Review: Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Imperial IPA

Leinenkugel’s may be well-known for its popular Sunset Wheat (which some liken to Fruity Pebbles in ale form) and Berry Weiss beers, but its Big Eddy line is bringing extreme beers to serious craft lovers. The Big Eddy Imperial IPA is the third and newest release in the series, following a Russian Imperial Stout and…

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Review: The Balvenie Tun 1401, Batch 3

This special release of Balvenie is exclusive to the U.S., a vatting of ten “treasures” from Balvenie’s Warehouse 24. There are no detailed notes on how old each of these casks is — the youngest is from 1989 and the oldest is from 1967 — but seven come from traditional whisky casks and three from…

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Review: Old Sugar Distillery Cane & Abe Freshwater Rum

Is there saltwater rum? I guess, sort-of, all Caribbean rum is saltwater, isn’t it… even though it’s made from freshwater. This rum hails from Madison, Wisconsin, about as far from the sea as you can get. Made from American sugar cane (grown in Louisiana and Hawaii) and aged in both new and used American oak…

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Review: TastingRoom.com’s Food-Friendly Wine Sampler, 2012

We’ve written about TastingRoom.com several times before. Recently the company sent us one of its mixed samplers, designed (as the name may imply) to be consumed with food. Which I did. Thoughts on each follow. (All bottles are sub-$20 retail.) 2011 Lake Chalice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – Extremely tropical. Lots of acid to back up that…

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Cocktails for National Rum Day

National Rum Day — that’s today! And yes, we make rum in the U.S. Recipes and photos courtesy Flor de Cana. Chichigalpa Old Fashioned 2 oz Flor de Caña 18 year old rum 1 teaspoon maple syrup 2 dashes orange bitters 1 dash Fee’s barrel aged bitters Stir & strain into a rocks glass. Garnish…

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Review: Old St. Andrews Clubhouse Blend Scotch Whisky

Golf and Scotch go together like hand in glove. Another thing they share in common: Novelties. Old St. Andrews is unabashedly a novelty whisky, packaged in various fanciful bottles. This one, the “Clubhouse Blend,” comes in an oversized golf ball. One of the target markets for this whisky, per the company, is a “romantic idealist”…

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Review: Smooth Ambler Yearling Bourbon

This West Virgina-based distillery produces a variety of spirits, including vodka, gin, and several whiskeys. Yearling is the company’s entry-level Bourbon, double-distilled from a wheated (no rye) mashbill and aged 2 1/2 years in small American oak casks. (At least, my sample was 2 1/2 years old; the overall age appears to vary over time…

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Review: Tullibardine Aged Oak Edition

Tullibardine is an old Highlands distillery (the grounds upon which it is built have been making booze since the 1400s). It’s had ups and downs, most recently being shuttered in 1995, then reopening in 2003 under new (independent) ownership. The distillery is now releasing whiskys produced since the reopening of its doors. This release, Aged…

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