Tasting Report: Wines of Howell Mountain 2012

The northernmost section of the Napa Valley AVA, Howell Mountain is literally the top of a mountain due east of St. Helena. (The AVA starts at 1400 feet, where the fog breaks, and goes on up to the top. Like most mountain AVAs, Howell Mountain is sunny and cool, with a level climate. The vast…

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Review: Karlsson’s Gold Gammel Svensk Rod 2008 Single Vintage, Single Potato Vodka

I say Celina, Solist, and Sankta Thora. What comes to mind? If you said Nordic maritime vessels, you are unfortunately incorrect. The answer: They are all white potato varieties grown in Sweden – and used in the production of Karlsson’s Gold vodka. I reviewed Karlsson’s Gold early in my Drinkhacking career, and found it a…

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Review: Milagro Tequila UNICO

Aiming to “redefine” the tequila world, Milagro is releasing a new joven tequila with an outrageous price tag. Just 1,200 bottles of UNICO have been made, starting with a “kitchen-distilled” base of white spirit produced with 13 kilos of agave per liter. This base is blended with aged stock (the details of which aren’t released),…

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Review: Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin

Brooklyn’s Greenhook Ginsmiths is drawing acclaim for this new product, an “American Dry Gin” distilled in a specially-engineered alembic still that’s outfit with a vacuum to enable distillation at lower temperatures, designed to keep the spirit “magically” purer by keeping the botanicals from being destroyed by boiling. (Vacuum distillation isn’t unique to Greenhook, but it’s…

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Review: Malbecs from Trivento and Concha y Toro, 2012 Releases

These new Argentinean Malbecs come from Trivento and Concha y Toro, the latter of which is best known for its Chilean wines. Here’s how a bumper crop of the fruit of Mendoza shakes out. 2011 Concha y Toro Frontera Malbec Cuyo – Surprisingly tart and slightly sweet, jammy, with strawberry/raspberry jelly character muted by some…

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Review: Breckenridge Vodka and Bourbon

You don’t have to be in Kentucky to make Bourbon. Breckenridge Distillery is found high in the mountains of Colorado, where it creates whiskey and vodka at 9600 feet (it claims to be the world’s highest), using Rocky Mountain meltwater to craft its spirits. We tasted both. Thoughts follow. Breckenridge Vodka – Distilled from grain…

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Book Review: Drinkology

James Waller’s Drinkology: The Art and Science of the Cocktail, aims for the library, with its soft-touch rubber-like coating covering the hardboard backing of this squat but thick tome. As the subtitle implies, there’s plenty of art and science to be found here – complete with stipple illustrations to show you how to rim a…

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Review: Malibu Red

On paper, Malibu Red is a terrible, terrible idea: Take standard Malibu (coconut-flavored rum), and add white tequila to it. The brainchild of R&B artist Ne-Yo, I am here to tell you that, yes, Malibu Red is as bad as you think it will be. Fundamentally these are two great tastes… that just don’t go…

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