When Mr & Mrs Foodie got in touch to say they couldn’t make the Lidl drinks tasting and would I like to go in place, I have to admit, I was just a leeeettle skeptical. Alas, there were drinks to be had and spirits to be tasted, so off I went, it’s a hard life! ( less of that cheek ;-p – Mrs Foodie)
Greeted with a gin cocktail and tables overflowing with nibbles on arrival, I thought, well, this might just be alright! Knowing I was off to dinner after the tasting, I only took a small selection of nibbles, but I was well impressed with everything from the charcuterie to the chocolate ginger biscuits.
Then came the serious business of tasting. We started with the French Grain Vodka at £17.99. Soft and subtle with no afterburn. Made from wheat, it imparts sweet vanilla notes. Almost too drinkable and Jason, owner of Lucky Liqour suggests pairing it with Elderflower.
Hortus Gin at £15.99 followed the vodka. With a simple 7 botanicals and made in conjuction of Michelin starred chef Kevin Love, it was juniper forward, floral with a slight heat and lingering spice and citrus. I’d happily add a bottle to my collection with bottles that cost twice as much. Suggested serve, just a straight up G&T with Fever Tree tonic.
Sloe Gin, £15.99 was a delightful treat, lacking a strong sloe aroma it packs a lot of flavour! Earthy with a hint of citrus, it was very warming without being heavy, due to the slight tartness coming through from the berries. Great for sipping with a piece of stollen cake!
Congnac came next at £14.99, a very easy drinking VS with notes of ginger and marzipan. Jason suggested having it with ginger ale over ice, though I’d happily sip it neat in an armchair next to a cozy fire!
We then switched to whisky, starting with the Abrachan at £17.99 is their blended offering. Caramel on the nose, sweet and slightly gingery at the start with a dry spice at the finish, it’s a fairly good entry level whisky for those who might not drink it regularly. Would work great in a Whisky Sour if you’re really up for impressing your guests, Jason says, top it with a bit of red wine! Ohh laa laaa!
Ben Bracken came next, at £44.99 it’s not for the faint hearted, but when you consider it’s a 22yr old Islay single malt, the price is an absolute steal! It won its category at the 2015 World Whisky Awards. Woody, not too smokey or peaty on the nose it’s accessible even for novice whisky drinkers (as far as an Islay is concerned).
I also had a cheeky tasting of their Oriental gin, boasting 13 botanicals, I can say it’s as good as any ‘name brand’ I’ve tasted!
Overall, I was very impressed at the quality and range that Lidl have on offer. Only problem now, there’s not a Lidl close enough for me to stock up and clink my way home from!!