Here’s our latest round up of the new booze (and snacks) that have passed our lips in recent weeks, including some of our drinking highlights from the festive season.
Braybrooke Keller Lager, 4.8%
We reckon there’s a bit of a marketing spend behind Braybrooke’s Keller Lager. The Leicestershire brewery has a formidable PR company supporting it who sent us a brace of bottles that was accompanied by a smart little brochure – not many individual beers get their own brochures. Thankfully for the PR company the product is a decent one: nice sweet bready malts and a gentle Germanic bitterness. Simple, tasty and effective it had Rich purring with satisfaction.
Bulleit Limited Edition
As the spirit market becomes ever more competitive, big brands are looking for innovative ways to thrust their products into the limelight. One such method that we’ve noticed gaining in popularity is the use of limited edition packages (the same product presented in a different bottle). Big bourbon brand Bulleit is the latest to get creative with glass and they sent us a bottle designed by New York tattoo artist Jess Mascetti.
We quite like the results – it’s an impressive piece of inkwork and genuinely makes the bottle feel a bit special, especially when you peer through the golden booze to view it on the reverse. As for the bourbon, it’s made with quite a lot of rye which gives it plenty of punchy spice among the oaky vanilla flavours and is one we like to use for cocktails, being especially effective in a Manhattan.
Pub Supper Box
This item may not actually feature booze, but it’s such a good idea for the stay-at-home drinker that we thought it deserved inclusion. The concept is simple: a subscription club that sends out a box of nine pub inspired snacks on a monthly basis. The munchables in our sample were all top notch and included posh crisps (haggis flavour!), pork crackling, roasted peas and a weighty bag of Italian onion and olive savoury biscuity things (we’ve not been to an Italian pub, but we like their style). At just £15 we think this is a beer-enhancing bargain.
Find out more at pubsupper.com
What we drank over Christmas
The festive season always acts as a good excuse to try out new boozes and here’s a selection of what we guzzled this Christmas. We both stocked up on Fuller’s 2018 Vintage Ale (10.5%): a strong brew that was smooth as polished marble with creamy alcohol peppered by tannic dark fruit skins, a bit of mellow citrus and a dry oaky finish. Lovely stuff.
Edinburgh Beer Factory showered us with several beers which we shared with friends – of those we kept for ourselves Edinburgh Brown (6%) was the highlight with a rootsy bitterness cutting through the clean, fresh and frothy malty liquid.
Rich enjoyed a few tankards of keeved cider in the shape of Champagne-corked bottles from Pilton Cider whose medium sweet Tamoshanta (4.7%) greatly impressed. Nick finished his festive boozing with a dram of Campbeltown PBS whisky bottled by Cadenhead’s at a barrel strength 57.1%, a delicious drop with honeyed almonds flavours and a gentle waft of oaky smoke.