This is exciting…no it is…honestly it is, bare with me here…these are John Lewis mince pies. Yes, I know it doesn’t say John Lewis on the box, and the brand is Cottage Delight, but, honestly look at what I grabbed from their website.Screenshot 2018-10-18 at 15.34.01

That’s right…it’s EXCLUSIVE to John Lewis.

And yes, that’s the actual price of them, £4.75, which we’ll find out shortly if it is extremely expensive or not!

So, without too much further ado…let’s crack on and find out if these are really as tipsy as they claim.

 

 

Packaging

If I’m honest, I like this. It’s the simplicity of it really, the green is a great Christmassy colour. The imagery evokes thoughts of Christmas trees and pine forests in Scandinavia, it’s really pretty.

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They don’t need to show a picture of the pies, because they are right there, on display and frankly looking great. There are no nutritional bits on the front of the box, which is unusual in this day and age, but no matter.

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Despite appearances though, it is not a large box. The weight on the website listing may give this away, this box weighs in at just 220g. These are definitely in the small pie category, a category for which I consider two at a time the minimum investment with a cup of tea.

7/10 – Brave showing all of the pies and smartly presenting them with a pretty box

Presentation

I already commented that these do look good just looking at the box. What may not be apparent though, is that the windows in the box are actually openings to the inside.

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Don’t panic, the pies are thankfully sealed for freshness and from dirty fingers.

Let’s have a closer look without that plastic covering…

Version 2

It’s an interesting look on these things. They have a kind of coating which isn’t unattractive, but isn’t the greatest. I do love the top of them though, that’s how you can make a pretty looking pie without needing to put a lid on it, well done the designers on that.

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Having said all that, and being hyper-critical here, the topping is perhaps a little uneven across all of the pies, but that is being very picky and it’s food after all, so some variance is fine.

8/10 – Very attractive considering there is no lid on these

Filling

I guess this is an easy one when there’s no lid right?

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They are full to the brim with some kind of filling and they smell extremely boozy too.

That said, this filling does not look like it’s full of big fruity bits, so by the smell, this could be a booze-fest as opposed to a spicy fruit-fest. Being small pies too, this is hard to judge for certain and hard to compare against some of the rest.

7/10 – They’re full, they smell super-boozy but not a lot of fruit to be spied!

Taste Test

Alright then, tasting time. And this is quite a surprise.

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When I saw the size of these things, I have to say, I was disappointed. I’m no fan of small pies generally and these are easily possible to hit in a single mouthful if you’re feeling particularly wasteful. So, I started on the back foot.

Then the smell hit me. I’ve written a few of these reviews now and if you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that I do like a boozy pie. It is very clear when you whiff these, it’s going to be pretty boozy.

And so I bit in. The pastry has a satisfying crunch to it, there is some real substance there and, although it’s perhaps marginally too dry and powdery for a buttery pastry, it’s just fine. Then the boozy hit of the mincemeat hit and just cascaded through my senses.

Then within seconds, it was gone. Small pie.

So I had another.

And then another.

These are really very nice. It is hard to say much more, but they are great tasting mini mince pies. Big thumbs up!

19/20 – High marks on taste, this is a winner if you like a small pie.

Overall

A big surprise this for a small pie and I should admit, not everyone who tasted these was as enamoured as I was, so that’s a big caveat. And if you’re looking for fruity perhaps these may not be your thing. But for most people, these are top class.

41/50