Review and Giveaway: Skil iXO Vivo Wine Bottle Opener

I’m not one to swoon over the romance of drinking wine, but even I find that de-corking your bottles with a power drill is a little nutty. Skil, unhappy to dominate the world of DIY construction and Ikea desk-building projects, is entering the wine world in the only way it knows how, by offering a…

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Review: Ridge Distillery Extrait d’Absinthe Verte

Ridge Distillery makes gin and absinthe in the mountains of Montana. This is the flagship, a classic (green) absinthe imbued with grand wormwood, green anise, fennel, coriander, angelica, elecampane, melissa, and roman wormwood — some of which I didn’t have the first idea what they were until I looked them up. Poured neat into a…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 11.19.2012

Despite seeing a drop off in the number of bottles offered, yesterday’s Hospices de Beaune wine auction saw a record turnout of 5.9 million euros raised for charity. [Telegraph UK] In other charity auction news, The final bottle of Glenfiddich’s 55 Year Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve will go on sale in Los Angeles on December…

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Review: Master of Malt Benrinnes Single Cask 14 Years Old

Speyside’s Benrinnes Distillery was washed away by a flood in 1829 and burned down in 1896. Somehow they keep making whisky there, including this independent bottling of 14 Year Old malt, a single cask release from Master of Malt. Wow, what an unusual and unique malt. Big Tawny Port and sherry wood character on the…

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Review: Early Times Fire Eater

Early Times is a budget Kentucky whiskey, and recently the brand added its first flavored variety to its lineup. Early Times Fire Eater, as you might expect, joins the increasingly popular category of cinnamon-flavored whiskeys on the market. There isn’t a lot of information available about the underlying spirit here — let’s assume it’s standard…

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Review: Germain-Robin Pear de Pear Liqueur

The pear gets minimal respect in the booze biz. Heck, even apples have high-end brandies dedicated to them — in multiple countries, no less. In comparison, pear brandies are normally unaged quickie spirits. Finding a pear spirit that’s spent time in oak is almost unheard of. Craft Distillers’ Joe Corley cares not for any of…

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Review: Scotch Malt Whisky Society November 2012 Outturn

Another five-whisky month from the SMWS. Thoughts follow on each spirit in the outturn — easily the best month in recent memory for the SMWS. SMWS Cask 16.32 – 10 year old Glenturret from the Highlands – Lightly smoky Highlands whisky finished in (refill) Port pipes? I never would have thought of the combination, but…

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Review: 2009/2010 Zinfandels of Ravenswood

It’s been three years since we’ve sat down with Ravenswood and its surprisingly exhaustive lineup of Zinfandels. Best known for its sub-$10 Vintners Blend, the winery produces a wide range of Zins, including seven single-vineyard designates. We got our hands on two of the “Old Vine” wines from 2010 and four of the single vineyard…

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