Dog Bowl Review

Dog Bowl

Manchester is a growing city. Working within it, I come across many a scaffold emblazoned building with the words ‘coming soon’, adding mystery to what could be being built or renovated. One street in particular that is taking full advantage of renovation is Whitworth Street West. A long viaduct of arches has over the past few years been fitted to house such names as Gorilla and The Whim Wham Cafe, but a new name has graced the bricks – Dog Bowl.

Black Dog Brown
Black Dog Brown

Browsing the cocktail menu, you’re treated to house creations as well as twists on the more well-known. The Tijuana Sling (£6.75) caught my eye, using El Jimador, cassis, Angostura Bitters, lime and ginger ale as well as The Chairman’s Punch (£35 sharer for 4-6 people) which involves a pineapple full of Chairman’s Reserve rum, lemon and lime juice, passion fruit, pineapple and grapefruit. The Martini and Mojito (both £7) also make the list, as do Singapore Sling (£6.50), Bramble and Pina Colada (both £6.75). I however opted for the bourbon based Black Dog Brown – blackberries, Jim Beam, Liquor 43, Peychauds Bitters, fresh lime juice and a rimmed Martini glass with sugar lime. Rich, slightly on the sweet side which was fantastic, and it went down way too easily. Just what your after in a cocktail sometimes.

The food menu covers your bite sizes, quesedillas, fajitas, tacos, burgers, salads, sandwiches and smoke & fire. With these kind of titles, you expect a good variety, and that’s what is offered. The Marinated Rump Steak Quesedilla (£4.50) caught my eye, as did the Sloppy Joe (£7.50) where you receive chucked beef, smoked brisket and beef gravy on Texas toast. The D.B’s burger (£15) stood out from the rest though. 1 lb beef patty, pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked bacon, onion rings and BBQ sauce. Served piping hot, and stacked with a steak knife holding it all together, the surprise from the table behind instantly tells you your burger is on its way as it passes them. Juicy, hot, can’t get enough of it. Even the added tomato sauce (which I applaud them for making themselves – yes, real tomato sauce) just seemed to add a little bit more to the experience. And the best thing? I was full. The wooden board it came upon empty. What more could you ask for from a restaurant?


A cocktail to finish lunch came in the form of a Bourbon Cookie (£7.50). A blend of Makers Mark, Butterscotch Schnappes, passion fruit syrup and milk. Not too rich, and the Makers Mark came through after my initial fear of too much cream based ingredients. The dusting of chocolate added that little bit extra.

As for the game of bowling? I lost. Enough said.

Dog Bowl seems to have nailed itself pretty well here. The food was great, cocktails were spot on, the staff were chatty yet not overbearing. To be honest, couldn’t ask for anything more.

Try it out.

Dog Bowl is open 12pm – 3am Monday through Thursday, 12pm – 4am Fridays, 10am – 4am on Saturdays and from 10am – 3am on Sundays. One game of bowling costs £6 off peak (until 6pm Monday – Friday and after midnight every day) or £8 on peak (from 6pm Monday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday). £5 for children and students with an NUS card.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Appleton Estate

Appleton Joy

Appleton Estate is one of the world’s most well-known rum brands, hailing from Jamaica and offering up expressions used by all, from cocktails to served over ice. I finally get myself out to Jamaica soon to check out their home, but it’s got me taking a sneak peak before i jet over!

The first known documentation of rum production at the Appleton Estate dates back to 1749, however the origins of the Estate date back as far as 1655 when the British captured Jamaica from the Spanish. Frances Dickinson took part in that British conquest and it‘s believed that the Appleton Estate in the Nassau Valley, St. Elizabeth was part of the land grant that Dickinson received as a reward for his services. His grandsons were the earliest known owners of the Appleton Estate. In 1845 the Appleton Estate changed hands from the Dickinson family when it was acquired by William Hill and later changed hands again when it was purchased by one of Jamaica`s most successful merchants, A. McDowell Nathan. He unfortunately died in an earthquake in 1907 and his vast estate, including Appleton, was eventually acquired by J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. who still own it to this day.

Appleton Estate also comes with a rather unique approach to their production.

The Estate grow their own sugar cane and ferment using soft water from a spring that originates through the limestone hills within the estate. A natural culture of yeast in the fermenting process is also used that has been handed down through generations. Small batch copper pot distillation is the preferred method, blending the rum between both copper pot and column stills. Maturation takes place within 40-gallon Number One Select American Oak barrels and when selected by the Master Blender, Joy Spence, incidentally the first woman to be appointed Master Blender in the world, they are then blended to create the Appleton Estate range. After blending, the rums are set to rest, which allows the marrying of the various components and brings the blend together.

So how does the range fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Appleton Estate V/X – 40%

*NOW DISCONTINUED* A blend of rum of at least 5yrs. Light on the nose with an oak aroma coming through near the end. A slight pepper is also present. Dry spice is immediately apparent on the palate, with a vanilla flavour mixed with the oak creating a long, dry, lingering finish.

Appleton Estate Special Gold – 40%

A blend of rums distilled in pot and column stills. These are matured separately before being hand-blended, then aged in refill Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey barrels.
Plenty of caramel on the nose, although becoming lighter with hints of sweetness following. Very light on the palate, rather thin, with a slight sweetness, blended with butter flavours.

Appleton Estate Reserve Blend – 43%

Launched in 2000 to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the Appleton Estate and uses minimum 8yr old Appletons. Lots of orange on the nose, with hints of hazelnut and soft fudge. Smooth on the palate, developing warmth. Honey, toasted fudge and hits of citrus on the lingering finish.

Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12yr – 43%

A blend of rums between 12 and 18yrs. High notes of vanilla and banana on the nose, which follows onto the palate with a punch, although it mellows with a creamy texture. Creates a long, rich ending.

Appleton Estate 21yr – 43%

Following maturation, this was blended and married in casks for two years and uses minimum of 21yr aged rums. Bouquet of floral aromas and nuts. Cocoa and vanilla swirling around slowly. Plenty of nuts, thick, stewed fruits and hints of rich molasses. Long, fresh with hints of dryness.

Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend 25yr – 45%

This special blend commemorates Joy Spence’s 20th anniversary as master blender. A combination of rums aged for between 25 and 35 years.
Fresh demerara sugar upon the nose, with hints of fresh ripe banana, clove and oak coming through. Ripe notes of red apple, dried cinnamon sticks and coffee, moving to a bold kick of cocoa and toffee. A long, fresh finish, becoming quite moorish.


A cracking range of rum from Jamaica, with versatility to offer cocktails such as;

Applton - Joys Cocktail

Joy’s Cocktail; crafted by the Master herself.

Glass –


Ingredients – 

25 ml Appleton Estate Reserve Blend
75 ml Ginger ale
Slice of orange
5 drops Angostura bitters
Orange peel (garnish)

Method – 

Squeeze the orange slice into a rocks glass and then drop it in the glass and muddle it. Add ice and build in remaining ingredients and stir.

Worth seeking out a couple of the Appleton Estate range for your cocktail evenings, and at least one to sip when the occasion calls for! I’ll be sure to update as and when i experience straight from Jamaica itself!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.