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Paul’s Pies – Apple Pie Liquor

Review: Paul’s Pies – Apple Pie Liquor  (85/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on January 7, 2016

Radouga Distilleries is a small distillery which began operations in Blaine Lake Saskatchewan (near Saskatoon) on November 20th 2014. Recently I met one of their sales reps (D’arcy Nemanishin) at the November Edmonton Food and Wine Show. We chatted briefly and I sampled the distillery’s 7-time distilled Provincial Vodka (review to follow). After the show D’arcy arranged for me to receive a few samples of their line-up of Paul’s Pies Liqueurs (Paul Riben is the Owner/CEO of the distillery).

Paul Riben distills all of Radouga Distilleries products using grain that Paul grows himself. The operation is a true field to glass operation. I sampled (and my wife sampled) both the Apple and Blueberry Liqueurs over the holidays, and I have decided to share my thoughts here on my website. This is the review for Paul’s Apple Pie Liqueur.

apple-pie-sam_2914In the Bottle 4.5/5

Paul’s Pie liqueurs arrive in the small 375 ml jug-like bottle shown to the left. The spirits have an old-fashioned look complete with the charm of small ring on the neck of the bottle. The front of the bottle has a picture of who I presume must be Paul’s wife (whoever Paul is) holding a baked pie which is apparently fresh from the oven.

The back of the bottle tells us that each of the liqueurs produced at Radouga Distilleries are hand crafted from all natural products. The Apple Pie Liqueur is produced from Apple Juice, Alcohol, Sugar and Cinnamon. It is bottled at 25 % alcohol by volume.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The Paul’s Pie Apple Pie liqueur has a nice amber colour in the glass and the immediate aroma from the glass is indeed reminiscent of fresh apple pie. I checked the glass a few times for any wayward scents of astringency and could discover none which pleased me. Then I made the mistake of giving the glass to my wife to sniff. She expressed her delight at the scent of ‘Apple Pie in a Glass’ and I was forced to pour myself another as she did not give hers back to me.

I not only catch the smells of apple and cinnamon; but interestingly, I also detect the light aroma of pie crust underneath. I say, well done!

In the Mouth 51/60

If Apple Pie is your thing, then this spirit delivers. The flavour is very close to the real thing. The baked apple, the light brown sugary sweetness, and the light cinnamon and baking spices all ring true. About the only flaw is that the spirit is light bodied such that these wonderful pie flavours slide off the tongue just a little too quickly (a very minor criticism).

I tried a few of the recipes on the Radaougo Distilleries website (see here) with both the Paul’s Pies Apple Pie Liqueur and the Blueberry Pie Liqueur. I found the Blueberry Pie Liqueur easier to mix with. Whereas the Apple Pie liqueur tasted great neat, it did not seem to play easily with other ingredients (except Ice Cream … Yumm).

In the Throat 12.5/15

As indicated, the Apple Pie Liqueur is a light bodied spirit which means that the finish is rather short and the yummy apple pie flavours do not linger. It is hard to be too critical however, as a thicker spirit would probably carry too much sweetness. In terms of sweet butterscotch versus tart apple. this liqueur has probably nailed the soft spot.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

The Apple Pie Liqueur from Radouga Distilleries is a winner in every sense of the word. A true expression of Apple Pie in a glass which is sure to please. Serve it over ice cream for an unexpected treat.

You may read some of my other reviews of  Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


My Scores are out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret them as follows:

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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