Appleton Estate Joy Tasting @ Joyeux Bordel

Appleton Estate, the world’s leading Jamaican premium aged rum, releases Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend, a limited edition rum celebrating Joy Spence’s 20th anniversary as Master Blender. In fact, Joy Spence was the world’s first female Master Blender, paving the way for more women Master Blenders across the globe.


Appleton Estate Master Blender Joy Spence

Appleton Estate Master Blender Joy Spence

Wielding a Masters in Analytical Chemistry, Spence creates the Appleton Joy to appeal to rum, whiskey and cognac drinkers alike.

To quote Joy, the Italian glass is shaped to evoke “the hips of a Jamaican woman”, the purple box to note regality and heritage, the logo on the bottle to celebrate its Jamaican origin.

Highball Hoodoo Appleton Estate Rum Joy Launch Review

“For my anniversary blend, I simply set out to create the rum that I’d like to sip while watching the colours of my garden change in the warm glow of the Jamaican sunset,” said Joy Spence. “It includes two rum marques which are of particular sentimental significance to me: The first of these marques was laid down to age in 1981, which is the year I joined the Appleton Estate team, and the second is my favourite marque of pot still rum. The final blend is a wonderful rum that I hope will be become a cornerstone of my legacy.”

The Joy is a blend of rums whose ages range from a 25 year old pot still and other pot and column stills, up to a spectacular 35 year – creating a beautiful copper spirit.

Highball Hoodoo Appleton Estate Rum Joy Launch Review

The rum opens with Appleton’s characteristic orange, and a powerful hit of ginger. The ginger then dances and effervesces on the sides of the tongue to slowly open up to coffee and cocoa, almond and oak, and lingering vanilla. The finale is a long length of deep, lightly burnt brown sugar.

Highball Hoodoo Appleton Estate Joy Rum Launch Review

The limited edition Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend is available online – order now before the prices shoot up!

Highball Hoodoo Appleton Estate Rum Joy Launch Review


New Release! : The Laphroaig Lore

“The Laphroaig Lore is the story of Laphroaig itself. It’s a massive whisky, as bold as it is deep, and one that I sincerely hope does justice to the many generations of Laphroaig distillery managers. It’s our story, bottled, the richest of the rich”.

Distillery manager, John Campbell, whose brainchild the Lore is, explains how each manager over 200 years has provided something new to the Laphroaig legacy, and how each’s culminates into the latest Lore expression.

New Release Laphroaig Lore Islay Scotch Whisky John Campbell

The Goring, London’s last family owned luxury hotel, hosted the launch the day before the 48% abv single malt went onto the market as one of the latest of one of the best-selling Islay distilleries, and one of the most expensive NAS whiskies out there.

Now Laphroaig can state there is a list of whiskies ages 7 to 21 that make up the Lore, but not in what amounts, so buyer skepticism is understandable and encouraged for a bottle hitting nearly 80 GBP. So let’s get down to business.


The nose has a lot going on. On one hand, sweet, and oily. Chestnuts, baked fruit, vanilla. On the other, classic Laphroaig notes of smoke, peat, TCP and some ash – a grassy and salty hint.

New Release Laphroaig Lore Islay Scotch Whisky

The palate confirms what Laphroaig is selling – the Lore is a wonderfully rich whisky. Rich in depth, and range of flavour – a procession of them. Initially floral, spicy, light – before the peat muscles in, with a cape of smoke, charcoal, leather, ash, a flourish of stewed fruit in toffee and dark chocolate – then suddenly, a burst of chilli and salty minerality. A brine breeze before the finish.

The finish is twofold. First, very short, and very dry. Settling onto a mellow, sweet and earthy length. Over time, the flavours mellow and calm, customary of younger whiskies.

Similarly, (the bourbon refill barrels included), this whisky has one hell of a bite. Water is needed. The burn is one feature the Hoodooist could’ve done without, especially in such an enjoyable whisky.

New Release Laphroaig Lore Islay Scotch Whisky

Honestly? I enjoyed this whisky, and if you enjoy the An Cuan Mor, I suspect you’ll enjoy the Laphroaig Lore. Both have hefty pricetags, so it’s up to you to decide – if you’re willing to shell out on one, chances are you are for the other.

Time to set the controversy aside now that it’s here.

New Release Laphroaig Lore Islay Scotch Whisky John Campbell

Campbell comments: “Over the generations, distillery managers like me have made their own contributions to the quality and character of Laphroaig. From the founding of Laphroaig, these custodians have each made their own mark, whether it was drying the malting barley at lower temperatures than most, using two sizes of spirit still, pioneering the use of ex-Bourbon barrels, or reintroducing the quarter cask to Scotch whisky-making. Each of these decisions have made Laphroaig the unique, premium whisky it is today. We make the whisky we make because of what has been passed on down to us”.

Disaronno Riserva Launch at Fortnum & Mason, Green Park

You think ‘amaretto’, you think Disaronno – a popular digestif, Disaronno and its widespread cocktail expression as the Disaronno Sour is known across the globe.

However, the purveyors of this Italian almond liqueur are broadening their market into the world of whisky! Working with several distilleries across the Highlands and Speyside, Disaronno has unveiled the Disaronno Riserva: a new luxury limited edition liqueur, which combines the signature notes of Disaronno with a bespoke blend of Scottish malt whisky – aged in Marsala barrels from the Cantine Florio in Marsala, Sicily (for more on what to feast on in Marsala, click HERE!)

Nearly 500 years after the first bottle of Disaronno Amaretto was gifted by a local innkeeper to a student of Da Vinci’s in Saronno, Italy; CEO of Illva Saronno Augusto Reina travelled up to distilleries in the Scottish Highlands to hand pick a select mix of malts to prepare a light, sweet blend to merge with the intense almond and marzipan flavours of the well-loved amaretto.

Disaronno Riserva Whisky Amaretto London Marsala
Beginning with sweet touch of spice softened by light hints of vanilla-almond, with stone fruit overtones and a finish that is peppery, recalling dried fruit with a touch of Madeira – the Disaronno Riserva is one of the first sweeter whisky expressions the Hoodooist has taken to this year.

The Hoodooist prefers it served neat, instead of on the rocks – the slight warmth brings out the peach notes in the Riserva, perfect for a cold night digestivo.
Disaronno Riserva Whisky Amaretto London Marsala
Packaged in a sleek wooden case, the Riserva comes in a bottle reminiscent of the Amaretto, but glossed with a minimalist, smooth design. With only 10,000 bottles released a year, the Disaronno Riserva is limited to luxury retailers: as of this week, it is available at the Fortnum and Mason department store in West London at an RRP of £250.

Augusto Reina comments, “I am honoured to present Disaronno Riserva It’s a product that is deeply rooted in the company’s ethos; research and innovation have always been the guiding principles in managing the family business, and it is these exact values that have made this new product truly unique. To make the product distinctive I decided to focus on how, and where it was created; being aged in the oak barrels Cantine Florio, brings it all back to the long standing history of the company. It has all come full circle.”

Disaronno Riserva Whisky Amaretto London Marsala

Fortnum & Mason

181 Piccadilly

London W1A 1ER