Thursday, 20 November 2014

Majestic's New Range of Artisan Spirits!

Photo: Bryan Ledgard

A few weeks ago, I brought you news of a rather splendid spirits sale at Majestic. Unfortunately this, like most sales (except the DFS one), has ended. The thing is, however, while this did have some awesome little buys, that sale paved the way for something even more awesome; a whole new spirits range!

Majestic have never really been all that competitive in the spirits market. The range was pretty much the same as in any other supermarket but just that little bit more premium. Now, however, they've gone down a slightly more artisan road, with some much more interesting bottles lining the shelves.

Bathtub Gin, Rumbullion and The One British Whisky are just some of the names amongst a whole host of new faces. And of course there's the brilliant Darnleys Spiced Gin that Adam had the pleasure of tasting recently.

I've chosen to focus on a gin, rum and, just because I feel like it (and because it's seriously great) an Armagnac.

Brokers London Dry Gin, £19.99

Produced with 10 different botanicals and quadruple distilled in a tradition copper pot still, this is crystal clear and smells of juniper, elderflower and candied citrus peel. On the palate it's beautifully smooth with a fairly unusual, creamy texture. The notes of candied citrus are on the forefront oft flavours, followed up by ginger, juniper, elderflower and honeysuckle.

Given its rich texture and full body, the finish is fantastically refreshing with notes of cucumber, reminiscent of Hendricks. What's more, the bottle comes with a tiny plastic bowler hat that's perfect size for a cat!

Don Papa Small Batch Rum, £30

Made in the Philippines and named after Don Papa Isao, an unsung hero of the Philippine revolution, this rum is a deep brick red colour. On the nose you would think that this is straight from the Caribbean with notes of vanilla, toffee, candied fruit and cinnamon. The palate is superbly complex and very rich.

Vanilla, red cherry and black treacle are all present in abundance. While the flavours sound intensely sweet, it's not particularly cloying like some other spiced rums and can be drunk neat or goes really well with a fiery ginger ale.

Tariquet Bas Armagnac VSOP, £35

The first thing to note about this the rather stylish and fancy looking bottle. Aged in oak for 7 years, it blends together fresh notes of citrus, mint and banana with more mature notes of woody spice, vanilla and caramel.

The palate kicks off with fresh citrus and banana giving way to vanilla, toffee, cedar, pepper and liquorice. With a slight kick at the back of the throat, the finish is wonderfully smooth, leaving behind notes of tropical fruit and spice.

This is a beautiful alternative to an after dinner cognac and goes supremely well with a nice cigar. Or just on its own... from a shoe.

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