Review: Black Dot Vodka

The gaping black hole on the front of this new vodka brand’s bottle could suck your soul right out — and while its stark minimalism is controversial — the vodka itself is solid stuff. Distilled in Madison, Wisconsin from yellow corn and local cherries (hmm!), this is a very clean and restrained vodka. The mild…

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Tasting Report: Wines of Argentina 2011

Argentina continues to confuse me, showing off some excellent wines (at surprisingly high prices)… while the bulk of what I taste from this country is barely palatable. This round of Argentine wine was all over the map (literally, from all over the country), offering both lush Malbecs and plenty of over-jammed, tough, and green wines…

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Review: The Bitter Truth Apricot and Violet Liqueurs

The mad Germans at The Bitter Truth continue their march into odd liqueurs, this time with two new distillates: An apricot liqueur and a violet liqueur. Both are 44 proof. The Bitter Truth Apricot Liqueur is based on a traditional German tipple, brought into the ’10s for a modern audience. The nose is intensely apricot,…

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Review: Drinkwel Multivitamins for Drinkers

A reader asked me about this product and the company behind it was kind enough to send a sample. The idea is nothing like anything else I’ve experienced to date: Multivitamins designed for drinkers. Makes sense: Hangover remedies are almost always stuffed with various vitamins, so why not just incorporate those into your daily vitamin…

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Tasting Report: Loire Valley White Wines 2011

This recent, Loire Valley-focused event marks (I believe) the first time I’ve experienced a wine tasting without touching a red wine — rose sparkling wine doesn’t count, right? The Loire Valley is home to dozens of very affordable wines, heavy on Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, Reuilly), Chenin Blanc (Vouvray), and Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet) —…

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Review: Tequila Don Julio 70 Anejo Claro

Take an anejo tequila and filter out the color, and what do you have? Don Julio 70, a new — clear — tequila with the character of an anejo. Don Julio claims that 70 is the world’s first anejo claro, and depending on how you look at it, that’s true: Maestro Dobel does the exact…

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Review: Guinness Black Lager

Heresy? Guinness is launching a brand new brew that is a massive departure from its typical fare: a black lager with a far lighter style than its usual offerings. What’s a black lager? First off it is indeed just about black: a coffee-dark shade of deepest brown that blocks out all light. But it is…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2011

WhiskyFest remains the whiskey enthusiast’s festival to beat. With hundreds of whiskeys, it is a mad dash for all sorts of great stuff — if only you can find it in the scattered auditorium and muscle your way to the front of the line. Don’t worry, you can do it, and even though the 2011…

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