Year Old. 38%

Spanish style. Lean & clean.

Clear spirit. Soft subtle & sweet. After the other 2 rums, Santero’s delicateness just merged into a bland neutrality for me. Cries out for mixing.

Characterless.

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Caribica c/othewhiskeynut

Jamaica. Caribica. Brown Rum. 40%

British style. Funky, heavy & bold.

Light brown. Noticeable funkiness on the nose – reminds me of burnt rubber. Syrupy palate. The funk is lost a little to a treacly dark sweetness, but re-emerges on the finish.

Is Jamaican funk the Islay peat of the rum world?  Finding it challenging.

Thoughts

An interesting & entertaining taste experience.

I’d have thought there’d be a rum here to please every palate.

La Réunion’s Coeur Du Soleil was the one for me. The powerful mix of sweet, sour & savoury notes demonstrated the full bodied style of ‘Rhum Agricole’ using freshly pressed sugarcane juice bottled straight off the stills.

C’est très bonne.

What is your style?

Santé

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A brief guide to styles of rum can be found at the handy Tenzing blog here.

Laughfrog Highland Single Malt, 40%

I couldn’t resist the humour of this Laughfrog Highland Malt Scotch.

The mispronunciations of Laphroaig are legendary – why not turn it into a marketing opportunity?

Pity Select Drams bottled it with Highland Malt – perhaps too close to the bone for Islay?

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Don’t croak it! c/othewhiskeynut

Anyway – it made my glass.

The first thing I noticed – or rather didn’t – was a rich phenolic peat smoke. A more muted sweet biscuity malt greeted me instead.

This followed into the palate which developed a full bodied mouthfeel.

A lovely drying gentle spiciness brought up the tail end.

An entertaining easy going malt with a touch of character & perhaps a dash of peat in the background.

Certainly wouldn’t make you croak!

Sláinte

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Irish American Whiskey Trio Taste-Off

I couldn’t say goodbye to my latest selection of Irish Whiskey brands only available in America without a taste challenge.

Emptying what was left of the miniatures – and a pour from the 750 ml US size bottle – the first thing I noticed was the almost identical golden colour from all 3 whiskeys.

All 3 are NAS – non age statement – offerings at 40% ABV.

All 3 are sourced brands from unspecified Irish Distilleries and

All 3 taste remarkably different from each other.

I’ll kick off with Kilbrin.

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The attractive front of Kilbrin c/othewhiskeynut

This one immediately appealed to my palate. Fresh, lively & inviting. A gorgeous spicy kick towards the end endeared this blend to me.

Kavanagh was up next.

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Kavanagh Single Malt c/othewhiskeynut

More malty – biscuity even. Hardly surprising as it’s a single malt. A smoother delivery – cultured perhaps – with a gentler spiciness adding some character.

Wolfhound rounded up the trio.

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The Gentle Giant c/othewhiskeynut

Compared to the others, I found the ‘roar’ of the hound a rather dull & muted affair. The honeyed sweetness just didn’t set my palate alight.

Without a doubt my clear winner – and rather surprisingly so – was Kilbrin Irish Whiskey.

It has character & attitude in abundance.

For me it captures the beauty of a good blend.

The balance of both malt & grain whiskeys compliment each other giving complexity to the palate.

Kudos to Kilbrin!

Sláinte

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