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Cheshire Triple Sec

Review: Cheshire Triple Sec  (68/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on January 03, 2017

Cheshire Triple Sec is a new Orange Liqueur my wife bought for me this past Christmas. I had asked her to pick up a bottle of Bols Triple Sec which is one of my favoured Orange Curacao mixers, but instead she brought home the Cheshire.  As I was expecting Bols, I decided to do a little comparing between the two when I wrote the review.

Cheshire Triple Sec is an American spirit produced in Minnesota apparently for the Prestige Wine Group. I could find very little information regarding the spirit. What I do know I gleaned from the back label of the bottle. According to the ingredients list the orange liqueur  is produced from alcohol, water, sugar and flavour. it is bottled at 15 % alcohol by volume, and is part of the Preferred Selection at the Western Canadian Liquor Depot chain of stores.

cheshiresIn the Bottle 3.5/5

When my wife showed me the new bottle of Triple Sec she had purchased for me I was quite disappointed by what I saw. I had asked her to pick up a bottle of Bols Triple Sec (my favourite) and somehow along the way she got talked into trying the Cheshire instead. The bottle presentation does not inspire confidence. The label tells us the spirit is produced from an ‘Original Recipe’ as well as from ‘Natural Flavours’. However there is no indication at all as to what that recipe is, where it came from, or for that matter what those natural flavours are.

The somewhat vague list of ingredients doesn’t leave me with many positive feelings. To be frank, the product looks like a cheap knock-off, and my expectations are not high.

In the Glass 7/10

When I poured a little of the orange liqueur into my glencairn glass, I began my exploration by taking a sniff in the breezes above the glass. The aroma was lackluster as the orange scent seemed to lack depth and character. I had a tiny bit of Bols Triple Sec left in another bottle so I poured a little into another glencairn glass to compare. The difference was obvious as the aroma above the Bols glass was much richer, and it displayed subtle nuances which were completely absent from the Cheshire. Whereas I would describe the aroma of the Bols triple sec as full and inviting. I would describe the scent above the Cheshire glass as weak, thin and uninspiring.

In the Mouth 38/60

The Cheshire Triple Sec continues to plummet as I compare it to the Bols Triple Sec. With the Bols liqueur the intense orange flavour of the Curacao orange is on display with secondary wisps of lemon and mint providing a complementary presence. With the Cheshire the orange flavour is dull and flat. The only nuance making a presence is an almost dominant impression of sugar syrup. I am almost fearful of making a cocktail.

However, in the interest of a good review I decided to make two Margarita cocktails side by side. One with Cheshire Triple Sec, and one with the last of my Bols Triple Sec. I used a clean Blanco Tequila which I quite like called Avion, and fresh lime juice for both cocktails. Avion is a really good tequila for clean Margaritas and it was no surprise to me that both cocktails tasted good. However there was a decided difference between the two as the cocktail made with the Cheshire lacked balance. The lime was pushing through the cocktail, but the orange liqueur was for the most part lost. Without that orange flavour presence, it just tasted like something was missing. The Margarita Cocktail made with the Bols tasted exactly as it should and was by far the more pleasing libation.

In the Throat 12/15

The Cheshire Triple Sec is uninteresting with a flat finish that lacks that punch of orange flavour which I would expect from a good Orange liqueur. I almost believe I taste more sugar syrup than I do Curacao Orange.

The Afterburn 6.5/10

Sometimes you can’t judge a book by its cover; but sometimes you can. I indicated earlier in the review that the bottle presentation gave me the impression that this product was nothing but a cheap knockoff. Nothing in my investigations gave me any reason to change my mind. Avoid this one, as the flavour is much like the Cheshire cat it is named for. The orange seems to disappear leaving only the disembodied taste of sugar syrup behind.

If you wish to have some comparative reviews of other Orange liqueurs you may click here.


Suggested Recipe:

cheshire-sam_2937Here is the Margarita Recipe found on the back label of the Cheshire Triple Sec bottle.

Margarita Cocktail

2 oz Blanco Tequila
1 1/3 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Cheshire Triple Sec
crushed Ice
Ice Cubes

Place the three ingredients in a metal shaker with equal parts of crushed ice and ice cubes
Shake vigorously until the sides of the shaker frost
Strain into a cocktail glass

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


My Reviews contain a rating or score out of 100, and these scores can be interpreted using the following scale:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing spirit.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)



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