14 September 2023

6 suave dark spirits to sip right now

14 September 2023

When your weekday merlot has lost its mojo and a G&T ceases to tantalise your taste buds, chances are you’re thirsty for something with a bit more substance… a dark spirit perhaps.

With depth of taste from ageing in barrel, these complex flavours are perfect for sipping or mixing in cocktails – and that extra body can be a beautiful thing.

To stir your interest, these golden drops are a sure-fire way to satisfy your thirst…

1. Captain Morgan Black Spiced Spirit Drink with Caribbean Rum, £24, 70cl, The Bar

With its cult following, the Captain’s latest Black Spiced Rum variant will win over its legions of followers with its enticing spiced notes of caramel, vanilla and beams of black cherry. Wonderfully peppery and spicy, if you’re a johnny-come-lately to the Captain’s table, now’s the time to try it in a rum old-fashioned cocktail… and taste the island life.

2. Wolfie’s Whisky, £35, 70cl, Wolfie’s

Rocker Rod Stewart has teamed up with Loch Lomond distillery to launch his own whisky – and it’s safe to say it’s destined to be a huge hit. Affectionately known as Wolfie’s, as a nod to “early hell-raising days with the Faces”, the lyrics “Rhymth of My Heart” are etched on the base of the bottle. The result? A beautifully balanced Scotch that’s lightly peated with notes of vanilla, cinnamon, baked apple and oak spice closing the finish.

3. Burnt Faith Brandy – Batch 001, £36, 70cl, Burnt Faith

A British brandy I hear you cry! Released under the banner of “the UK’s first brandy house”, Burnt Faith is exquisitely complex. Distilled from four white grapes including chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, it’s then finished in a combination of four types of casks: Bourbon, Cognac, cherry liqueur and Pineau des Charentes. All of these are wonderful enjoyed alone, so imagine how delicious the flavours of caramel, dried apricot, tangy marmalade and milk chocolate taste. And no burn.

4. VIVIR Tequila Reposado, £44, 70cl, VIVIR Tequila

From the excellent, award-winning makers of VIVIR tequila, this reposado spends six months in American oak Bourbon casks to smooth out any creases – and tastes sublimely smooth. With characteristic earthy notes, hints of vanilla, caramel, butter and black pepper make themselves known with honeyed vanilla on the long, lingering finish. A jewel from Jalisco.

5. Kavka Vodka – Tokaji Cask Aged, £44.95, 70cl, Master of Malt

A vodka but not as you know it. This limited-release Polish vodka is aged for 18 months in Hungarian sweet wine casks to obtain a superbly honeyed, floral, creamy mouthfeel. Subtle fruit notes, woody spices and vanilla emerge on the palate with a touch of dried fruits on the flourish of a finish. Worth seeking out.

6. Waterford Cuvée Argot, Irish Single Malt Whisky, £55.95, 70cl, The Whisky Exchange

An Irish whisky without the ‘e’, Waterford uses only single farm grain (barley) in its production to obtain a broad range of flavours with each cuvée (blend). By “harvesting, distilling and maturing Irish barley farm by farm”, their latest release brings together several single farm origin whiskies. The perfect introduction to terroir-driven flavour, think layers of tropical fruits mixed with a grassy freshness, barley sugar, white pepper and cloves; peppery spice completes the finish.

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