Here it is then…the King Daddy of last year for us gets the honour of being the very first Mince Pie review of the year for the very first year of the blog. This is a public service I’m doing here, I’m eating all the pies, so you don’t have too…

So, let’s crack on then..

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fullsizeoutput_375bPackaging
The packaging is pretty stylish really, the kind of thing I like. Not very traditional, but it
looks like properly baked, expensive stuff. There is a nice window into the pies, always a good sign of a quality product, the picture shows sugar everywhere which accurately reflects the sugar that’ll be everywhere when you eat these. It’s not super Christmassy though and you could easily pretend this packaging was for blackberry pies.

8/10 – High quality but marked down for a lack of Christmassyness!

Presentation
So, these pies are pretty.

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The top decoration of these pies is a 3 leaf piece of holly. That, and quite clearly a whole packet of sugar. It looks nice, and the pie top sits on top of the edges, again a good sign of a premium pie.

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Side view shows a little bit of overflow on the right there, so not perfectly constructed. Bog standard silver tray.

7/10 – It’s attractive, but nothing remarkable. The tons of sugar gives a pretty finish.

Filling
Well, it’s a pretty full pie this one, check it out:

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Not only is it full, it’s crumbly. I couldn’t cut it in half very neatly I’m afraid.

The filling does look pretty mushy though, lacking a lot in the chunks of fruit stakes. Still, it’s substantial, which it ought to be for the price I guess.

7/10 – Good amount of filling, but looks mushy, lacking many pieces of visible fruit.

Taste Test
As usual. The pie is washed down with a good mug of Twinings Strong Breakfast Tea, which is important as this can influence the end. Some pies can leave a sticky mouth, too much butter, or be crumbly, dry etc. It’s important to stay consistent, so that’s how I’ll wash them all down.

So, what’s this pie like? The best description is boozy.

First bite into the pie, the pastry is crumbly and very very buttery. The amount of sugar on top gets everywhere, but I think it’s important to help the pastry. It’s so buttery, if you aren’t washing it down with a brew, you are going to end up with a pretty gooey mouth. Taste wise though, the pastry is good when it’s all put together.

The filling is very boozy, tastes like there is a really good amount of brandy in there. It definitely lacks in the fruity department though, being more like a slightly fruity, alcoholic flavoured butter pie.

Any yet, it’s wonderfully nice. Nothing over-powering, nothing undercooked, nice and flavourful, it’s really hard to genuinely fault the flavour mix. For that reason, I’m going with a good score here too.

16/20 – Outstandingly tasty in many ways, but not quite enough fruit and just a bit butter heavy.

Final Score
So, you may have noticed, the score is out of 50…so the final score for these pies is:

(drumroll….)

38 out of 50

Overall, not bad and tastes very similar to last year. Which suggests I’m tight with my scoring, but I’m hopeful we’ll beat these this year.

This is the first of many reviews, so when the next few go up, I’ll put-up the league table too and you’ll be able to compare them. Have to stress, this is my personal opinion only, so your mileage may vary as they say.