The Top 50 winners of Great Taste 2015

Sparkling Beer Brut – SAVOUR BEER

Added August 5th, 2015
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A tribute to Champagne, this sparkling beer is bottle-aged for 100 days and captured judges’ attention with its originality and character. The panel found the golden beer to be “incredibly distinctive with bags of complexity” and especially enjoyed the floral elderflower notes on the nose. www.savourbeer.com

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Chicken, Bacon & Leek Pie – WILLIAM DYER

Added August 5th, 2015
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This chicken bacon & leek pie, from family-run butcher William Dyer, offers “generous filling and beautiful pastry”, which combined to give the judges a “satisfying mouthful”. Described as “great home cooking”, the pie got a big thumbs up from the supreme judging panel. www.williamdyerbutchers.co.uk

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West Country Choice PGI Tomahawk Rib Steak – DAWN MEATS (UK)

Added August 5th, 2015
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This bone-in steak produced a rapturous response around the table. The “melt-in-the-mouth, creamy texture” together with the “rich, grassy and buttery flavour” really got the judges’ palates going. “That might be the best steak you’ll ever have,” said one judge. www.dawnmeats.com

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M’hencha Moroccan Pastry Cake (Orange, Date & Cinnamon) – THE M’HENCHA COMPANY

Added August 5th, 2015
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This Moroccan-style cake bowled judges over with its crisp brick pastry and frangipane “bursting with beautifully balanced flavours” of North Africa. The panel enthused about this “moreish” cake, which is sweet but not too sweet and can served hot or cold. www.themhenchacompany.co.uk

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Organic Luxurious Yoghurt – JESS’S LADIES ORGANIC FARM MILK

Added August 5th, 2015
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Made by hand using organic unhomogenised milk, this live yoghurt has a “silky” texture that proved a hit with the judges, who described it as “incredibly creamy”. They also enjoyed the balance of tang and sweetness, with citrus notes coming through to add sharpness. www.theladiesorganicmilk.co.uk

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Organic Double Cream – JESS’S LADIES ORGANIC FARM MILK

Added August 5th, 2015
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Judges really enjoyed this extra thick cream, which is made by hand from organic and unhomogenised milk. It was commended for its “clean, fresh and long lasting milk taste” and its mouthfeel. “It coats the mouth and leaves a milk taste, not an overpowering animal aftertaste, which some creams do,” they said. www.theladiesorganicmilk.co.uk

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Jacobs Ladder – MARTINS MEATS

Added August 5th, 2015
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With comments including “melt in the mouth” and “fat, fat, fat!”, the judges were clearly seduced by these beef short ribs, particularly the tenderness, the rich and long-lasting flavour and, of course, the covering of appetising fat. www.martinsmeats.com

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Longhorn rib of beef – MARTINS MEATS

Added August 5th, 2015
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This “proper” Longhorn rib was extremely well-received. The marbling of juicy fat came in for particular praise, while judges also commented on the tenderness and flavour, assisted by plenty of fat running through the meat. www.martinsmeats.com

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Gloucester Old Spot spare rib pork joint – MARTINS MEATS

Added August 5th, 2015
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“Top joint, great flavour”, was the conclusion about this “juicy” spare rib of pork. The veins of fat lend this joint moisture and depth of flavour but also a succulent melting texture. The Gloucester Old Spot breed also produces top-notch crackling. www.martinsmeats.com

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Stoney Cross – LYBURN FARMHOUSE CHEESEMAKERS

Added August 5th, 2015
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Likened by its maker to a French Tomme de Savoie, Stoney Cross is matured for 3-4 months. Judges liked the “pleasant creamy and lactic notes” from this mould-ripened cheese, which is made on Lyburn Farm, near Salisbury, using the farm’s own pasteurised cows’ milk. www.lyburncheese.co.uk

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Lemon Curd – HILLSIDE FOODS

Added August 5th, 2015
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Hillside Foods has come up trumps with its take on the classic lemon, with plenty of citrus zing and an appealing golden yellow colour. “Thick, sharp and sweet from to start and finish,” said the judges, who decreed that the Devon-based producer had “nailed it”. www.hillsidefoods.co.uk

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Organic Orange Blossom Water – SAVEUR DU MAROC

Added August 5th, 2015
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A taste of Saveur du Maroc’s organic orange blossom water transported one judge back to “walking through orange groves in Sicily” while others marvelled at its beautiful aroma and fresh taste. Described as “alive with flavour”, the water is produced using fresh ingredients and centuries-old hand processing techniques. www.saveurdumaroc.co.uk

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Organic Argan Oil No. 1 Ardent Artisan – SAVEUR DU MAROC

Added August 5th, 2015
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  The “intense nutty character” of this entirely hand-produced oil wowed judges as they detected notes of toasted hazelnuts and almonds, popcorn and rice. Praised for its silky mouth coating texture, the oil was described by one judge as a “soft, oily hug” while another declared: “I could drink this by the pint.” www.saveurdumaroc.co.uk

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Mokhado Macadamia Nut Oil – MOKHADO

Added August 5th, 2015
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This extra virgin macadamia nut oil enamoured the judging panel with an “amazing explosion of flavour on the tongue”. Some of the judges picked up a peppery kick following the nutty and buttery notes but all enthused about the oil’s potential in the kitchen. “A proper wow moment,” they said. www.mokhado.com

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Sicilian Pistachio Sorbet – LA GELATIERA

Added August 5th, 2015
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This “innovative” dairy-free sorbet, which is suitable for vegans, is made with pure Bronte pistachios and Maldon sea salt flakes. Its “rich and creamy texture” seduced the judging panel as they tasted both toasted pistachio flakes and the salt loud and clear. www.lagelatiera.co.uk

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Tonde Gentille Hazelnut Gelato – LA GELATIERA

Added August 5th, 2015
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La Gelatiera makes this gelato with Jersey milk and cream and Tonda Gentile hazelnuts from Piedmont in Italy. Judges picked up on how well this product was churned to create a smooth and non-greasy texture. They also applauded it for its “beguiling” hazelnut flavour and not being too sweet. www.lagelatiera.co.uk

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Kalamansi Lime Caramel – ROCOCO CHOCOLATES

Added August 5th, 2015
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“An endearing combination” was one judge’s comment about these cocoa pod-shaped chocolates with a “perfectly thin” shell. The whole panel commended the balance and delivery of flavours – with the caramel coming first followed by the zing of lime. www.rococochocolates.com

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Madagascar Milk 58% Chocolate – PUMP STREET BAKERY

Added August 5th, 2015
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Handmade in small batches from bean-to-bar, this Madagascar chocolate bar was deemed “a scrummy premium milk chocolate with a hint of pepper”. Judges also appreciated the well balanced flavours and the “exceptional” finish. www.pumpstreetbakery.com

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Free Range Belly Pork – REDHILL FARM FREE RANGE PORK

Added August 5th, 2015
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Exclamations such as “scrummy” and “full of flavour” were heard around this judging table. The clarity and intensity of flavour in this belly pork enamoured the judges, who declared that this is “how pork should be”. The “moist” and “juicy” crackling also wowed the panel. www.redhillfarm.com

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Halcyon Imperial IPA – THORNBRIDGE BREWERY

Added August 5th, 2015
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It was the directness and depth of this honey-coloured beer that won the judges’ approval. Although it is strong (ABV 7.4%), Halcyon is “bright, fresh and almost tropical” on the nose with a big dry hoppy flavour that fills the mouth. www.thornbridgebrewery.co.uk

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Jaipur IPA – THORNBRIDGE BREWERY

Added August 5th, 2015
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This hoppy India Pale Ale (ABV 5.9%) is a regular Great Taste three star winner and a former winner of the Best Speciality from the Midlands & East Anglia (2012). Jaipur has made the Top 50 this year thanks to its balance of grains and hops, “beautiful” amber hue and the floral honeysuckle notes on […]

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Artisan Crispbread (Original – Medium with Hole) – PETER’S YARD

Added August 5th, 2015
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“The best biscuit for cheese out there”, said the judges of these Swedish-style rye crispbreads. Each one is baked by hand using naturally fermenting sourdough, organic flour, honey, salt and fresh milk. The end result is “deliciously malty”. www.petersyard.com

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Dried Porcini Mushrooms – GET FUNGHI

Added August 5th, 2015
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Get Funghi handpicks its top quality wild porcini (Boletus Edulis) in West Sweden. The pickers sort, slice and dry their “woodland treasure” on the same day for maximum flavour conservation. While their nutty and umami flavours found favour, the mushrooms’ texture and mouthfeel also impressed judges, who labelled them a store cupboard essential. www.getfunghi.co.uk

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Shropshire Blue – COLSTON BASSETT DAIRY

Added August 5th, 2015
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Colston Bassett’s Shropshire Blue has a buttery, paste-like texture but balances its creaminess with a sharpness and acidity from its blue veins, which judges said were distributed well throughout. They said this “very munchable” cheese would work equally well with a pint of beer, a crisp white wine or a dry cider. www.colstonbassettdairy.co.uk

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Beauvale – CROPWELL BISHOP CREAMERY

Added August 5th, 2015
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Made from pasteurised cows’ milk, this blue cheese was applauded for its “creaminess and crumbliness without being too curdy”, as well as it long finish and enduring taste. With hints of “granny’s milking room” on the nose, this “moreish” cheese would be welcome on any judge’s cheeseboard. www.cropwellbishopstilton.com

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Monument Soft Bitter – TYNE BANK BREWERY

Added August 5th, 2015
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Brewed with English hops, Tyne Bank Brewery’s Monument Soft Bitter is very drinkable, according to the judges. This is a winner from beginning to end – a “good chestnutty, amber colour”, floral and hoppy on the nose, clean and smooth in the mouth and a “lingering dry finish”. www.tynebankbrewery.co.uk

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Banana Habanero – MR VIKKIS

Added August 5th, 2015
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This handmade rich banana sweet pickle is full of fruit but lives up to its hot billing and isn’t for the faint-hearted. The texture is spot on and the combination of sweet banana and chilli leaves a “marvellous lingering heat” in the mouth. No wonder this condiment (2013’s Best Speciality from the North) is a […]

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Fiocco Fiocco – GREEDY LITTLE PIG

Added August 5th, 2015
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Greedy Little Pig dry cures this small muscle taken from the hind leg of a pig, using sea salt and black brewer’s grain to create Fiocco. It impressed judges with its buttery texture and texture and balance “sweet, slightly smoky and complex” flavours. www.greedylittlepig.co.uk

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Passion fruit & tarragon sorbet – BECKLEBERRYS

Added August 5th, 2015
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It might not sound it but the flavours in this sorbet – made by the 2008 Great Taste Supreme Champion – were declared to be a “marriage made in heaven” by the judges. The bright acidity of passion fruit and the aniseed hit of tarragon all play their part to create a product that is […]

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Rock Rose Gin – DUNNET BAY DISTILLERS

Added August 5th, 2015
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The judges certainly enjoyed this hand-crafted gin, produced in mainland Britain’s most northerly distillery in Caithness. Described as “clean, crisp and zesty” with a “wonderful scent of citrus”, the gin is made with local botanicals that vary with changes in the climate. www.rockrosegin.co.uk

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Smoked Gigha Halibut – GIGHA HALIBUT

Added August 5th, 2015
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From the crystal clear waters off Gigha in the Hebrides, this smoked halibut has a “delicate balance between salt and oceanic flavour” with a fresh finish. One judge considered this to be “one of the finest smoked products of 2015”. www.gighahalibut.co.uk

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Original Cheese Sablés – THE PEA GREEN BOAT

Added August 5th, 2015
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The product is the result of a family quest to produce the best cheese biscuit in the world and it looks to have succeeded. These “intensely cheesy” sablés went down very well with the judges who liked the “crunchy but light” texture and full-on cheddar flavour. www.thepeagreenboat.com

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Hot smoked salmon – CREELERS SMOKED PRODUCTS

Added August 5th, 2015
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Slowly roasted on the Isle of Arran in an oven full of whisky smoke, Creelers’ “vibrant and bold” hot smoked salmon charmed judges with its “moist, meaty” texture, rounded mouthfeel and well-executed cure. www.creelers.co.uk

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Shirgar Welsh salted butter – GOWER VIEW FOODS

Added August 5th, 2015
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“Butter doesn’t get much better than this”, proclaimed the judges. The butter’s balance of sweet notes and saltiness was likened to alchemy with judges identifying notes of malt and caramel. www.gowerviewfoods.co.uk

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Smoked Irish Organic Salmon cured with Irish Atlantic Sea Salt – QUINLAN’S KERRYFISH

Added August 5th, 2015
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“A taste of the coastline, rock pools and sea weed”, this evocative smoked salmon’s firm texture, fresh taste and well-balanced cure ticked every judging box. www.kerryfish.com

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Irish Farmhouse Country Butter – CUINNEOG

Added August 5th, 2015
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It’s not often you hear butter described as “gorgeous, subtle and enticing” but that’s what judges thought of Cuinneog’s efforts. Produced using pasteurised cream and a little salt, this butter impressed with its complexity – sweet and rich with a hint of cream cheese tang. www.cuinneog.com

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Smoked Irish Organic Salmon – QUINLAN’S KERRYFISH

Added August 5th, 2015
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The close grains, succulent melting texture and fresh taste of this salmon were deemed exemplary for a farmed fish. The experience is completed by the “awesome” notes of the smokehouse and seaweed on the nose. www.kerryfish.com

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Beef Dripping – JAMES WHELAN BUTCHERS

Added August 5th, 2015
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This beef dripping is made from the suet of grass-fed Angus and Hereford beef, rendered down and clarified into a pure fat. Although it is a simple, traditional product, the dripping evoked a great deal of nostalgia among the judges, who enjoyed its meaty flavour and the balance of sweet and savouriness. “A pure distillation […]

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Wild Sika Venison French Rack – BARONSCOURT ESTATE

Added August 5th, 2015
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Baronscourt Estate was commended for this “buttery” venison rack. The judges were seduced by the “toasty, wild, hay and offal” notes on the palate and the meat’s long lasting flavour. www.barons-court.com

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Barrel Aged Feta PDO – ROUSSAS DAIRY

Added August 5th, 2015
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Made using pasteurised sheep’s and goats’ milk, this barrel-aged feta was applauded for its “clean and vibrant flavour, with a lemon finish”. The panel also enjoyed the acidity, saltiness and creaminess of the cheese, which has EU Protected Designation of Origin status. www.roussas.gr

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Artzai Gazta Idiazabal – BASAZABAL ARTZAI GAZTA IDIAZABAL

Added August 5th, 2015
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The “wonderfully clean, sour” flavour and “gently crumbly” texture of this classic Basque Country raw sheep’s milk cheese is complimented by a delicate aftertaste that wowed all of the judges. www.artzai-gazta.net

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Wild Oak Honey – EULOGIA OF SPARTA

Added August 5th, 2015
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The judges compared tasting this wild oak honey – collected in Greece’s central Peloponnese region, – to “licking nectar from trees”. The complex honey also boasts strong “woodland”, “oak” and “herbal” flavours and just a hint of “salted caramel”, which would make it ideal with blue cheese. www.eulogiausa.com

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75% Criollo Cocoa (Madagascar) – AKESSON’S

Added August 5th, 2015
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A second winner made with organic criollo cocoa from the Ambolikapiky plantation in Madagascar, this 75% cocoa solids bar delivered dried fruit and raisins on the nose, clean flavours and a silky finish. www.akessons-organic.com

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Lord London – ALSOP AND WALKER

Added August 5th, 2015
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This semi-soft cows’ milk cheese first intrigued judges with its unique and “beautiful tetilla shape”, before the “beautiful texture” seduced their palates. It caused a collective “yum” around the table, thanks to its creamy, clean flavour and a fresh milky aftertaste. www.alsopandwalker.co.uk

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75% Forastero Cocoa & Coffee Nibs (Brazil) – AKESSON’S

Added August 5th, 2015
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The coffee flavours from the nibs complement the natural flavour of the “rich but not bitter” 75% cocoa chocolate in this bar, according to the panel. The chocolate – made from Forastero beans from the famed Sempre Firme plantation in Brazil – was also said to boast the perfect snap. www.akessons-organic.com

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Vilberie medium dry cider – APPLE COUNTY CIDER CO

Added August 5th, 2015
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This lightly sparkling single variety cider is made with 100% juice from Vilberie bittersweet cider apples. This “grown up” cider’s carbonation and the level of tannins drew praise from the judges, who also enjoyed the balance of sweet and dry and its “clean, crisp and refreshing taste”. www.applecountycider.co.uk

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75% Trinitario Cocoa (Bali) – AKESSON’S

Added August 5th, 2015
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Akesson’s “sophisticated” 75% cocoa solids organic single plantation chocolate – made from Trinitario beans grown in the Sukrama farms in Bali – bowled the panel over with a “instant hit of dark chocolate in the mouth”, smoothness and a bitterness-free finish. www.akessons-organic.com

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Argan Oil – ARGANIC

Added August 5th, 2015
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Described by judges as “evocative and nostalgic”, Arganic’s oil also left a “memory of chocolate” on their palates. With a combination of “sesame, hazelnut and vanilla” notes coming through, the judges felt that this 100% pure cold pressed oil would work well with both sweet and savoury dishes. www.myarganic.co.uk

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Glen Marnoch Islay Single Malt Whisky – ALDI UK

Added August 5th, 2015
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One judge boldly proclaimed this single malt was his “new favourite whisky”. The marriage of “intense smokiness and sweet honey” astounded judges and they were equally surprised by the “warm and smooth” finish.

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100% Criollo Cocoa (Madagascar) – AKESSON’S

Added August 5th, 2015
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This organic single plantation chocolate bar is made from 100% criollo cocoa solids, harvested on the Ambolikapiky plantation in Madagascar. When tasting, the panel hailed a “technical marvel” and was astonished by the fact that this was 100% cocoa – there is no bitterness, just a rich full flavour. www.akessons-organic.com

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