On the back of their illegal muling operation that saw bottles of SX9 crossing the Tasman from regional airports, the team from New Zealand are breaking the law all over again.
In Australia, expect an adulterated product. The offending label ships with built in censorship to get around the ban on the word cigarettes in any retail environment here. The abv too will come down to 37.5%. You could be forgiven for thinking that this is just to preempt the alcohol fueled violence that seems to trouble the majority of young Australians, but in reality it will mean a break in tax and duty which means this tasty looking bottle will be there or thereabouts in terms of competitively priced spirits, a couple of red bills should see a bottle tucked safely in the back of your moped.
Out of the bottle, the liquid is good. A nose of cakey spices, the morning brew and the guy on the next table smoking full-tar Marlboro Reds. When it hits your tounge you get a smooth feel with a smoky finish, less than scotch lovers will want but more than many will have experienced. The roasted coffee rolls into and amplifies the characteristics of the Trinidad and Tobago spirit. Hints of leather, chocolate, trade spices and sugarcane sweetness. A lingering finish that reminds me of waking up on New years Day after too many cigarettes and not enough restraint the night before.
This is by no means a liqour of dressed up finery. It sits moodily in the corner, ready for anything and waiting for no one.
Build it up with too much ice, not enough coke and a squeeze of lime. Luxuriate with it up in a Manhattan if you must, or let things get all bitter and twisted:
Lou Reed’s Last Dance
60 mls Stolen Coffee and cigarettes
15mls Fernet Branca
15mls Quick Brown Fox Coffee Liqueur
Stir over ice and strain. Put “Vicious” on the gramophone and sink into it.