Featured posts represent reviews and other stories which we think will resonate particularly with readers, including especially topical stories (such as recipes themed to a particular holiday) or popular products just hitting the market. It’s important to note that the Featured category does not represent our top-rated products. You’ll find those on the sidebar to your right and in periodic features like our holiday buying guides.

Review: Smooth Ambler Big Level Wheated Bourbon

By Christopher Null | June 8, 2018 |

It’s been a few years since we last checked in with West Virginia’s Smooth Ambler, one of the best-known and longest-lived craft whiskey producers in the U.S. (And now owned by Pernod Ricard.) Smooth Ambler’s latest is a wholly new product called Big Level, a wheated bourbon made entirely on site (with no sourced whiskey…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest Washington DC 2018

By Drew Beard | June 7, 2018 |

As with each of DC’s past three WhiskyFests, everyone in the room looked like they could use a few drinks. Thankfully, there was no shortage of unique whiskey options, from Knob Creek Single Barrel samples that were pulled directly from the barrel(!) to a young Tennessee whiskey whose distillery still doesn’t have a name. I…

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Review: Tequila Corralejo Anejo

By Christopher Null | June 3, 2018 |

We’ve covered both blanco and reposado expressions from Highlands-area Corralejo, as well as the rare Corralejo 1821 extra anejo expression, in the past. Today we finally fill in the final gap with Tequila Corralejo Anejo, which spends 12 months in oak before bottling. Very light in color, this anejo is equally light in aroma, offering…

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Review: The Balvenie Peat Week 14 Years Old 2003

By Christopher Null | May 29, 2018 |

Much like Shark Week, Peat Week is proving to be an annual affair at The Balvenie. If you don’t remember the story, Peat Week is a special release from this Speyside distillery, made from barley that is dried with smoked peat, a production run that is undertaken for only one week each year. Peated whisky…

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Tasting Report: 2016 Vintage Port (and Beyond)

By Christopher Null | May 27, 2018 |

For the first time since 2011, a Vintage Port year is being widely declared for 2016. (A smattering of 2015 vintage wines were also released in limited rotation.) 2016 was a hot, hot year for the Douro — I know, because it’s the summer we were touring there — but numerous producers, who visited San…

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Review: Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1990 and 1989

By Christopher Null | May 25, 2018 |

Last year, Glenmorangie launched a new series of whiskies called the Bond House series, because it’s the last stocks named after the original production facility the distillery ever used. The Bond House series is open ended, and will contain whiskies aged between 25 and 30 years — with each designed to be very different from…

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Review: Kentucky Peerless Straight Rye 2 Years Old

By Christopher Null | May 21, 2018 |

Kentucky Peerless — aka just “Peerless” — isn’t just any old craft whiskey startup in Louisville. While the operation makes bourbon, the bigger focus is on rye — not sourced from parts unknown, but made on site, reportedly in line with recipes that have been handed down for more than 100 years. Some details: When…

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Review: Crown Royal Blenders’ Mash

By Christopher Null | May 14, 2018 |

Crown Royal is launching a new line of whiskies called the Crown Royal Blenders’ Series. The first in that series is this: Crown Royal Blenders’ Mash. Here’s a little detail from the company: As the first offering in the Crown Royal Blenders’ Series, a new line of special whiskies that celebrate the art of blending, Crown…

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Top 10 Bourbons Under $20

By Drew Beard | May 10, 2018 |

The popularity of bourbon in recent years has not surprisingly coincided with an upward trend in prices. It’s now not uncommon to stare at a liquor store shelf full of bottles priced over fifty dollars, with a growing number twice that expensive. This obviously wasn’t always the case. In fact, for much of its post-WWII…

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Review: Maker’s Mark Private Select for Star Hill Provisions

By Christopher Null | April 30, 2018 |

In 2015, Maker’s Mark launched one of the most ambitious private barrel programs I’ve encountered to date. The concept starts with a standard Maker’s Mark barrel, but after it’s fully matured, buyers get to drop 10 additional wood staves into the barrel, where they finish the bourbon for an additional nine weeks. Five types of…

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