Will Consumers Shun Maker’s Mark at 84 Proof?

The story of the year in the bourbon biz is (and will continue to be) Maker’s Mark abrupt decision this week to lower the amount of alcohol in its flagship whiskey. To hear whiskey nuts talk about it, the end of days are upon us. Calls for a boycott — driven by the obvious greed…

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Tasting Report: Bordeaux and Sauternes, 2010 Vintage

One of the highlights of the wine tasting events that I get to attend is when pretty much all of Bordeaux comes to town to show off that year’s releases. This year’s roadshow is particularly exciting, since the upcoming 2010 vintage is said to be one of the best in the last 10 years, ranking…

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Drinkhacker Reads 02.11.2013 – Maker’s Mark Drops to 84 Proof, Bars Charge More for Neatness

Big news in whiskeytown. The New York Post is reporting that Maker’s Mark will be cutting its flagship brand down from 90 proof to about 84 proof in order to meet the global rise in demand for the brand. No word on when the cut will be in effect or when the lower-proof Maker’s will…

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Review: New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon

Michigan’s New Holland Brewing Company puts my thoughts about its Beer Barrel Bourbon right on the label: Beer finished in Bourbon casks: Sure. Bourbon finished in beer casks: Sounds a little weird. Beer Barrel Bourbon (no mashbill provided) is first aged in new oak for “several” years at a relatively low 110-115 proof. It’s then…

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Book Review: The Smart Guide to Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The “Smart Guide” series of books are designed as an alternative to the “for Dummies” books, and that makes sense to me. Who wants to be a dummy when you can be smart, right? The format, however, is pretty much the same: Lots of sidebars, lots of iconic graphics, lots of entry points. And everything…

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Review: Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Tequila 2012 Edition

Check the very bottom of your favorite upscale Mexican restaurant’s tequila menu and you’ll likely see a very expensive Jose Cuervo on the list: Reserva de la Familia. This annual release (introduced in 1995 to celebrate Cuervo’s 200th anniversary) is an exotic blend of tequilas with an average age of 3 years old. Some of…

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Review: Master of Malt Origin Single Estate Gins

It’s well known that Pinot Noir from California tastes different than Pinot Noir from France — even if the wines are made identically. But does the concept of terroir extend to spirits like gin, too? Can juniper berries sourced from the far ends of the world really express their differences after going through the long…

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Book Review: Bordeaux

Every serious wine drinker needs a big fat book on Bordeaux, the world’s pre-eminent wine region, on his shelf. Oz Clarke’s fat tome on the area and its wines (and, per the subtitle, the vineyards and winemakers) is a decent pick, but it’s not the best I’ve seen. As is frequently the problem with “celebrity”…

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