Review: Zenify: The Live Stress Free Drink

How stress-free to you get if you drink Zenify? So stress-free that you stop using capitalization. I swear — outside of the nutrition facts box, there’s not a capital letter to be found on this can of relaxation beverage. It’ll knock the shift right out of you! Zenify is designed to “get you focused” by…

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Review: Edinburgh Gin (2011)

What a fool I am. Here’s yet another Scottish gin, with the name of a Scottish town right there in the branding. Don’t I feel smart? Edinburgh Gin is distilled with classic gin botanicals, plus the addition of Scottish juniper, pine, heather, and milk thistle. The pine is a bit eyebrow-raising, and sure enough this…

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Review: Germain-Robin Absinthe Superieure

My, absinthe, what a long while it’s been! Germain-Robin’s Absinthe Superieure (via Greenway Distillers) is a blanche (clear) spirit, distilled not up to a blazing 140 or so proof, but down to about 90 proof, making it perhaps the least alcoholic absinthe I’ve ever sampled. The spirit is infused with wormwood, rose geranium, lemon balm,…

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Review: Murray McDavid Mortlach 1997 13 Years Old Chateau d’Yquem Finish

I’m currently so infatuated with Bruichladdich’s 16 Year Old Yquem-finished “Cuvee E” whisky that I recently did the unthinkable: I bought a bottle of it. Curing my search I also found another Sauternes-finished whisky, a 13-year-old Mortlach privately bottled by Murray McDavid… and less than half the price of the Bruichladdich. Certainly worth a try,…

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Review: Russian Standard Gold Vodka

First there was Russian Standard and Russian Standard Imperia. Now there is Russian Standard Gold. Because that’s how Russia works. The bottle design of this new vodka line extension is less imposing but still hangs on its Russian street cred, all Cyrillic lettering and Old World nostalgia. Inside, yep, it’s vodka, and while it’s unclear…

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Review: Wines of Bodegas Farina, 2011 Releases

Bodegas Farina is one of the oldest family wineries in Toro, a poorly-known wine region in Spain that’s northwest of Madrid, near Salamanca and the northeast corner of Portugal. (Ribera del Duero is the best-known nearby region, off to the east.) The bodega makes seven wines, most coming in at relatively low (13-14 percent) alcohol…

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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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