Review: Aga Vie Esprit D’Agave

What is it about the French and tequila? First Given blends tequila with lime juice and grape juice in Cognac, France, and now there’s Aga Vie, a commingling of blanco tequila and Cognac that have been (re-)distilled together into one oddball spirit. (This distillation removes whatever color is left behind, namely from the Cognac.) Describing…

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Review: Wines of Domaines Paul Mas, 2011 Vintage

Domaines Paul Mas hails from France’s Languedoc region, the largest winemaking region in the world, where a nearly infinite variety of wines can be found. Languedoc wines are also often very inexpensive, as the price tags on the three wines tasted below will confirm. 2011 Paul Mas Estate Pinot Noir Saint Hilaire Vineyard – The…

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Review: Canadian Mist Flavors – Peach, Cinnamon, Maple

Canadian Mist is well known for its very affordable, basic blended whisky, so it makes sense that it would leap into the flavored whisky business along with so many others. CM arrives with a whole new line of ultra-cheap flavored spirits (“Canadian Mist” is actually hard to find on the label), each of which blends…

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Review: 2010 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga

Another solid and wholly drinkable Cab from Montelena, one of California’s grande dames of Napa Cabernet. This newly released 2010 bottling is surprisingly ready to go, full of juicy black currants, tea leaf, a touch of chocolate, and plenty of fruit. All the ripe berries are classic characteristics of Montelena, but as with the 2009,…

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Review: Deadhead Rum

No getting around this crazy bottle: It’s in the form of a shrunken head, complete with (real) twine sealing shut the eyes and mouth. (Don’t worry, in actuality it’s just a plastic shell around a glass bottle.) Inside the skull you’ll find six-year-old rum sourced from Mexico (near Veracruz). This is a very, very sweet…

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Review: Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum and Dark Rum

“Inspired by Ernest Hemingway,” the new Papa’s Pilar Rum brand is a blend of rums from, well, just about everywhere. Casks are sourced from the Caribbean, Central America, and the U.S.A., blended up solera style in Bourbon and Port casks, then finished in Spanish sherry casks. The rum is available in “dark” and “blonde” varieties,…

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Review: Apocalypto Reposado Tequila

Stunt bottlings are increasingly common, but a ceramic half-man/half-jaguar (with tongue sticking out) that contains reposado tequila, well, that’s a new one even for me. Apocalypto is 100% agave tequila, sourced from the Jalisco lowlands and aged for more than six months in ex-Bourbon barrels before getting the half-jaguar treatment. Never mind the decanter. Here’s…

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The Drinkhacker Shopping List – 08.30.2013

After a brief hiatus, the semi-regular Drinkhacker Shopping List returns as a regularly scheduled feature. These past few weeks have seen an incredibly generous helping of wine reviews, intermingled with some of the best bourbons we’ve tasted this entire year. Print this easily portable list and be sure to take it with you as a…

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