Review: Brugal Especial Extra Dry Rum

Our friends at Brugal weren’t happy with one white rum. Now they have two. Brugal’s Especial Extra Dry looks frighteningly similar to last year’s white rum release, Blanco Especial, but they differ in a key way. The new Especial Extra Dry is aged for one more year (for a total of three years) before it…

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Tasting Report: Blue Chip Wineries of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, 2012

A recent trip to Portland afforded an overnight to the Willamette Valley, where Oregon’s best wines are made. On this trip I made advance plans to visit the best of the best, Oregon’s blue chip wineries in a long day of driving up and down the valley. This trip took us up and down the…

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Review: Ron Fortuna Reserva Exclusiva Anejo 8 Anos Rum

This new rum just now hitting the market hails from Nicaragua, where a single expression — 8 years old on the label — is currently being offered. Column-distilled from molasses five times and aged in American oak (ex-Bourbon barrels, I presume), it spends a minimum of 8 years in cask and a maximum of 10…

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Review: 2009 Amapola Creek Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard Vinas Antiguas

Made by old-school Sonoma winemaker Richard Arrowood, Amapola Creek’s Monte Rosso Zin comes from 118-year old vines, where the yield is just 3/4 ton to 1 ton per acre (which is tiny). Just 540 cases of this wine were made, a blend of 91.2% Zinfandel and 8.8% Petite Sirah. The wine is a standout for…

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Review: Southern Comfort Bold Black Cherry

This is one of those reviews that I simply haven’t had the strength to write. I opened the bottle when it arrived, quickly put it back on the counter, and there it’s sat for more than two months. As the name implies, SoCo Cherry adds black cherry flavor to the classic peach Southern Comfort recipe,…

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Review: Los Artesanos del Cochiguaz Pisco Especial

Here’s an oddball review: A bottle of pisco brought back from Chile (which disputes with Peru who originated this Latin spin on unaged brandy) called Los Artesanos del Cochiguaz. Los Artesanos del Cochiguaz’s Pisco is available in a variety of proof levels (not to mention a variety of other spirits). This one is bottled at…

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Review: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Early August 2012 Outturn

I’ve had immense respect for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society for years and have greatly enjoyed their Whisky Extravaganza tastings as well. If you’re not familiar with the SMWS, here’s how it works: The company, founded in 1983, is an independent Scotch bottler (like Duncan Taylor or Gordon & MacPhail) that works with a slightly…

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Recipe: Wild Turkey Whiskey Sour 101

National Whiskey Sour Day (no, really!) is today, and in honor of the occasion, Wild Turkey offers this concoction, a high-test spin on the classic drink. Wild Turkey Whiskey Sour 101 (or The Sergeant Whiskey Sowers) 1 1/2 ounces Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed grapefruit juice 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice…

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