Review: Penelope Bourbon Rio and Rye Tokaji Cask Finish

Once-obscure Penelope Bourbon has been rising up the ranks in part because of its innovative approach to finishing, two examples of which we have on tap today, both designed around a brief concluding spin in a barrel that once held something sweet. Now part of Luxco, Penelope has been cranking up production and innovation. Both…

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Book Review: The Tequila Ambassador Version Originale

Spirits enthusiasts are always on watch for the next trend in spirits. Whiskey and brandy have held international acclaim for eons, but could tequila be the next craze? The popularity and credibility of tequila as a premium spirit has been on the rise, thanks in large part to Tomas Estes. Estes passed in 2021 but…

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Review: Frank August Bourbon

Have you already heard of Frank August? Then you are at least a few steps ahead of this writer; I recently came across it at my brother’s house, where he’d brought a bottle home from BevMo strictly based on the staff recommendation. This usually incites an involuntary raising of eyebrows, but the bottle is sleek…

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Review: Valhalla Herbal Liqueur Shot

Say, do you like licorice? Finland-born Valhalla is the Scandi Jagermeister you never knew you needed. The coffee-black liqueur is made with Nordic ingredients including angelica, wormwood, yarrow, and licorice — lots of licorice. Four species of licorice plants, to be exact. Designed to be consumed cold, as a shot, just like Jager, I first…

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Review: Connacht Single Malt Irish Whiskey Batch 1

Connacht makes a range of Irish whiskeys, including Brothership and Ballyhoo, and even other spirits like gin and vodka. This however is the first time we’ve covered anything with the Connacht name on the front of the label. This single malt was launched in 2021 as a 4 year old, double-distilled from 100% Irish malt barley…

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Review: Vermouth by Evie

Evie likes her martinis and she likes them dirty. To that point: Vermouth by Evie (which is part of the Veso drinks company) has the brine built right in. Served solo, the impact is less powerful than you might expect. The product slightly blurs the line between a dry and a bianco vermouth, offering a…

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Review: Brockmans Agave Cut Spirit Drink

London-based Brockmans makes a workable gin which it’s dubbed “Intensely Smooth,” and for its next trick it’s turning to our old friend tequila for inspiration. Brockmans Agave Cut is built on a backbone of “agave spirit” made in Jalisco, Mexico — which presumably is not tequila because of some aspect of its distillation and/or the…

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Review: Anderson Valley Brewing Black Light

For just about forever, “light beer” was synonymous with a thin, pale, flavorless lager. California’s Anderson Valley Brewing Company challenges that with the launch of Black Light, a low-cal beer that pours as dark as any porter you’ve ever tasted. The brewery in Boonville makes Black Light with pale two-row, chocolate, midnight wheat, and black…

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