David Tao

David Tao is a writer for Drinkhacker.

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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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,…

Read More
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…

Read More

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…

Read More
Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye

Review: Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye (2022)

By David Tao | November 6, 2022 |

Long an under the radar producer for much of North America’s sourced rye (at least for U.S. consumers), Beam Suntory-owned Alberta Distillers has been leaning into their house brands under the Alberta Premium banner since 2020. That year marked the first American release of Alberta Premium Cask strength, and in 2022, the brand’s 80 proof…

Read More
Montelobos Ensamble and Pechuga

Review: Montelobos Mezcal Joven – Ensamble and Pechuga

By David Tao | October 25, 2022 |

Last time we checked in with Montelobos, the company’s offerings centered around two hallmark expressions, namely their tobala and espadin. In the past year, the Campari-owned brand has expanded with two more (and quite different) expressions: an ensamble and pechuga. The ensamble blend originates in Puebla and is primarily made using papalote agave and “complemented…

Read More

Sonic Enhancement and Masters of Whiskey: An Interview with Blackened’s Rob Dietrich

By David Tao | October 16, 2022 |

Rob Dietrich is a busy guy. As Master Distiller & Blender of Blackened — the whiskey brand co-founded by rock supergroup Metallica — he’s involved in almost every aspect of the company’s sourcing, blending, marketing, and even distribution. And while Blackened sources their distillate from other sources, its “Black Noise” aging process adds an additional…

Read More
Pursuit United Rye

Review: Pursuit United Blended Rye

By David Tao | October 12, 2022 |

Kentucky residents and bourbon mega-fans Kenny Coleman and Ryan Cecil have built a small media empire with Bourbon Pursuit, arguably the most popular bourbon-focused podcast across multiple platforms. Beginning in 2018, they started leveraging that audience for regular releases of single barrel whiskeys. And in 2021, they launched Pursuit United Bourbon, a blended product sourced…

Read More