Top Rated

The “Top Rated” category contains our favorite products, all reviewed with an A or A+ rating. If you’re looking for the best of the best, this is the place to be. You can filter your search to find only the top rated reviews in certain product categories by using our Advanced Search feature.

Review: The Balvenie DoubleWood 12, PortWood 21, Single Barrel 15, and Madeira Cask 17 (2009)

By Christopher Null | November 11, 2009 |

Last night, The Balvenie was kind enough to host a few media types for a dinner and tasting of its four current release Scotch bottlings, including its Madeira Cask 17 Years Old, which just arrived in the U.S. a week ago. Some of these are classic bottlings that have been around for years (seriously —…

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Review: J. Witty Chamomile Liqueur

By Christopher Null | November 9, 2009 |

Proof positive that there’s a liqueur for everything — and I don’t mean that in a bad way — I present to you J. Witty Spirits, which to date makes just one product, an organic, artisanal Chamomile tea liqueur. Chamomile tea hardly has a brutish reputation, but one sip and you’ll find its namesake liqueur…

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Review: The Kraken Black Spiced Rum

By Christopher Null | November 3, 2009 |

This is not Captain Morgan, folks. The Kraken, with its sea creature label and black-as-coffee liquid within, makes a striking impression on the bar and in the glass. The idea is kitschy: A drink as strong and dark as kraken (giant squid) ink, powerful enough to take him down. And, yeah, at 94 proof and…

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Review: Wines of Eric Kent, 2009 Releases

By Christopher Null | October 5, 2009 |

Massive apologies to my friend Renee Humphrey for being so terribly slow at getting this tasting report online from our visit over a week ago. Renee (who refused to be photographed) led me through two of the winery’s upcoming 2007 vintage releases and an already-out 2006. Eric Kent specializes in pinot noir, syrah, and chardonnay;…

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Review: Bache-Gabrielsen Hors d’Age Cognac

By Christopher Null | September 30, 2009 |

The top shelf bottling of the Bache-Gabrielsen lineup, here’s a cognac that’s worth its fancy bottle, its wire-sealed lid, and its wooden box. This pure Grande Champagne cognac includes spirits that date back to 1917 — the youngest was distilled in 1960. That’s 49 years old at least, and it’s obvious once you pour the…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2009 Edition

By Christopher Null | September 27, 2009 |

Once again Buffalo Trace brings us five limited-edition whiskeys, and for 2009 they carry the same names as last year. However, the formulations and barrels from which these whiskeys have been drawn are different, making them unique expressions that you’ll only get in 2009… and while supplies last. Sazerac Rye 18 Years Old 2009 –…

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Review: Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka

By Christopher Null | September 22, 2009 |

Caramel is a tricky flavor to begin with: Basically it’s burnt sugar, and that carries with it all kinds of challenges. Godiva makes a pretty good caramel/chocolate liqueur, but Van Gogh raises the stakes with a naturally-flavored vodka that’s straight up caramel, and 70 proof to boot, leaving much less room for flavoring agents. This…

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Review: Wines of Olson Ogden, 2007 Vintage

By Christopher Null | September 20, 2009 |

Our friends at Olson Ogden were kind enough to send their full lineup of 2007 wines for our review now that they’re on the cusp of actually being released. I’ve tried four of the five at wine events previously and found that in most cases I found the wines had improved after a few months…

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Review: Jefferson’s Presidential Select Bourbon 17 Years Old

By Christopher Null | September 16, 2009 |

Produced in the final years of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, this high-end bourbon rounds out the Jefferson’s line of Kentucky whiskeys, though supplies will be limited, to say the least. Plus, it’s Jefferson’s Presidential Select, which means it was selected personally by Thomas Jefferson. Right? This is a big bourbon, fragrant with roasted nut…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Jubelale Winter Ale 2009

By Christopher Null | September 10, 2009 |

I’m the first to admit it’s weird to be drinking this “festive winter ale” during the week of Labor Day. No question. But Deschutes’ Jubelale 2009 arrives October 1, we got it early, and gosh darnit we’re gonna drink it now, even if it is still hot outside. I went in expecting gingerbread and eggnog…

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