David Tao

David Tao is a writer for Drinkhacker.

Visiting Barrow’s Intense Tasting Room, World’s Largest Selection of New York State Spirits

By David Tao | September 22, 2022 |

When Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur opened a new Brooklyn distillery in May 2019, founder Josh Morton was adamant about creating a full bar and tasting room experience for visitors: cocktails, spirits served neat, seasonal specials, and even a full bottle shop. But under New York law, virtually all craft distillers in the state with retail…

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Uduimoh Umolu of Jon Basil Tequila

Black Owned and Millennial Founded: An Interview with Jon Basil’s Uduimoh Umolu

By David Tao | September 16, 2022 |

Over the past six years, a booming American market for agave spirits has produced a rush of both celebrity marketed brands and craft labels backed by multinational conglomerates. That means a number of small producers (including non-distilling producers) have focused on hyper-targeted demographics, often releasing product in just one or two metropolitan areas. Jon Basil…

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Trey Zoeller

Jefferson’s Founder Trey Zoeller Talks Bourbon Heritage and Making Kentucky “Cool”

By David Tao | September 4, 2022 |

In the age of bourbon sourcing, blending, and cask finishes, Jefferson’s Bourbon certainly stands out as a pioneer. Launched in 1997, the brand predates the 2010s “Bourbon Boom” by more than a decade, and Jefferson’s founder Trey Zoeller has witnessed most of the industry’s current trends since their inception. Indeed, Zoeller and his team were…

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Review: Booker’s Bourbon “The Lumberyard Batch” 2022-02

By David Tao | August 31, 2022 |

After waiting nearly half of 2022 for the first Booker’s Bourbon release of the year, we didn’t have to sit long for the second. Around a month after “Ronnie’s Batch” comes “The Lumberyard Batch,” the (relatively) rare edition of this whiskey with an age statement exceeding seven years. According to a Beam press release, this…

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Laurent Fresnet of Mumm Champagne

Champagne’s Challenge Is Consistency: An Interview with Maison Mumm Cellar Master Laurent Fresnet

By David Tao | August 24, 2022 |

For his first two years as Maison Mumm‘s Cellar Master, Laurent Fresnet connected with much of his audience from a distance. Fresnet assumed the role in January 2020. Just weeks later, worldwide lockdowns restricted travel and put a pause in his goal to meet face-to-face with consumers in the Champagne house’s international markets. That didn’t…

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Bhakta 50 Odyssey Pack

Review: Bhakta 50 Armagnac “The Barrel Odyssey” (Barrels 21, 22, and 23)

By David Tao | August 23, 2022 |

Spirits mogul Raj Bhakta’s second act has pushed historic age statements into new territory, with most bottles of his Bhakta 50 Armagnac featuring at least some vintage spirit dating to 1868. The rest comes from various barrels dating between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries, with the youngest vintage produced in 1970. As such, no…

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Alberta Premium 20 Year Rye

Review: Alberta Premium Rye 20 Years Old

By David Tao | August 12, 2022 |

Long time rye drinkers have likely had their fair share of juice from Alberta Distillers, though more commonly via brands that source from the Calgary-based single-grain giant. A long time mainstay on Canadian shelves, the distillery’s own Alberta Premium brand has more recently made waves south of the border. Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye has…

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Review: Booker’s Bourbon “Ronnie’s Batch” 2022-01

By David Tao | July 20, 2022 |

It took almost the full first half of 2022, but bourbon drinkers can finally get their hands on Jim Beam’s latest in the Booker’s line. This release — 2022-01 — is named for Ronnie Land, a 40-year Beam employee who worked at the company’s Clermont and Boston, Kentucky facilities. Land rose to Warehouse Manager and…

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An Insider’s Look At Spirits Sourcing: An Interview with Obtainium’s Gene Nassif

By David Tao | July 3, 2022 |

At just 28 years old, Iowa’s Gene Nassif wears a lot of hats. By day, he’s a practicing attorney focusing on family law. By night — and on the weekends and whatever other spare time he can muster — Nassif is co-owner of Cat’s Eye, a Bettendorf-based micro distillery more widely known for its “Obtainium” brand…

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Busting Myths One Pour At a Time: The New York Irish Whiskey Festival Returns After Two-Year Hiatus

By David Tao | May 25, 2022 |

Among North American audiences, Irish whiskey is poised for a moment in the sun. The fast-growing category’s U.S. sales were up over 16% in 2021, and by some estimates, the spirit could overtake Scotch’s stateside footprint within the next decade. As with most boozy trends, event organizers have taken note, their progress only temporarily slowed…

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