Imagine if you will, a world where no person is judged based on the preconceptions of others. Where you can remove the constraints that may cloud your judgement or expectations of a person allowing you to judge only at face value. To appreciate personalities, qualities, positives and negatives based only on an opinion formed by you, not by your expectations as a result of the things that you’ve been told. Imagine meeting that person again and forgetting all that you know, or thought you knew….now replace the word person with the word Rum. That over-dramatic statement with its origins firmly rooted in an episode of The Simpsons is, in my opinion, exactly what Little Tipples sets out to achieve.
I was recently followed on Twitter by @LittleTipples and after reading their profile, I was immediately intrigued. After speaking to Richard Stewart from Little Tipples both on Twitter and via email, it became clear that his intention was to try to lower the walls that potentially stop some people from tasting more spirits and to open up their range of choice by allowing them to experience something fun that will also allow them to inform their future choices based on their own experiences alongside the views and experiences of others.
The premise is rather simple…..You subscribe via littletipples.com to receive a pack every 2 or 4 weeks. This pack contains 2 x 50ml bottles of Rum that are unmarked aside from a code on each bottle. You then log into your account on their website, enter the codes and are then provided with information on the origins and flavours of the Rums along with instructions on how best to taste them. Once tasted (notepad in hand), you then enter your ratings. You have the option of tasting neat or mixed, but preferably both to inform your ratings. These ratings then count towards the positioning of the Rums on the Leaderboard. When you have rated the rums, their identity is revealed and you may be surprised by the results!
I likened it to being kind of like a Graze box….but awesome!
My experiences in my first foray into the world of Little Tipples is documented below! Wish me luck!
The dark rum was deep and foreboding and 57% ABV…….my first little sniff revealed dark brown sugar and treacle….it was familiar…..I took a few more sips and all signs pointed to an old friend. That liquid treacle taste and that kick in the ribs….I entered my bottle code and up popped the tasting notes which I duly read and then sipped again…..I thought that I had worked this one out.
I then moved onto the white rum. This sat at 40% ABV and was a little abrupt on the nose to start with but soon softened to a really fruity aroma and what can only be described as coconut and marshmallow. It was familiar but I hadn’t found those aromas together in a white rum before. It tasted just as I imagined from the smell. Not too sweet and it had a real depth of flavour. I again entered my bottle code, read the notes and took a few more sips.
Next up came the mixing. The dark went with cola and I used the white in a mini daiquiri (using the most sorry-looking lime that I’ve ever encountered, but the juice was still good!)….both worked a real treat. I entered my decision on the website as to which way I preferred to drink each rum…..I found myself drawn to checking the ‘mixed’ box for the dark and much to my surprise, the ‘neat’ box for the white rum!
Once my choices were made the brands were revealed at the top of the page. The dark rum was Woods 100. I’m never without a bottle and recognised it instantly! The white rum was Doorly’s 3. An amazing coincidence as I’d picked up a bottle the previous day which clearly turned out to be an inspired decision. This once again, under blind tasting, proved to me that Foursquare Distillery produce some unbelievable rums!
I enjoyed my experience with Little Tipples. It really does focus your senses. I always try to approach each rum that I taste in this way but sometimes if it’s a rum that I’ve heard people raving about, it’s quite easy to have your vision clouded.
Would I do it again? Absolutely yes. I think for me though, I’d prefer to make a one-off order and then order again when the mood took me rather than signing into fortnightly or monthly tasting kits….fortunately it appears that you can cancel your subscription quite easily and then restart a new one when needed, all without having to re-register with the site. A damn sight easier than it was trying to cancel my Graze box subscription and a far more pleasant and welcome arrival at my office desk!
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