Expert's verdict... 8/10 ?Kir Royal is a cocktail made from Crème de Cassis and sparkling wine and is a variant of the traditional Kir, which became popular in France in the late 1800's. This is a pre-mix from Lejay Lagoute and carries all the classic dark berry fruit flavours. There is good petillance, a light body, a pleasant cassis-driven medium-long finish and a medium level of sweetness. The packaging design is simple but strong and should achieve good standout. This is an interesting alternative to many new world sparklers. Henry Moran, trading manager, spirits, MBL. Consumer's verdict... 6/10 ?The no-frills packaging is simple and would appeal to a younger audience. I thought it was a bit cheap-looking and would look classier if it was just black and gold. The taste was very sweet and a bit heavy on the cassis. The bubbles didn't last that long either. It was pleasant but not very complex. It's an easy-drinking summer tipple. The price is reasonable, at £8.99, and provides a competitive alternative to sparkling wine. I think this would draw in the alcopop buyers for special occasions. I may buy it again, but as an accompaniment for a dessert. Lara Savage, shop assistant, Brighton A year down the line... Highland Park 12 year Old Company: Maxxium UK Launch Price: £25.99 Today's price: £25.99 Last year's revamp of this brand was part of an £18m investment in the whisky. The packaging was overhauled to attract new consumers and fulfil the goal of becoming one of the top 10 malts in the world in the next five years. The brand has performed above expectations, says the company, with 20% growth year-on-year. This year a nationwide sampling campaign is being run to reach 10,000 consumers.