As April moves into May, we take a look at the latest launches - from a limited edition rum and a cactus gin, to single malt whisky and potato vodka.
Havana Club Tributo 2020
The limited-edition premium rum, comprising 2,500 bottles globally, marks the 5th anniversary of the Tributo Collection, a series of annual releases created using fine, aged rum reserves.
Havana Club Tributo 2020 pays homages to the successive ageing and blending process used in Cuban rum which is carried out adhering to Cuban tradition.
To make it, Master of Cuban rum Asbel Morales, hand-selected a small amount of rum reserves from previous Tributo releases which have been kept and re-aged, then blended them with rum drawn from a batch of 100 casks that have not been sold commercially before.
The rum has been described as showing 'dried fruits, sweet caramel, bitter chocolate' on the nose with 'notes of poached pears, hints of old leather, spices and smooth old cigar aroma'. It's also 'dry and sweet, intense, ultra-concentrated on the palate' and has 'emphasised notes of chocolate and vanilla' on the finish'.
40% abv, RRP €400/700ml, havana-club.com
LoneWolf Cactus & Lime gin
The busy team at BrewDog Distilling Co. are launching their LoneWolf Cactus & Lime gin in time for Cinco de Mayo, in a bid to help those who don't like agave spirits to celebrate the occasion.
Made from grain to glass in Aberdeen, the gin incorporates lime and pressed cactus juice, as well as Queen of the Night, a fragrant cactus flower.
The gin is said to deliver 'waves of watermelon and lychee' which work well alongside the zesty lime. Salud!
40% abv, RRP £26/700ml, brewdog.com
A drop of vodka heaven from Devon – for potato fans, at least.
The Lidstone family have been growing potatoes in Hope Cove, South Devon for over 50 years. Following a discussion about the versatility of the tuber over the dinner table a year ago, they have launched what they are claiming is Devon’s first potato vodka.
It is made from Devon spring water, those potatoes grown in Hope Cove, and is distilled in a small, traditional copper pot still to ‘capture the essence of Devon'.
Tasting notes from Joshua Stewart, head bartender at The Plymouth Gin Refectory Bar, suggest the vodka has, ‘slight grassy notes and light sea notes on the nose. A beautiful slight citrus on the palate, which creates a beautiful texture and mouth fill. A long finish with slight coffee notes towards the end'.
The perfect serve is over ice with soda water and a squeeze of fresh lime.
40% abv, RRP £39.50/700ml, devoncove.co.uk
The Edge of Burnhead Wood 19-Year-Old
Not to be confused with the famous Birnam Wood that comes to Dunsinane in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, this is the latest addition to another story – The Balvenie Stories Collection.
The whisky is the first expression of The Balvenie made entirely from ingredients grown on its Dufftown estate, including home-grown barley malted at The Balvenie Maltings, water from the Convel hills, and fresh heather from Burnhead Wood.
It has a delicate fruitiness, as well as notes of light spice and juicy fruits. A balanced honeyed sweetness and spicy outburst with hints of cloves and caramelised baked dates develops to reveal an underlying oaky dryness, whilst a lingering oaky finish features notes of fragrant dried blossom.
Commenting on the release, Balvenie malt master David C. Stewart MBE said: ‘The story behind The Edge of Burnhead Wood captures the majestic Speyside landscape and the inventive essence of The Balvenie’s loyal and determined craftspeople. In this way, The Edge of Burnhead Wood sums up the spirit of the work carried out at The Balvenie Distillery.'
48.7% abv, RRP £260/700ml, select whisky retailers