Paddy Devil’s Apple

Bottles of Paddy Devil’s Apple have been sitting at my local grocery store unbought for Paddy.PNGabout a year. They’ve been there so long that I started to feel bad for them, and bought one. It was such an unusual occurrence that the cashier even made a remark about how long they’d been there, and that he was glad to see one finally go out the door. Did I get myself in to something bad here? There’s only one way to find out…

Paddy Devil’s Apple is another flavored whiskey liqueur, like Honey B. Boots Buckwheat Honey. It doesn’t just contain the eponymous apple flavor though, but also has cinnamon flavoring as well. It’s light yellow in color, and comes in a pretty standard looking bottle.

Opening said bottle, it smells like artificial apple flavor. While it does smell pretty good, I’d be happy to eat candy that tasted like this whiskey smells, and the odor is appetizing in a way, I honestly expect flavored whiskey to have something of a more genuine scent. The fake apple overpowers any whiskey odors, and there’s not a hint of cinnamon to be smelled.

Upon tasting, nearly the exact opposite is true. It mostly tastes like cinnamon, and not the hot, overly piquant taste of cooked cinnamon, but the flavor of cinnamon its self, which is a pleasant surprise. It’s fairly smooth, with just a little nip to let you know that there’s some alcohol there, and no cinnamon burn until you swallow it. Upon swallowing, the cinnamon burn spread gently around my throat without becoming uncomfortable.

As for the artificial apple, it’s mostly in the background. This liqueur is not overly sugary, and is just barely sweet. Much like scent, there’s nothing to be found of any whiskey in the flavor. And this leads me to a question: Why drink whiskey if it doesn’t taste or smell like whiskey? I honestly think that some kind of cinnamon flavored apple pucker might be more useful than this particular liqueur, because I can hardly call it whiskey, and it’s too bland to use to flavor a cocktail.

With ice, the apple and cinnamon switch places again, with the apple becoming dominant and the cinnamon falling into the background. A new flavor emerges, but I’m honestly not sure where it comes from. It tastes kind of like a person’s breath (thankfully that would be a person that has good oral hygiene,) which is not something I associate with whiskey, cinnamon, or apple flavoring. The apple flavor also changes a bit, and starts to taste a little more natural, and makes it seem like there might actually be some real apple used to make this liqueur. Might…

In the end, I can’t recommend drinking this whiskey liqueur. While it has a couple things going for it (good cinnamon flavor, smoothness) it’s really just an indistinct, nondescript spirit. Maybe you could use it to spike some cider?

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Metaxa 7 Star

Bottle.PNGOrange is something of an unusual color for a drink. Often when I put up my remarks about spirits, I’ll describe them as “amber,” something of a catch all description for several shades of yellow, orange and red that seem a little too similar to each other to be their own color. Even orange juice, by the time it gets to the supermarket from the grower, has usually lost its red tones and turned a light yellow color. Metaxa comes in a shiny orange box, which I expected to be some kind of marketing ploy; People tend to like things that have deep rich color, and often we’re told little lies through packaging about how impressive the product inside is. But Metaxa 7 Star brandy is really orange. Deep, dark rich orange. I tried to photograph it, and worked for many minutes to try to take a picture that showed its true color, but couldn’t quite capture it.

Metaxa 7 doesn’t have much of a smell however. It’s slightly fruity, and when I took deeper breaths to try and find lighter undertones, only found a waxy smell that I think comes not from the brandy, but from the packaging it’s in. In the glass, there’s a scent that reminds me of some kind of flavored cake, maybe a cake with berries or some other kind of fruit baked in.

Having such a light scent, I expected to also find only a small amount of flavor as well, but that was certainly not the case. Metaxa 7 Star is fruitiness embodied. It’s sweet and candy like, it rich and syrupy, it tastes like grape with a hint of orange, and reminds me somewhat of cough syrup. After a drink, when I move air around with my tongue to find the aftertastes, I get the flavor of fresh sweet pea pods.

Served in a snifter, after letting it warm up in the had for a little bit, its texture loses its syrupiness and its flavor loses that medicinal quality. I wouldn’t say that it’s more pleasant this way, it’s simply different. I’ve seen people with contraptions to hang a brandy snifter over a tea light, like some medieval liquor torture device, and I’m curious what it would taste like after being heated over such a small candle flame.

Letting Metaxa 7 Star warm in the hand might be the preferred method for some people Box.PNGto drink it, as when it’s left at room temperature some may find it a bit too sweet. The richness of the sugary taste may cloy in some people’s throats, and warming makes it go down just a little more easily.

The box and labels that Metaxa comes in talk up its smoothness, but at 40% ABV I expected this to be something of an overstatement, but it actually wasn’t. My first sip went down with no sensation that I had taken any alcohol until several moments later, when a comforting warmth spread through my chest throat and mouth.

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