Airplane bottles aka minis


Since we’re on a booze kick we might as well run with it for another day. Over the years I’ve been picking up these 50ml “airplane” bottles or mini’s to taste different bottles of alcohol(mostly tequila’s) and I’m always thrown by the range of tastes I get from them. Case in point, Avion, which we reviewed here. While I had posted a decent review of their juice, I had written Avion off as a bottle I keep around as I just never found it interesting. I felt it’s flavor profile was too “Americanized” like they filtered all the stuff that could have made it great, out. Recently I had a chance to taste it out of some airplane bottles and it was far different than I had remembered. When we tasted it from the mini’s, it took on a completely different profile, for the worse. All the ages had this weird salty, spiky agave vibe, especially the blanco which I had previously enjoyed. This and some previous tasting from mini’s got me thinking that they aren’t always the best way to review spirits, so I did some research.

It turns out, the internet told me that a lot of distilleries will bottle the different sized bottles at different times, say the 750ml’s first, liter’s, handles, and onto the mini’s. So it makes sense that the alcohol at the top of the vat can taste different than the bottom. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen as the distilleries aren’t exactly forthcoming about their processes, and rightfully so. Now I’ve had mini’s that I thoroughly enjoyed, both as introductions to the brand (treasure bottle Espolon) and samples of things I’ve had before (Casa Noble).

So where are we going with this? Don’t take a sampling of mini bottles as the end all be all of a brand. You owe it to your pallet to get a second taste from a different source. Now that I think about it, I’d be willing to do the same for brands I’ve had pours from at a bar. So I’m not rendering previous reviews as useless but as a reviewer I will do due diligence in having another pour before reviewing. I’d love to know your thoughts on tasting mini’s as well.



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