Review: Crown Royal XR Extra Rare “Blue Label” – 2012 LaSalle Distillery Release

In 2006 Crown Royal released its first XR bottling, a whisky that didn’t joke when it used the “extra rare” moniker on the label. Crafted from whiskies salvaged from its Waterloo distillery, which had actually burned down, it’s safe to say that if you haven’t picked up the 2006 Crown Royal XR by now, you…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Bourbon Round Five

Haven’t had enough of the Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project? Don’t worry, we’ve got three more years of it to go. Round Five of this incredibly curious project is upon us, with 12 new Bourbon bottlings up for your consideration. This time out, the three variables being focused upon are recipe (rye vs. wheat —…

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Review: NV Lanson Brut Black Label Champagne

I was unfamiliar with the Lanson Champagne house before this bottle showed up. Now color me a fan. Founded in 1760, this house is actually the world’s fourth oldest, and it was family owned until 1980 (when it changed hands many times). Lanson’s flagship Brut bottling is a classically composed, non-vintage wine of 35% Chardonnay,…

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Review: Upland Brewing Co. Gilgamesh

Hailing from Bloomington, Indiana, Upland Brewing Co. is creating a stir among craft beer circles for its extensive souring program, which seeks to produce traditional lambics, gueuzes, and Flanders-style ales within the United States. This effort has notably spawned over eight different varieties of fruited lambics as well as the beer that is the subject…

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Book Review: The American Cocktail

When I cracked open this tome, subtitled 50 Recipes that Celebrate the Craft of Mixing Drinks from Coast to Coast, I was expecting another treatise on classic cocktails through the ages, maybe separated by regions of popularity: Margaritas and daiquiris in the south, Manhattans and martinis up north. What I missed was that the book…

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Review: 2010 Belle Glos Pinot Noirs

Part of the Wagner wine empire (the folks who make Caymus), Belle Glos is a Pinot Noir-exclusive outfit that makes wines from grapes ranging from the Sonoma Coast to Santa Barbara. We tried all three wines the winery (pronounced Bell Gloss) is releasing from the 2010 vintage. Yes, that is red wax that stretches down…

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4th of July Cocktails from Bagatelle LA

These cocktails come to us from Bagatelle LA, a French bistro in West Hollywood that proves you don’t have to be a BBQ joint to be patriotic on Independence Day. Give them a try! Le Bajan Groove 1 ½ oz. Grey Goose La Poire ½ oz. falernum ½ oz. coconut water 3 cucumber slices 3…

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Review: St. George Breaking & Entering Bourbon (2012)

California-based St. George Spirits offers this “super Bourbon” blended (in Alameda) from 80 different barrels of Kentucky Bourbon, each aged five to seven years and hauled back to Cali from the east. This “barrel thieving” has resulted in one of the few California-bottled Bourbons you’ll find, although that term is of course loaded with plenty…

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