David Tao

David Tao is a writer for Drinkhacker.

Bhakta 1928 Armagnac

Review: Bhakta Single Vintage 1982 Armagnac

By David Tao | February 19, 2023 |

Entrepreneur and media personality Raj Bhakta built a hallmark whiskey brand by founding WhistlePig, and he’s using his storytelling playbook to grow another — this time eponymous — spirits bottler with Bhakta Spirits. Known for launching with 50+ year old Armagnacs, Bhakta has more recently branched out into both younger brandy blends and single vintage…

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Pursuit United Oak Collection Bourbon and Rye

Review: Pursuit United Oak Collection Bourbon and Rye

By David Tao | February 18, 2023 |

As the team behind the podcast Bourbon Pursuit releases new bottles under their Pursuit Spirits brand, they’re leaning into flavor territory beyond just blending. For the first bourbon and rye in “The Oak Collection,” founders Kenny Coleman and Ryan Cecil have imparted additional wood influence via a variety of oak finishes. As outlined in a…

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The Magi Blended Rye Whiskey

Review: The Magi Blended Rye Whiskey

By David Tao | February 1, 2023 |

Based in Bettendorf, Iowa, Cat’s Eye Distillery has built their brand name largely on the back of sourced spirits — notably bourbon, rye, and light whiskey — from the United States, Canada, and several European countries. Bottled under the Obtainium or Nassif Family Reserve labels, their sourced whiskeys have also grown in popularity as cask…

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Booker's Bourbon Pinkie's Batch

Review: Booker’s Bourbon “Pinkie’s Batch” 2022-04

By David Tao | January 31, 2023 |

For Booker’s Bourbon fans, 2022 was a year of both creativity and consistency, at least for the first three releases. A lineup of “Ronnie’s Batch,” “The Lumberyard Batch,” and “Kentucky Tea” gives plenty of classic Beam notes with a couple curve ball tasting notes thrown in. (Stewed tomatoes, anyone?) And while there was a good…

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DR3 Wine

How Do Celebrities Blend Wine? St Hugo’s Peter Munro on Virtual Blending with F1’s Daniel Ricciardo

By David Tao | January 15, 2023 |

With eight Grand Prix victories to his name, Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo is no stranger to the champion’s circle. The 33 year-old — who will drive for Red Bull Racing starting in 2023 — is also a lifelong wine fanatic, an interest sparked by his father, who emigrated from Italy. Over the past…

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Sagamore Spirit Creator's Cask

Review: Sagamore Spirit Creator’s Cask Rye

By David Tao | December 18, 2022 |

American whiskey fans have long been stricken with single barrel fever. And for a community based around comparing and contrasting opinions on flavor, that really comes as no surprise. Barrel picks allow us to explore a single producer’s range, all while admiring the variety that can emerge when sipping otherwise identical distillate side-by-side. Some hallmark…

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Booker's Bourbon "Kentucky Tea Batch"

Review: Booker’s Bourbon “Kentucky Tea Batch” 2022-03

By David Tao | December 6, 2022 |

After “Ronnie’s Batch” and “The Lumberyard Batch” dropped earlier this year, Booker’s Bourbon is back with 2022’s third expression: Kentucky Tea. As with all contemporary Booker’s releases, this one is named for a person, place, or concept near and dear to the Noe family, eighth generation descendants of Jim Beam and Master Distillers at his…

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JT Meleck Louisiana Rice Whiskey

Review: J.T. Meleck Louisiana Rice Whiskey

By David Tao | December 2, 2022 |

Bourbon has long defined the American whiskey business, though rye and single malts are fast-growing categories many drinkers are keeping close tabs on. But we may be witnessing the genesis of a newer homegrown spirit: American rice whiskey. With just a handful of producers, it’s a category whiskey drinkers can explore in a single sitting,…

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Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Batch 027

Review: Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Batch 027

By David Tao | November 13, 2022 |

Chattanooga Whiskey recently announced new releases for their Experimental Batch line. Now up to 27 total expressions, these releases include a variety of house-distilled spirits with unique distillates, finishes, infusions, and blends. We’ve previously reviewed their Founder’s 10th Anniversary Blend and Whiskey 91 & Cask 111 expressions, though their experimental line features spirits with much…

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Visiting the 2022 Kentucky Bourbon Festival: Up Close and Personal with America’s Top Distillers

By David Tao | November 9, 2022 |

I’ve been going to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival since the 1990s. Located each year in downtown Bardstown, Kentucky, the Festival is the largest such event actually held in the Bourbon Capital of the World. And allow me to be the umpteenth Bardstown local (or former local) to say: Things have changed, and that’s a lot…

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