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Manly Spirits Co. BlackFin cold brew coffee liqueur (25% ABV)
Star rating: 5/5
In a nutshell: Bold, bitter flavours mingle with a welcome, redeeming sweetness to produce a rounded and layered liqueur.
Drink Supermarket (£37.89)
Master of Malt (£37.95)
Drinks and Co (£41.68)
Manly Spirits Co. was dreamed up in 2015 by Vanessa Wilton and David Whittaker. The distillery is named after the famous surfer’s paradise, Manly Beach, which is situated on a peninsula bound by Sydney Harbour, a national park and the Pacific Ocean.
BlackFin is a collaboration between Manly Spirits Co. and Seven Miles Coffee Roasters, a Sydney favourite.
Coffee beans are brought in from Brazil, India, and Indonesia to formulate the blend used in BlackFin, which was meticulously crafted by Seven Miles to emphasise notes of caramel, chocolate and brown sugar. This delicate balance is carefully carried through by the care taken in the distillation process.
Wheat vodka is used as the base spirit for the liqueur, and locally sourced and foraged produce and botanicals are included. This provides a cleanness that underpins the bite of the vodka and the delicate nuances of the botanicals.
The nose of the bottle delivers a big punch of espresso, with lighter vanilla and demerara sugar in the background. The palate is rewardingly complex: flavours rise and crash in your mouth like the waves that inspired the bottle, and dark chocolate rears its head briefly before being washed out by espresso and caramel. Bitter cocoa resurfaces during the long, satisfying finish.
The perfect pour
Try this in a black russian – a wonderfully simple concoction made using two parts coffee-flavoured liqueur to one part vanilla vodka, poured over ice in a tall glass.
The vodka exacerbates the bite of the coffee liqueur, while the vanilla mingles with the caramel and chocolate notes. It’s ideal at the start of the night.
Coffee recipes and tips
This review was last updated in December 2019. If you have any questions or suggestions for future reviews, or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at email@example.com. For information on alcohol guidelines, read our guide to drinking responsibly.