Christmas Spirits Roundup
It’s the most wonderful time of the year where we get to share with you our favourite premium and small batch spirits. This year we’ve found some absolute beauties that will see you through the festive period, or perhaps become amazing gift options, and don’t forget to leave a little tipple out for Santa!
Citadelle Gin De France (44% ABV) A sip of this delightful stuff and you’re instantly transported to the South of France. The combination of 19 French botanicals makes this a very unique drink. Tasting notes are complex, but delightful – you’ll taste citrus, anise and juniper is very obvious. Expect a few little surprises too… pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon as an aftertaste. Je t’aime the bottle design, very French, very chic… this is definitely one to put on show for all those proud gin collectors.
Master of Malt – £30 (70cl).
Aviation Gin (42% ABV) Our very first trial of an American Gin, and boy, we’re impressed. With a celebrity owner (actor Ryan Reynolds), 7 botanicals including juniper, lavender, sweet and bitter orange peel, cardamon, coriander, Indian sarsaparilla and anise seeds, this gin is certainly a standout with its lovely spicy yet floral notes that like to linger on the tongue. Founded in 2006 and named after the famous pre-prohibition cocktail, this gin comes in a beautiful flask shaped bottle reminiscent of the Art Deco era, with a very prominent nod to that wonderful era of flight!
Master of Malt – £30 (70cl).
Mermaid Gin The only gin to hail from the Isle of Wight, this is a real treat to both the eyes and mouth. Let’s start with the obvious… the bottle design has to win some awards, the colours, scales, cork top, this is genius with the designer definitely needing a pat on the back. Made with Isle of Wight rock samphire, Boadicea hops (the standout flavour), juniper, coriander seeds, fresh lemon zest, grains of paradise, angelica, liquorice, orris and elderflower, you really are not short of a flavoursome treat. To sum up, this gin has got it all going on.
Master of Malt – £35 (70cl).
Cotswolds Dry Gin (46%) OK, we have to be honest here and say that this gin has a very special place in our hearts. Having completed the distillery tour it’s hard not to fall for this amazing gin. Best enjoyed with a fresh slice of grapefruit and an Indian Tonic, you’ll get floral junipers, lavender and bay leaves. Interestingly, when you add the tonic the drink turns a opaque colour. Get your orders in for Christmas folks. You’re welcome!
Master of Malt – £32 (70cl).
Boodles Mulberry Gin (30% ABV) As the colour suggests this is a sloe-gin inspired recipe, but made with mulberry. Boodles is celebrated as one of England’s most coveted gins, launching in 1845 no less. This tipple is every bit as eccentric and characterful as the bottle, best enjoyed with a shot of whisky over ice. You’ll pick up notes of juicy berries, rosemary, nutmeg and sage. The price we felt was very fair for such a fine drink.
Drinks Supermarket £25 (70 cl).
Caorunn Raspberry Gin (41.8% ABV) Another corker, Caorunn Raspberry Gin hails from Scotland and is the brand’s first flavoured expression. The gin infuses Perthshire raspberries as well as the brand’s signature 11 botanicals. Mix with a simple tonic (and a raspberry), sip and wait for the glorious bursts of berries on the tongue. This is a very affordable gift or treat for yourself that we know you’ll be ordering again!
The Drinks Shop £20 (50 cl).
Midleton Method And Madness Gin (43% ABV) This Irish gin is the first from Method And Madness, which has been inspired from recipes dating back to 1978 from County Cork. Comprising 16 botanicals, there is no shortage of flavour here, with the ‘black lemon’ (dried lime) really coming through along with Irish Gorse Flower. This is an earthy gin with plenty of sweet spices. Garnish with a ribbon of lemon peel… thank goodness for the Irish!
Master of Malt – £40 (70cl)
An Dulaman Gin Santa Ana (57% ABV) Our first ever Armada strength gin, this is a barrel-aged, navy strength expression of An Dulaman and the first Irish gin of its type on the market. There’s barrels of history here, with a close link to the Donnegal coastline, where a ship named La Duquesa Santa Ana was sent to invade England in 1588, but ended up lost. The taste is sublime with nods to the Rioja wine casks where it is aged. Expect floral aromas and liquorice with hints of orange and blackberries, likely from the Rioja that’s certainly left its mark. Enjoy neat on ice!
Master Of malt – £45 (50cl)
Bright Spirits Roots Gin (40% ABV)
If you love spicy tasting notes, this will be an absolute winner for you. Bright Spirits have taken the flavoursome qualities of ginger root, galangal (more of a piney taste), angelica root and orris root and created a very unique drink. This combination of flavour is not something we’ve experienced before in a gin and we like a lot. The sweet, savoury and spicy flavours tickle the taste buds as soon as they hit the mouth, leaving you feeling… well… quite refreshed actually. This would make a fantastic start to an evening served with tonic and mint to garnish, or perhaps a palette cleanser (neat on ice) between meals.
Master Of Malt – £37 (70cl)
Loch Lomond 18 year old whisky (46% ABV) If you’ve worked hard enough to make Santa’s good list this year, then you 100% deserve a bottle of this fine 18 year old single malt all the way from Loch Lomond in the Highlands. A wee dram of this and you’re instantly whisked away to this stunning Loch, taking in the dramatic views whilst enjoying the rich and nutty smoke and peat. Love this!
Master Of Malt – £70 (70cl)
Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky (46% ABV) With a massive 3,770 reviews (Dec 2019) scoring it 4.5/5, you can’t overlook this delightful, English single malt and the first to come out of the Cotswolds. Produced using barley grown in the Cotswolds then distilled and aged in a combination of bourbon and red wine casks, you’ll quickly appreciate why this has won multiple international awards. To the nose you can expect spicy cereals followed by orange and lemon peel, completed by marzipan. This is our new favourite for sure, serve on the rocks.
Master of Malt – £47 (70cl)
Grahams Six Grapes Port (20% ABV) Christmas without a fine port just aint Christmas! You’ll struggle to find any ‘disappointed reviews’ online for this tipple and when you taste it, it’s clear why. Well worth mentioning is the product’s impressive 7 gold medals and 2 trophies over the past 2 decades. Its deep and dark rouge colouring just screams juicy berries, with an aroma of plums and cherries. Expect a complex palette but with a fantastic structure and a lingering finish. This would go very well with chocolate deserts or alternatively with a nice strong Stilton.
Slurp – £14 (70cl)
Kopke 10 Year Old Tawny (20% ABV) Hailing from the oldest Port Wine house in the world and the Vineyards of Sherborne, Hennings, this is a delicious Port with a large heart. Expect complex aromas of spice, dried fruit and hints of wood and honey, which combine to create something really very special here. This is a single harvest Port that is aged in oak barrels for as long as necessary, only bottled when demand calls. This means it’s quite likely the Port has remained in the barrels for well over 10 years, giving it a unique velvety smooth taste. Ideal for Christmas cake or other nutty deserts.
Harrods – £25 (75cl)
Corte Vetusto Mezcal (43% ABV) If you’re new to Mezcal (like us), then you’re in for a treat this Christmas. This little tipple is an award winner and rightfully so. It’s not cheap, but then you truly get what you pay for here. Double distilled giving it its 45% ABV, you’ll pick up earthy tones with smoke to the nose, with that delicious smoke continuing onto your palette, finishing in an oaky taste. Definitely one to roll out on Christmas Day in front of the box!
Masters of Malt – £98 (70cl).
Kavka Vodka (40% ABV) A delight from Poland, Kavka Vodka is produced using techniques from the 18th century. Expect a very clean tipple, but with soft notes of aged plum and apple spirits, which provide a depth of flavour you’ll struggle to find in other vodkas. A delicious after taste of citrus makes this one of our top 5 vodkas for sure!
The Whisky Exchange – £30 (70cl)
Plantation Rum XO (40% ABV) If you really love someone who loves rum, they will truly love you forever (and more) if you gift them a bottle of this liquid gold. WOW. Hailing from the plantations of Barbados, this is a gorgeous decanter of rum aged in bourbon barrels before being shipped to France for a secondary maturation in a cognac cask. Scoring a whopping 94 points from the Beverage Testing Institute, you can expect hints of sweet vanilla, caramel and oaky spices.
House Of Malt – £50 (70cl)
1800 Tequila Essential Artist Pearly (38% ABV) In our house, tequila tends to make an appearance in the party season build up to Christmas. However, we need to make a distinct differentiation between Tequila and Quality Tequila such as 1800. This double-distilled tipple has plenty to offer. Having been aged for 10-12 years before hitting the shelves, you can expect an ultra smooth deep and complex character with hints of fruit and pepper. By far the nicest tequila we’ve had for a little while, you’ll love this straight or as a mixer. The bottle also deserves a mention, which features artwork by Kojey Radical, making this a true stand out in the drinks cabinet.
Harrods – £40 (70cl)
Atopia (0.5% ABV) Quite the trend right now is ultra-low alcohol spirits, with Atopia leading the charge with this delicious Spiced Citrus tipple. As you can imagine, focus is on the flavour rather than alcohol content, making this a unique mixer with a lot to offer. Team with a tonic and garnish with a ribbon of orange peel, and relax knowing you’ll wake up feeling clear headed and fulfilled. This is such a great present idea for the occasional drinker or a great alternative to alcohol for the designated driver!
Master of Malt – £25 (70cl)
Keeprs Mint Chocolate Vodka Liqueur (26% ABV) No After Eights, no problemo! Keeprs Mint Chocolate Vodka Liqueur is all you need. Infused with fine English honey, chocolate and British mint this is all you need to complete your Christmas. Delicious on ice OR as a mixer, you’ll be happy you made the choice to purchase this delightful tipple. As you can imagine, you’re hit with a sweet, rich chocolate mint flavour. Don’t expect this tipple to hang around for too long, it’s far too easy to drink!
Master of Malt – £34 (70cl)
Ysabel Regina Pedro Ximenez Brandy (42% ABV) A real treat from Spain, this brandy is a relative newbie (2012) on the scene. It’s made from a blend of Gran Solera Reserva Brandy with a small portion of VSOP cognac, then aged in casks previously used for sherry giving it its sweet and fruity flavours, yum! From this beautiful golden tipple you can expect spice, honey, burnt toffee, apricot marmalade, zesty orange, black pepper and cinnamon spice. Love, love love this!
Amazon – £45 (70 cl)
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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