Review: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2011 Edition

Like all of us, Old Fo keeps getting older, and this year it’s a 12-year-old bottling of 98 proof whiskey drawn from 62 barrels at the Old Forester rickhouse. Can 2011’s Birthday Bourbon measure up to 2010’s masterpiece? Sadly, I’ve none of the ’10 left for comparative purposes, but the 2011 immediately strikes me as…

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Review: Hendrick’s Gin

Recently I declared — quite foolishly — that Caorunn was Scotland’s only gin. Pretty dumb: Hendrick’s has been on the market for years, with great success, despite its slogan, “It’s not for everyone.” Self-described as a “gin made oddly,” Hendrick’s is famous for the addition of cucumber to the standard botanical mix, along with rose…

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Tasting Report: Ministry of Rum Festival 2011

Last year’s Ministry of Rum event was a tasty yet tiny look at the growing world of rum, and most of the same faces — with a few new ones — were back again in 2011. I focused on unfamiliar brands at this walk-around event… but made it a point to retry a few rums…

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Book Review: Great Whiskeys: 500 of the Best from Around the World

The bad news: Many of the world’s “great whiskeys” are ones you will likely never see in the real world. Pinwhinnie Royale? Dallas Dhu? Braunstein Danish Whiskey? The good news: If Great Whiskeys is right, there are plenty of whiskeys you can get your hands on, including Early Times, Canadian Mist, and Georgia Moon. This…

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Review: Hankey Bannister Blended Scotch Whisky

If you can’t love a whisky with a name like Hankey Bannister, you can’t love anything. Well, maybe a great name can’t buy you love after all. This Scotch blend is fairly typical — Highland and Speyside malt whiskys blended with Lowland grain whiskys to create a simple and relatively inoffensive drinking experience. My only…

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Review: Blowfish for Hangovers

How refreshing! Blowfish contains no goji berry. No acai. No kudzu. No N-Acetyl L-Cysteine. None of that new age stuff at all. Instead it has just two, old-school ingredients: Aspirin (500mg) and caffeine (60mg), delivered in an effervescent tablet. Complicated? No, but it’s a recipe that works pretty well. I’m not sure what the advantage…

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Review: Speyburn 10 Years Old (2011)

Shop carefully and you can get a single malt whisky for 20 bucks: Though I’ve rarely seen it in bars, Speyburn is a staple of grocery stores around these parts, where it’s cheaper even than Johnnie Walker Red Label. Based in the Speyside region (of course — though the bottle claims a Highlands origin), this…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2011 Edition

We’ve been writing about Buffalo Trace’s awe-inspiring Antique Collection for longer than I can remember, and each year it seems like these five Bourbons are better than the last time out. This year that streak seems to be taking a breather, with a mixed bag of very good and merely “OK” whiskeys. I’d still drink…

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