Store bought flavors

Homebrew shop essences talk.

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Jimmy1 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:51 pm

Thanks Geoff
Yeah its the one in the sachet, so I might bust it out tonight and get her drunk. Ra hahaha :twisted:
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Frank » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:40 pm

According to my 'taste panel' (AKA betterhalf ;) ) Benedictine can be adequately substituted by using the Still Spirits Reverendine flavour according to directions on flavour bottle but cut slightly short with the water ie 'top up' to 1 or 1.05 litres rather than 1.125 litres. BTW, make sure its left for about a month B4 quaffing...
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby MacStill » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:28 pm

I wanted a quick fix of baileys tonight without too much stuffing around, called into the dreaded brew shop and they had none of the stuff I normally get :cry:

Anyway I got a couple of the Essencia irish cream cordials and I gotta tell ya this shit is fuggen real good :D
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Geoff » Tue May 03, 2011 8:53 pm

Update on a couple of flavours.

The Still Spirits Classic in my table which I noted had an excessive brandy-like flavour, has been re=tasted by me 5 months later. It has definately improved though still has some brandy taste but the smell has mellowed. I would not increase my score as 3/5 as this was a little generous back then. Can't say it has the flavour kick of JD but I rate it as OK. I will probably drink it now, as a quaffing/mixer whiskey.

My dad wanted some more Baileys, he loved the Sam Willards premix. Local HBS naturally did not have any. I grabbed an Edwards, the sales guy said don't bother, get the SS. So I made a Still Spirits batch, I rate it 2/5. Too much coconut which my sister picked up. No way Baileys has a coconut flavour. Flavour profile weak and I won't be getting any more.

It occured to me that since this site is new and unique to Australia so far that essence companies must be looking here for a bit of market research. That can be a good thing since the Aussie and NZ companies seem to be improving all the time, and honest feedback here can only help innovation and development.

(If anyone from these companies are reading this, please invest in a HPLC system to really gain a quantum leap in flavour profile accuracy.)
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Frank » Mon May 16, 2011 2:38 pm

Further testing from my official liqueur taste panel ;) has revealed that
1. the SS Italiano is indeed a reasonable Galliano substitute (as mentioned above)
2. Edwards Mia Taria is better than SS Coffee Maria as a Tia Maria substitute
3. SS Kafelua is 'crap' (I think this is a technical term :? )
4. SS Skyebuie and Edwards Wee Dram both make a reasonable Drambuie but neither is particularly close to the 'real thing'. Wee dram too vanilla-like smooth, Skyebuie too cloying/sweet.
5. SWillards Irish Ceam is FAR better than SS Irish Cream but, again, there's a bit of a difference to 'the real thing' ie Baileys.

More to follow soon (as there's now about 20 different ones aging 'downstairs'....it looks like someone went crazy with the food colouring :lol: ).
Frank
 

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby torry73 » Mon May 16, 2011 2:57 pm

Hi Frank
At what % are you testing these essences. I have noticed that if you use 43% instead of 38% the flavours seem to have a different smell and taste, or maybe I have just drunk to much. :lol:
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Frank » Mon May 16, 2011 7:03 pm

Hi again Torry 73
I try to get most neutral at about 40 or maybe 41-42% ABV (for reliable drinkability if that's a word :oops: ) but with the random temp variance who blo#dy knows what my Alcometer reading actually means....Either way, I note SS flavours say add to 40%ABV and Edwards say 38%. I emailed Authur from Edwards Essences and his take was making flavours that 'fit' with industry standard' ABV/proof.
Frank
 

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby MacStill » Mon May 16, 2011 7:10 pm

If you want a decent baileys knock off try the Essencia cordial, it's pretty bloody good and very close to tasting like real Bailey's.

It's about the only essence I'll buy if I gotta make a stack of something for an occasion, and everyone raves about it ;)
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Geoff » Fri May 27, 2011 5:32 pm

Still Spirits Top Shelf Aussie Gold Rum
Score 2.5/5
Tastes nothing like Bundy, though it is supposed to I think. A strong burnt sugar flavour, bordering on the sweetness and flavour of fairy floss (spun sugar). I can see what they are trying to do, but it lacks the harsh bite of Bundy that people like. A simple flavour profile too. Nose is stongly caramel/burnt sugar.
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby busman » Fri May 27, 2011 11:43 pm

.... but did it make you want to punch somebody for absolutely no reason??! If not, then it is no Bundy clone :lol: :lol:

(check out American comedian Otis Lee Renshaw's song about Bundy here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHmw0u2G9kw)
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Brigand » Sat May 28, 2011 7:37 am

Hi fellas

The mrs really enjoys tequila

Has one had any success with store bought flavourings?

Cheers
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Frank » Sun May 29, 2011 10:38 am

Brigand wrote:.... tequila.Has one had any success with store bought flavourings? Cheers

Hey Brigand
on recomendation of LHBS I bought a Still Spirit Top Shelf Tequila and bottled it the other day on a double distilled neutral. Smelt a little 'perfumed' initially but the immediate taste test suggests its a bit like El Toro or, perhaps, Ol Mecca (ie a bit sweet and a bit bitter, ok but not at all great). Definitely more tequila then Mescal anyway. I will tell you more in about a month or so. ;)
Frank
 

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Airhill » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:12 am

For a quick (ish) Scotch for mixing I use toasted oak in neutral till it colours up then add Willards single malt (not the whole bottle only enough to give it it the flavour) a capful of cream sherry and some glycerin for mouthfeel.
Bourbon chips or chunks make a fair bit of difference to a knock off burbon and you use less essence and the glycerin will give you a smoother drink.
For cheap flavourings Queens aniseed and coconut essence from the supermarket are worth playing around with; the orange is interesting but a bit like alcoholic Fanta when you add inverted sugar. :)

One of my favourites is neutral and Buderims ginger refresher made up to a long drink with lemonade, cheap as.
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Frank » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:26 pm

My on-the-job liqueur taste panel has offered the following additional liqueur test reviews (in no particular order):

Please note: all below made on sugarwashes and close to "in accordance with directions" on bottles:

1. SS Topshelf Creme de Menthe - passible knockoff, a bit too 'minty' :roll: but good in cocktails
2. SS Topshelf Black Sambuca - overly strong licquorice flavour (when made as per mixing instructions) and too harsh
3. SS Top Shelf Blue Curacao - good substitute and no problems as cocktail additive
4. SS Top Shelf Triple Sec - poor taste, 'like overripe oranges'. Not recommended at all and nothing like Cointreau.
5. Edwards Essences (EE) White Sambucca - reasonable knockoff with good (but strong) aniseed flavour
6. EE Khalooha - good substitute. Needs aging but is far superior to SS Cafelua (see other post in this thread). Works a treat in strong coffee on a cold day/night
7. EE Rum Royale - VERY sweet, though not too strong, flavour. Almost like drinking Xmas cake or pudding.
8. Sam Willards Melon Liqueur - terrible flavour and aftertaste. Just don't go there!

There were more..but she cant remember :lol:

I can add the following
9. SS Classic Brandy - ok but seems to be too 'thin'/unbodied :? compared to proper stuff. Might be better with considerable aging.
10. SS Top Shelf Irish Whiskey - I have no idea what 'Irish Whiskey' this is supposed to 'mimic' but it has a frighteningly sweet/vanilla taste. No more please.
11. SS Top Shelf Vodka - smooth and dry and not too bad. Good vodka base for drinks that come with umberellas and/or swizzle sticks :)
12. SS Top Shelf Tequila - well Brigand, it lost the dodgy smell but I still reckon it has a slightly odd/herbal flavour. Its ok and warms you up etc but I'm sure there is better tequila cordial available (and probably worse ones too).

Its a tough gig but I'm off to further explore the cordial world. 8-)
Frank
 

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby SBB » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:32 pm

Ok this question is aimed at Frank as he seems to play around with store bought flavorings more than most here. Anyone else who thinks they have the answers feel free to chime in.
When I first started out on this adventure I made up a few different store bought liqueur flavours. Of them all probably the closest I got to something like the original was SS Italiano. A Galliano rip off. When I mixed this SS Italiano up I used ( on the HBS owners advise) a Willards Sugar syrup base. The Base C. Now this stuff turned out to be bloody good and it wasn't just me who thought so, I had people bugging me to make more which I did. Now the problem......Willards have stopped making those bases from what I can find out. Ive tried making the Italliano with other bases including the the recommended one from SS. All the stuff Ive made with other bases tastes like shit to put it bluntly. All is not lost yet.....I found a full box of NOS....Willards Base C a few days ago and bought the whole thing.
Anyone got suggestions on what to use once all the base C is gone?????
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Frank » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:05 pm

Hey SBB
I think Willards stopped with the bases when they ramped up their premix options.
Have you tried 'McStills' suggestion on viewtopic.php?f=28&t=182 thead? I've used it for some time now and
1. my wife, the liqueur fan, says its as good as using HBS bases and
2. its a sh#tload easier to mix in then a 'powdered' base when you are actually making the final product.

BTW, this includes making SS Italiano.

As an aside a mate who really enjoys Galiano swears by Edwards Essence Galileo (I think its called). I will try it next time and give 'the taste panel's' assessment.
Frank
 

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Jimmy1 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:47 pm

Frank I would like to say you are the modern day Captain Cook venturing into new lands to save us pesants from the good from bad HBS products ... keep up the good work.
Also if you would like a 1st mate I will come aboard lol :lol: :lol:
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Frank » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:00 pm

Ta Jimmy1 ;)
only following in bigger footsteps (eg Geoff) but feel free to join :lol:

So...here's a few more
Spirits:
1. Willards Single Malt Whisky: nice oaky/vanilla undertones, bit of smoke and bite. I reckon its a goodun but my sample is too young to tell. Works well on charred oak neutral. Might try Airhill's suggestion from here.
2. SS White Rum: tastes like slightly less 'perfumed' Bacardi to me (mind you, I'm no fan nor expert here)
3. Edwards Tennessee Bourbon: smells like bubble gum, tastes too sweet/fruity/far away from expectations to be a serious contender re JD substitute. Pass.

Liqueurs:
1. SS Grande Paris: works well as a mixer, if you like the kind of biting, citrus alcohol it professes to be. Nice aftertaste, no too cloying.

Anyway, onward and upward (or whatever a Capt Cook alco-cordial tester should say) :roll:
Frank
 

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Brigand » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:37 pm

Have a couple to add

Prestige De Luxe Carte Noir Brandy - This is really terrible - there is a twang to it that makes it unpalatable for me
Prestige XO Brandy - This isn't great - but passable - same twang as above but not as intense

Prestige Absinthe Black Label Pro - I really liked this one - I made it up to 70% and it louches when mixed with water (I think I was visited by the 'Green Fairy' for about 10mins before falling asleep)

Made these up yesterday for my father and while sweet liqueurs aren't my thing they were all very tasty - my wife really liked them too

Essencia - Coffee Liqueur
Top Shelf - Swiss Chocolate Almond
Top Shelf - Hazelnut Noisette

Cheers
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Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Frank » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:34 pm

Hi Brigand
I have wondered about 'Prestige' brand for a while now and so (literally today) bought one at my LHBS. Its the 'Gin' essence for a friend who likes Gordons Dry (whatever that tastes like :lol: :? ).
I don't suppose you've tried that one or any others from the Prestige range, by any chance?? ;)
How about anyone else too?
Frank
 

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