31 December 2022

Colin the Caterpillar a Pastry Stout (Wee Beer Shop @WeeBeerShop) By @SpectreUK

Kees Colin the Caterpillar a Pastry Stout

So first I'll talk about Colin the Caterpillar, and the battle of Cuthbert. Cuthbert seems to be a lucky caterpillar, as Aldi created him in competition with the more expensive Marks and Spencer's version. There was a battle in the courts, a crazy ad campaign, and Cuthbert won through.

This beer could be a lucky or unlucky beer, as it may have been brewed with the remnants of Colins that couldn't make it out of the court room. This pastry stout is made with white and milk chocolate. Brewed by Brouwerij Kees in The Netherlands, at 12.4% in volume, this Colin the Caterpillar pastry stout should have an alcoholic kick like an angry bug who lost an ad campaign and a lengthy court battle. Produced with Best Pale Ale malt, as well as Haver, Crystal, Brown and Chocola, and with Sabro hops, this stout should be quite a sweet treat liquid pudding.

On opening this Colin the Caterpillar Pastry Stout there was an instant alcoholic, almost liquor aroma mixed with sweet creamy chocolate. On taste this jet black stout is one of the creamiest drinks I've ever tried, and then the booziness kicked in, which bowled me almost off my feet. I could sink quite a few of these stouts and sleep very well afterwards. Gorgeous sweet creamy chocolate malt to start with, almost chocolate cake like in succulence, but it's a boozy cake and with no mistake. Whoosh. That creamy chocolate booziness stayed smouldering on my palate for the rest of the mouthful and way into the aftertaste. Yummy pudding liquor stout. I want another. Hic.

Talking of lucky Cuthbert and lucky or unlucky animals. I am a Rabbit, the luckiest of the twelve animals of the Zodiac. This Year of the Rabbit starts on the 22nd of January 2023 and ends on the 9th of February 2024. This year should mean prosperity, longevity, and wisdom. Rabbits are supposed to be soft and tender, modest in attitude, merciful, elegant and beautiful, whilst trying to maintain pleasant relationships with those around them, avoiding irritation and conflict. People who know me may snort at that explanation and giggle, as much of the time I seem to be a particularly grouchy old rabbit that doesn't take any nonsense from anyone, but I have my good sides too, you just have to dig a little deeper at times.

Personally I'm hoping this will be a healing year. I have spent years working hard on my fitness, whilst losing weight, and healing my injuries to the best of my abilities and with a constant maintainable routine, at the same time I've concentrated on healing my mind from the various stresses and strains I've been through in the past. Just like everyone else, as we grow older, we gain more and more scars. Sometimes we don't have time to concentrate on healing those scars with our busy day to day, but it is so important for our wellbeing to do so.

This year, I am hoping to concentrate on healing my heart. Current relationships aside, my heart has taken such a terrible beating over the years. This Year of the Rabbit is the perfect year to try to sit back and not be so hard on myself all the time. Yes, I will work, and I will fit in my daily chores and continue my exercise routine, but now is the year to fully heal the rest of my wounds. I would recommend those of you that can, and realise that you need to do so, don't be so hard on yourselves, be good to yourselves, as we all deserve to shine.

Have a happy New Year, wherever you may be.

30 December 2022

Henrich Haeberlein Lebkuchen (Present) By @Cinabar

Henrich Haeberlein Lebkuchen

This awesome tin of Lebkuchen was a gift for Christmas. Lebkuchen is a traditional German baked treat that is spongy, but I still refer to it as a biscuit. It is typically enjoyed during the Christmas season. The biscuits are often made with a mixture of flour, honey, spices, and candied fruit. This fine tin is the cute shape of an old-fashioned truck, complete with moving wheels. If that wasn’t cool enough, there is a wind-up mechanism at the front that plays a tune. It is a super cute biscuit tin, and one that is definitely a keepsake for after Christmas.

Henrich Haeberlein Lebkuchen

 Inside the tin are three different types of Lebkuchen biscuits: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and no chocolate. All three are lovely and soft, with light spicy notes. I dunk most biscuits, but not these because they are already soft. The chocolates are my favourites, but I'm honestly more than happy to munch on all three. I enjoy a bit of cinnamon, and these do the trick; they also scream Christmas to me, and go great with a hot chocolate on a cold evening. I really am going to miss all the wonderful spiced (specifically cinnamon spiced) goodies that are around this time of year, and I do need to stack up a bit before the season ends.

Henrich Haeberlein Lebkuchen

29 December 2022

Mr Kipling Plum Pear & Cinnamon Pies (@NLi10)

 I don’t like mince pies, so instead of clearing up all the left over ones I’ve invested in Mr Kipling’s latest offering for us non sultana/raisin people.

This has Plum, Pear and a little cinnamon (barely any really) to make some tiny jam tarts with hats

Look at them - they barely exist!

As pretty as they are there really isn’t much to them, and they are best used on a saucer next to a cup of tea.

And for that purpose they are perfect, but don’t expect to be making a trip to the kitchen especially to get more.  These won’t generate the excitement that a crispy mince pie seems to create, but it’s a nice try and something to look for in more luxury ranges.

28 December 2022

Proper Chips - Barbecue Lentil Chips (Local Shop) By @SpectreUK

Proper Chips - Barbecue Lentil Chips

Well I've enjoyed my fill of belly pork and crackling, Christmas Pudding and Christmas Cake, Yule Log, plenty of beer, Christmas Mead, and lots of chocolate and sweets, so I'm feeling like I need to be a little healthier today. I found these Proper Chips - Barbecue Lentil Chips at a cafe at work a little while back. The fire engine red packet with an image of a guy delivering chillies on the front promises a bit of heat to these crisps, so I'm hoping for a burn to go with my ham and tomato sandwich for lunch.

On opening the packet there was a sweet barbecue aroma from the reddened lentil crisps inside. On taste these Proper Barbecue Lentil Chips are proper indeed. Gosh they taste good. No, they're not spicy chilli burning hot as the front of the packet suggests, but they do taste of sweet barbecue seasoning, and they were lovely and crunchy. They certainly were a tasty healthy treat after all that indulgence over the last few days.

Information on the packet;
The 20g packet contained 94 calories, 3.9g of fat, 0.9g of sugar, 1.9g of protein, and 0.51g of salt. With natural seasoning, gluten free, no palm oil, and vegan friendly, please see photograph for the ingredients.

Proper Chips - Barbecue Lentil Chips

27 December 2022

Chocolate Fudge Yule Log (Morrisons) By @Cinabar

Chocolate Fudge Yule Log (Morrisons)

As a self-confessed lover of chocolate, for me, one of the greatest desserts to have for Christmas is the Yule Log. This year we went for the Morrisons Chocolate Fudge Yule Log for our seasonal treat. We did actually start out with a Sainsbury’s one, but then realised the use-by date was well before Christmas, so we were forced to eat it during the World Cup, you feel for me right? Then we almost didn’t have a Yule log because just after that the snow hit and was quite bad in this area for over a week. Once that had gone, Spectre picked up this fab cake for us.

We had it for dessert today, following a lovely ham, egg, and chips dinner. The cake is very pretty to look at; it has lovely, sparkly decorations and certainly looks the part. The chocolate is in a perfect, neat roll, and it is filled with chocolate fudge. We served it with a dollop of left-over brandy cream. 

This is a rich cake, and a proper gorgeous chocolate over load. The sponge is perfectly soft and moist, and the chocolate fudge filling is generous and rich, an absolute delight. This is an indulgent treat and was so very good. I hope you are all still enjoying the seasonal food and looking forward to the New Year’s celebrations too.

Chocolate Fudge Yule Log (Morrisons)

26 December 2022

Peeps Marshmallow Stockings (Candy Mail) By @Cinabar

Peeps Marshmallow Stockings

I love hot chocolate, and I love marshmallows, specifically for dipping in or topping hot chocolate. Marshmallows in the UK aren’t exciting. It is easy enough to get pink and white ones, and maybe some twists, but anything more than that, and you have to look to the import shops. One of America’s biggest companies for marshmallows is Peeps; they make chicks and all sorts of shapes, so for Christmas hot chocolate, I bought these Peeps Marshmallow Stockings.

There isn’t a flavour to the marshmallows; they are vanilla, but they are fabulously shaped like red stockings.

I opened up the box, and I have to admit the decoration on these was a little minimalist. The white fur of the red stocking was actually just a very faint line, rather than anything more impressive. The picture on the packet showed quite a bit of white fur in the illustration.

I dunked them in hot chocolate, and the flavour was lovely; these Peeps Marshmallow Stockings are a sugary delight. They're soft, but a little crispy around the edges, and wonderfully fluffy on the inside. These did make a good seasonal hot chocolate extra and are still my go-to for marshmallows. I would have liked a little more design detail, but by the time it's been dunked in hot chocolate, all that matters is that they're yummy and tasty, which they are. 

Peeps Marshmallow Stockings

25 December 2022

Churros For Christmas! (plus Gaudi tour) by @NLi10

Merry Christmas!  It's not often my reviews go up on Christmas Day so I figured I'd make the most of it by sharing the last of the pictures in Spain - predominantly of my favourite part - the Churros.

Here we have a pink icing coated Churro which I'd not seen before so bought a couple to chew on over the trip.

It even came in fake Spanish newspaper which was very entertaining.  The market in this square in Girona was one of the best we saw too.

Each stall had a theme and they didn't seem to repeat - lots of home-made gifts that we couldn't really take with us.  But also a lovely little Churro shed which sold us 250g of Churro and some hot chocolate (no Kinder - boo) to dip it in.

I didn't think to get a picture of the whole lot of them.  I got the impression they expected us to buy a larger pot but this was the perfect size for two.

On other days - back in Barcelona we wandered around at night, looking for bonus food of course.  Here we see one of Gaudi's buildings - this is the one you can go on the roof gardens of.  I'm sure I've done that in the past.

We stayed opposite the Casa Batilo - which seems designed to confuse the iPhones photo processors!

Which led us to a fantastic ice-cream shop that sold me some waffles - even though the owner was Argentinian and the football was on.

They had a TV and a Radio with the commentary so I didn't feel too bad. Maybe we brought them luck in the penalties!

Tried to have a different thing for breakfast where possible - custard swirl

shared a pan-au-choc

Bready croissant?  Probably supposed to be for lunch...

This pastel de nata was for an afternoon snack

xuxho!  It's basically a creme filled deep fried pastry.  I should have tried to have one of these every day really.

So many good options though!

Hope your Christmas table is as bountiful as the pastry counters of Barcelona - have a great one!!


24 December 2022

Eagle Brewery Christmas Porter (Sainsbury’s) By @SpectreUK

Eagle Brewery Christmas Porter

Christmas does seem to come around quicker each year, especially as you get older. I'm saying this from experience. For many it can be a tough time through loneliness, debt, illness, loss, war or famine or many other problems. I'm going to raise my glass to everyone tonight and hope that it gets better for the troubled folk, and those that are happy and content with their lot, cheers to all of you out there.

And what better way to drink in Christmas Eve with this offering from the Eagle Brewery, in Bedfordshire. At 5.2% in volume, Christmas Porter promises dark fruits, sweet plum, raisin, nutmeg and chocolate malt flavours with a buttery aftertaste, from its combination of Challenger, Fuggles and Goldings hops, chocolate malt, and rolled oats.

The back of the bottle suggests leaving this bottle out for Father Christmas with some mince pies and a carrot or a few for his reindeer. It's a shame for old Santa that I only have the one bottle to blog about. Oh, well, it looks like I'll be on the 'naughty list' again. Maybe it's something to look forward to? I was born in the year of the rabbit, and its Lunar Year starts on the 23rd of January 2023. It's supposed to be a patient and gentle year, but if I know bunnies, we're anything but.

On opening this Christmas Porter there was a deep fruity sweet malt chocolate aroma to the almost black ale. It had a finish of a smooth almost creamy head on pouring. I could quickly see what they meant by a buttery finish, but that butteriness seemed to start almost immediately for me. This butteriness was mixed with the dark fruits, a touch of raisins and stronger plum flavours from the mildly bitter hops, a little warming nutmeg spice, and a depth of succulent chocolate malt towards that buttery finish.

I don't think I've ever had a beer that's buttery before, so that's a last first for this year, I guess. This Christmas Porter would fit rather well as a liquid dessert. It certainly went very well with my traditional jammy doughnut from Greggs for my pudding. Simply gorgeous.

Have a very merry Christmas all of you out there!

23 December 2022

Hot Chocolate Stirrer Trio (M&S) By @cinabar

Hot Chocolate Stirrer Trio (M&S)

Happy Christmas Eve Eve

I have a drink problem. The drinks cabinet barely closes any longer. I’m ashamed of the amount of money I have spent on my habit. I keep telling myself that each one I buy is the last one, and then I find myself buying more. My drink problem is hot chocolate, and I need to stop buying the stuff and start drinking my way through the stash. This gift set (which yes, I bought for myself) is taking up a fair bit of room, so I thought I’d crack it open and give it a try. Besides, we are almost at the point where there is nowhere to put the coffee, so something has to give.

The box of hot chocolate contains three types of stirrers: milk, dark, and white. All three have a larger than usual piece of chocolate on them. There is a lot of chocolate to mix in, but it melted easily. One of the key benefits of hot chocolate stirrers is that they are incredibly easy to use. Simply heat up a mug of milk (or non-dairy milk), drop in a hot chocolate stirrer, and stir until the chocolate has melted and the drink is smooth and creamy. The result is a perfectly balanced and indulgent hot chocolate that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

These are a luxurious treat that can add a touch of luxury and fun to your hot chocolate experience, whether you're cuddling up on the couch on a cold winter night or spending a cosy Christmas evening in with friends.

I am now fighting the urge to buy another pack of these, but honestly, I have run out of storage!

Hot Chocolate Stirrer Trio (M&S)

22 December 2022

Festive EuroFinds Barcelona (@NLi10)

 Ho Ho Ho! It's time to look at the overpriced novelty stuff from the top brands again - but this time in Spain!  They have all kinds of Euro stuff, but it's not quite the overload that you'd find in Germany or England - maybe I just didn't go into big enough stores.

A quick rearrange of the shelves for photo purposes and we have Nestle Bestial Mix - which despite the odd name (for English people) looks like a lot of fun.  A bit expensive and we can't buy them all - but something I'd be looking to try.  Oddly it looks like the idea is to take the fun shaped biscuits then mash them up.  Surely that can't be great.  Maybe the mix means some dinosaurs survive too.

Santa is provided by KitKat (also Nestle) but these were a bit odd - almost all of them had been crushed!  I think the idea is that there are KitKat bites inside, but no one buys Nestle branded stuff for the chocolate so the santa part is a bit of a novelty waste - especially if these are near the Lindt animals!

Kinder (and Farero Roche in the back left) have the right idea.  All the child suppression (Kinder Sorpresa) is Christmas related - and as big as they dare!  Comparatively this would have been the affordable option - Christmas eggs from Spain would have been about £1 each for the normal versions and as they came in boxes might have survived the RyanAir flight.

The wisemen looked ace too - but I resisted these as I thought I'd get kinder brand Churro sauce at some point.  I did not. :(

The airport had an amazing deal on Toblerones - if you bought two then they were the same price as they would be in Tesco back home. Awesome work!!  I'm not sure when the airports figured out they only had to pretend to be cheaper than the normal shops - but it seemed to be working on a lot of people.  Maybe it's just the exchange rate - or you are supposed to buy these with the refunds you get for delayed flights...

As a bonus (with a pic that shows the lovely hotel and weather - it was a t-shirt day!) I allowed myself this Bollycao Dip Dip which isn't Christmassy

But it does remind me of my childhood - where the regulations hadn't dictated that the chocolate must be hard in the UK versions of these things (probably due to cocoa content reasons) and not like a pretend Churro dip like this is. 

If only I were in a country that had the real things on tap...

21 December 2022

Christmas Spiced Tea (M&S) By @SpectreUK

Christmas Spiced Tea (M&S)

Searching high and low for any products we haven't tried with 'Christmas' in the title, or at least we haven't blogged about before, Cinabar found this Christmas Tea in a local store. This is a black tea with a blend of spices, including Cassia Bark, Liquorice Rout, Allspice, and dried fruit, including apple and orange peel.

I ignored the suggestion on "how to make the perfect cup of tea" on the back of the box, as I know by now how to make tea the way I like it, which is strong, dark, and with no added sugar. I'm sweet enough. I just had a spot of milk in my mug after brewing, and I put Shakin' Stevens "Merry Christmas Everyone" on repeat, to get into the Christmas spirit.

On breaking open a box of mince pies I hummed along to the music as no one wants to hear me try to sing. On smelling this Christmas Tea there was a spicy woody aroma. On taste there was a lot of warming spice to this tea, the bark shone through all that spice, and then the orange peel provided a little citrus which was balanced out with fruity apple into the aftertaste.

This was definitely a warming spicy tea, spicier than a regular Chai and very flavoursome indeed. I'll look forward to enjoying the rest of the box with my Christmas Dinner, Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding, fruit cakes, mince pies and everything else I'm going to gorge myself on over the next couple of weeks.

Merry Christmas Everyone! :-)

Christmas Spiced Tea (M&S)

20 December 2022

A Winter Wonderbar (M&S) By @cinabar

A Winter Wonderbar (M&S)

This bar is pretty, in fact very pretty, and that is its best attribute. This "Winter Wonderbar" from Marks and Spencer has clear packaging at the top to show off the beautiful bar. It is made up of white chocolate, blonde chocolate, and milk chocolate, all set in layered peaks, and is visually stunning. I bought it because of how it looks, and I won’t be the only one.

We decided to eat it as a treat while catching up on Traitors (the show had so many positive reviews that we had to give it a try). I opened up the bar, and it looked the part, but the first problem was breaking it into sharing bits, and the pieces are awkward sizes but could be broken into peaks. I picked a large piece to give it a try, and, well, it was really hard and difficult to bite. I mean, the chocolate was very solid, and the shape is cumbersome; I was trying to break a bit off and or bite it, and it was difficult. It is a solid, large lump of chocolate. The shape took away all the pleasure of eating the chocolate. I tried a smaller bit, and that was nice; the chocolate is sweet, creamy in flavour and very tasty, but the large pieces felt like a chore to munch on. It was a disappointment, and I found myself feeling like a party pooper and wishing Marks and Spencer had just made a flat bar instead of this "Winter Wonderbar." The big pieces I have left I’m going to put in mugs, add hot milk, and make hot chocolate because I’m not going to waste it, but I’m not keen on eating it either.

A Winter Wonderbar (M&S)

19 December 2022

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Bombe (Aldi) By @Cinabar

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Bombe (Aldi)

So the instructions on the back of the box for this Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Bombe are wrong, written by someone who doesn’t get what this product does. In a hot chocolate bombe, the idea is that the chocolate melts in hot milk and becomes hot chocolate, and when it does, marshmallows appear from the centre and float to the top. 

The instructions state to heat a mug of milk and add the bombe; if you do this, the chocolate won’t fit (it is big) or the milk will spill down the sides. Or you won’t have much of a drink if you use less milk. Put the hot chocolate bomb in the bottom of an empty mug and fill it with hot milk; the milk will melt the chocolate as you pour; the milk will dissolve a hole in the bomb; the milk will then melt it from the inside and pop; the marshmallows will burst to the top.That is how you should do this. This also means you will get a full mug of hot chocolate too. That is how I made it, and it was perfect.

It did require a bit of stirring to get all the chocolate mixed in, but it looked absolutely lovely. There were plenty of marshmallows, and the chocolate flavour had a lovely taste of salted caramel. This is a fun, soothing drink with lots of chocolate, perfect for a Christmas Eve treat or a special occasion, but do make sure you add the milk to the bombe and not the other way around.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Bombe (Aldi)

18 December 2022

Takis - Ninja Teriyaki (from Spain) @NLi10

 We’ve had Takis in the `U.K. for a bit but they tend to be a little expensive - but in Spain there are little bags for 1 Euro and the full size ones are 2 Euro - result!

So I got a couple of the little bags to try the new flavour.

But there was an extra hot flavour we didn’t risk! In hindsight I think a small bag of these might have been a nice idea.

I’m not really sure what they are in about here - talking about the spicyness - these really aren’t one slot lower than the Fuego versions!

They were a tiny bag and they lasted most of the holidays, nice and they do taste like a meaty teriyaki, but Takis are best when the fire is really close to the edge - with the lime hit and the build of the spice.  These just didn’t hit the right spot - but they were nice enough. 

17 December 2022

Eagle Brewery Winter Warmer (Sainsbury’s) By @SpectreUK

Eagle Brewery Winter Warmer

I thought my winter warmer would be the sauna at my local gym. Mind you, the steam room can be pretty good to for warming up my old bones. This Winter Warmer was provided by the local supermarket, and produced by Eagle Brewery, in Bedfordshire. At 5.3% in volume and brewed with Challenger hops, this dark winter ale should provide some fruitiness to go with the roasted sweet malted barley.

The back of the bottle recommended steak and ale pie to go with this Winter Warmer. I'm opting for a Chinese takeaway of Pork Yuk Sung to start with, and then Peppered Steak with noodles, which isn't too far away, I suppose. I also noticed on the back of the bottle this beer is a whopping 236 calories, so after a slight adjustment to the amount of chocolate and ice cream I was going to have for afters, I popped open the bottle.

As an aside, where my daily calorie intake is concerned, I'm just waiting for the juggle on Christmas Day. I don't eat breakfast, and have around 2,200 calories a day as well as doing a huge amount of exercise in order to keep my weight down for my poor old knee. You would not believe the weighing up of a little light lunch to Christmas dinner of belly pork, crackling, roasted potatoes, veg, and pigs in blankets compared to Christmas Pudding and brandy custard, but we do it every year, and it always tastes really good.

On opening this Winter Warmer there was a deep rich fruity and malty aroma from the dark brown ale inside. Gosh this is a flavourful beer, with an initial biscuity almost burnt toast flavour as the roasted barley malt came straight into play, and then the fruitiness from the hops provided more depth, a little spice and a cutting bitterness. This Winter Warmer then smoothed out into the aftertaste with what I'm sure was a little chocolate malt for afters. Mmm… Perfect for a dark snowy night outside sitting watching an old movie in front of a heater, wrapped in a good thick blanket. Cheers.

16 December 2022

The Great Foodstuff Finds Mince Pie Taste Test - Results - By @Cinabar

Mince Pies

If you were wondering "who ate all the pies," I can confirm: it was us! We have taste tested and rated most of the high street Mince Pies on sale this year. We have been around all the shops, from Aldi to Marks and Spencer, and even stopped off at Greggs on the way. We took into account pastry, filling, and design and packaging, collated scores, and gave a percentage rating to all of them, and now the results are in:

Aldi Holly Lane Mince Pies

Aldi Holly Lane Mince Pies - Rated: 57% 

(£1.09 for 6, equivalent to 18p each)

I really wanted these to do well; we all root for the underdog, and to be honest, these weren't bad pies at all.They came last on our list as the filling wasn’t very generous and the pastry was dry.

M&S 6 Iced Topped Mince Pies

M&S 6 Iced Topped Mince Pies -  Rated 69%

(£2 for 6, equivalent to 33p each)

The pastry was nice, but there was not enough mincemeat and the icing was too thick.

Sainsbury’s Mince Pies

Sainsbury’s Mince Pies - Rated 72%

(£1.25 for 6, equivalent to 21p each)

These ones were really nice; the pastry was a bit thick and a little dry, but the filling was really good.

M&S Lattice Mince Pies

M&S Lattice Mince Pies - Rated 82%

(£2 for 6, equivalent to 33p each)

The pastry seems thick, but it is soft and tasty. There is orange peel in the mincemeat, which was absolutely lovely. 

Mr Kipling Mince Pies

Mr Kipling Mince Pies - Rated 82%

(£1.85 for 6, equivalent to 31p each)

Well these are the classic British mince pie through and through. The pastry is a little thick, but there is plenty of filling too; they are wonderfully generously filled and well flavoured. 

Iceland Mince Pies

Iceland Mince Pies - Rated 82%

(£1.20 for 6, equivalent to 20p each)

These are the best budget mince pies we could find. They look a little smaller overall, but they have good pastry and a nice filling that is sweet and well spiced. 

Tesco Iced Topped Mince Pies

Tesco Iced Topped Mince Pies - Rated 92%

(£1.75 for 6, equivalent to 29p each)

These were so well balanced: a nice layer of icing, not too thick, and a decent pastry with a tasty filling.

Greggs Mince Pies

Greggs Mince Pies - Rated 97%

(Sold individually for 60p each)

These pies are rather generous, bigger than the boxed versions from other brands. They are baked fresh, and the pastry is spot-on buttery, not too thick, and still has a bit of crunch. The mincemeat is juicy with plenty of fruit, these are a proper treat.

And the winners are...

Walkers of Scotland Mince Pies

Walkers of Scotland Mince Pies - Rated 100%

(£5 for 4, equivalent to £1.25 each)

Yes, these pies got 100%; that is, every person gave them full marks in every single category. They were by far the most expensive pies we purchased, but what can I say, they at least met our expectations.The filling was juicy and flavorful, and there was plenty of it. The pastry was next level; it was so buttery and biscuit-like and an absolute joy to eat. Everyone was just saying "mmmm" while they ate them. They are a bit good, and from the scores, you can see they are actual mince pie perfection.

Have we missed any pies you think should be rated too? Let us know! Which ones are your favourite?