Review: Rebel Yell Bourbon (2011)

Will Rebel Yell have you crying, “More, more, more?” Admittedly the name does not instill the confidence of high quality. Like Fighting Cock, perhaps, it connotes a rough and tumble Old West style. I poured a glass and prepared to be burned in more ways than one. I was surprised to find that Rebel Yell…

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Review: NV J Vineyards Brut Rose Sparkling Wine (2011)

J Vineyards, in California’s Russian River Valley, is repackaging its nonvintage Brut Rose sparkler, in order to make its pinkness better known. Composed of 64% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay, and 2% Pinot Meunier, it is aged for nearly three years before release. Residual sugar is 1.15%. The color is lovely, a deep peach shade, and…

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Review: Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

“It tastes like heaven, burns like hell.” Cinnamon spice isn’t usually what people have in mind when they say a whiskey “burns,” but this 66-proof flavored oddity, made in Canada and bottled by Kentucky’s Sazerac Company, certainly doesn’t have much going on in the alco-burn department. But if you’re a fan of Hot Tamales candy…

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Review: Plantation Original Dark Overproof Rum

We last encountered Plantation in 2009, when its year 2000, single-island, vintage rums arrived on the scene. Now Plantation is showing off some new tricks, including this monster 73% alcohol overproof dark rum. Most overproof rums tend to be unaged or only lightly aged, but Plantation Overproof is legitimately a “dark” rum, at least based…

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Greetings from Frankfurt, Germany

I’m spending a week in southern Germany and just finished a wonderful meal with Lenz Moser of Laurenz V at the Schlosshotel in Kronberg. Check out what I encountered earlier today at Frankfurt’s mammoth Christmas fair. Anyone else ever seen this? Off to the Rheingau tomorrow! Related Stories: TapInfluence Interviews Editor in Chief Christopher Null…

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Review: 2009 Justin Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles

This Paso Robles winemaker is a staple of wine lists and most wine markets, and Justin now commands a huge footprint, boasting sales in 23 countries. The lion’s share of its production is still this Cabernet Sauvignon, which comprises nearly half of its bottle count. The wine itself is on the lighter side for a…

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Review: Auchentoshan Valinch 2011 and 1999 Vintage Bordeaux Matured

Auchentoshan is in just about every way an oddity. It’s the only distillery in the city of Glasgow (making it a Lowlands whisky), and it’s the only Scotch whisky that’s distilled three times instead of the usual two (meaning it comes off the final still at an incredibly high 162 proof). The house style uses…

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Review: the20 Box Wines

Part of the problem with box wines isn’t the wine, it’s the box. No matter what you put inside, it’s hard to get past these ugly, sometimes garishly designed, cardboard boxes on your countertop. Frankly, they’re a bit embarrassing, and while box wines generate less waste than their glass-bottled counterparts, at the end of the…

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