Drew Beard

Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

Review: McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey PX Cask Finished and Oloroso Cask Finished

By Drew Beard | October 24, 2023 |

McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt, famously the first American single malt ever produced, was bottled at just three-years-old for decades. Recently, however, the distillery appears to have started leaning hard into older stocks, releasing a six-year-old expression last year and then following that up this year with two higher proof, limited edition finished expressions, a first…

Read More

Review: Jefferson’s Tropics Aged in Humidity Bourbon

By Drew Beard | October 23, 2023 |

Tired yet of the gimmicks from Jefferson’s? Me neither. Because the brand continues to pump out quality bourbons, I’ve been able to forgive the not infrequent “motion of the ocean” marketing backstory, but the tall tales behind this latest release may be a bit more challenging to ignore. Read for yourself: Jefferson’s is constantly experimenting…

Read More

Review: Loch Lomond Original Single Malt and The Open Special Edition 2023

By Drew Beard | October 15, 2023 |

Loch Lomond is not your average Scotch distillery. Nestled in the far southwest corner of the Highlands, near the famously scenic loch (lake, for you non-Scots) of the same name, the distillery uses a combination of uniquely configured pot and column stills to produce as many as 11 different distillates, including grain whiskies. We got…

Read More

Review: Distillery Exclusive Single Malts from Dalwhinnie, Glenfiddich, and Auchentoshan

By Drew Beard | October 14, 2023 |

I’m not sure when the distillery-exclusive trend came to Scotland, but I know it was well before we Yanks embraced it stateside. Limited edition festival bottlings have been helping to drive turnout for years at events like the Feis Ile on Islay and Spirit of Speyside Festival, among many others. But long before that, I…

Read More

Reflections on a Craft: An Interview with St. George Distillery’s Lance Winters

By Drew Beard | October 13, 2023 |

Today, there are over 2300 craft distilleries operating across the country, but back in the 1980s, when St. George got its start in northern California, there were barely a handful. The distillery’s founder, Jörg Rupf, was one of the godfathers of the craft distilling movement, but his passions were initially pretty narrow, focusing on eaux-de-vie…

Read More

Review: Virginia Distillery Co. Courage & Conviction Double Cask Reserve

By Drew Beard | October 7, 2023 |

Virginia Distillery Co. has spent the last two years promoting a line extension of Courage & Conviction expressions and their single cask, limited edition siblings, all of which are pulled from individual components of the flagship Courage & Conviction. For the latest addition to their portfolio, this highly regarded American single malt maker is getting…

Read More

Review: Spearhead Single Grain Scotch

By Drew Beard | October 6, 2023 |

A new Scotch brand arrived stateside over the summer: Spearhead Single Grain Scotch Whisky. It’s a bit of an unusual single grain offering, so I’ll let the Spearhead spokespeople do the talking. Spearhead Whisky, which is crafted at Loch Lomond Distillery, one of the most award-winning distilleries in the world, is made from 100% malted…

Read More

Review: St. George Breaking & Entering American Whiskey (2023)

By Drew Beard | October 3, 2023 |

When we sampled the first iteration of St. George’s Breaking & Entering over a decade ago the whiskey was a straightforward, well-executed blend of Kentucky bourbons aged between 5 and 7 years. We got the opportunity to discuss that whiskey, among several other spirits, during a sit-down earlier this year with St. George owner and…

Read More

Review: Eda Rhyne Pinnix Gin and Amaro Oscura

By Drew Beard | October 2, 2023 |

We last checked in on Asheville’s Eda Rhyne Distilling Company back in 2020 when their young portfolio featured only a trio of impressive herbal liqueurs. Three years and one global pandemic later, these mountain medicine makers have added to their lineup with a handful of new offerings including an RTD and a long-awaited rye whiskey…

Read More

Review: Smokehead Tequila Cask Terminado, Sherry Cask Blast, and Rum Cask Rebel

By Drew Beard | September 27, 2023 |

We kicked off our exploration of Smokehead earlier this summer with a look at the flagship offering and its bolder, cask strength sibling. Those bottles are joined in the Smokehead lineup by a trio of unique cask finished expressions (with a fourth, stout-finished offering on the way). Thoughts follow. Smokehead Tequila Cask Terminado – Finished…

Read More