David Tao

David Tao is a writer for Drinkhacker.

Colby Frey

Grain to Glass and Climate Change: An Interview with Frey Ranch Founder Colby Frey

By David Tao | December 5, 2023 |

Frey Ranch sits in a unique segment in American whiskey: a full farm and distillery estate operation, they grow every bit of their own grain, then distill and age on site. And as a Nevada-based operation, they operate in one of America’s driest climates, often putting them at the forefront of climate change’s impact on…

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Bhakta 1928

Review: Bhakta 1928

By David Tao | December 2, 2023 |

Best known for their highly-aged brandy, Raj Bhakta’s eponymous spirits brand is making moves into other categories, including whiskey. They released an Armagnac-cask finished bourbon earlier in 2023, and they’ve also dabbled in rum. Now, they’re mixing up something different altogether: a blended spirits that’s 60 percent rye whiskey, 30 percent Calvados, and 10 percent…

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Old Elk Wheat N Rye

Review: Old Elk Wheat N’ Rye

By David Tao | November 28, 2023 |

Old Elk‘s newest release is a combination of two whiskeys we rarely — if ever — see blended together: wheat and rye. Appropriately dubbed Wheat N’ Rye, the whiskey is a combination of 7 year-old straight wheat whiskey (95 percent wheat, 5 percent malted barley) and 6 year-old straight rye (95 percent rye, 5 percent…

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Louis XIII Rare Cask

Review: Louis XIII Cognac Rare Cask 42.1

By David Tao | November 20, 2023 |

For the third time in the brand’s history, Louis XIII has released its Rare Cask expression. With an estimated $50,000 price tag, it’s Louis XIII Cognac’s most coveted and expensive expression currently on the market. This particular Rare Cask is also the first such release in over ten years, and the first from Cellar Master…

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Sagamore Amaro

Review: Sagamore Spirit Amaro

By David Tao | November 18, 2023 |

Liqueurs made for specific cocktails are nothing new. But what about a liqueur distilled to match a particular rye whiskey? Sagamore Spirit recently released their own amaro, and it’s designed to be used in a Black Manhattan alongside their Maryland-style rye. That’s about as specific as they come! In the brand’s own words: Sagamore Spirit…

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Tiffanie Barriere

Breaking the Toughest Barriers in Drinks with Tiffanie Barriere

By David Tao | November 14, 2023 |

Tiffanie Barriere is on a hot streak. After building her name as a mixologist and the driving force behind one of the world’s most beloved airport bars — Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta’s One Flew South — she spread her wings to the media realm, which included a guest judge appearance on Netflix’s Drink Masters. In 2023, she…

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Quintaliza Reposado

Review: Quintaliza Tequila Reposado

By David Tao | November 10, 2023 |

As agave spirits continue their march toward becoming the most-sold liquor category in America, we’re seeing more market differentiators than ever. One of the latest is Quintaliza’s Reposado Tequila, which according to the brand is both additive-free and certified organic. And here’s where things get interesting: the product is “finished in oak barrels that previously…

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Highland Park 54 Year

Review: Highland Park 54 Years Old

By David Tao | November 5, 2023 |

There are tasting invites, and then there are tasting invites that get you running to the nearest mode of transportation. A chance to taste Highland Park’s 54 year old expression — the line’s oldest to date, with 225 bottles released and valued at a cool $54,000 — is one of the latter. Recently, the brand…

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Marianne Eaves

Marianne Eaves on Forbidden, Whiskey Innovation, and Bourbon Gluts

By David Tao | October 30, 2023 |

Marianne Eaves likes to stay busy. Since she left Castle & Key Distillery — where she was widely regarded as the first American woman to hold the title of Master Distiller — Eaves has consulted and blended for a wide range of distilleries and non-distilling producers. Indeed, her Eaves Blind series has seen her partner…

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Malcolm Waring

Sustainability and Scotch: Old Pulteney Distillery Manager Malcolm Waring

By David Tao | September 29, 2023 |

Malcolm Waring has spent years thinking about water. Waring started with Pulteney Distillery in 1990, and after working his way up the production ladder, he became Distiller Manager, a title he’s held for 15 years. As the leader of the team behind Old Pulteney’s core and limited expressions, his responsibilities focus on production capacity and…

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