Review: Kilchoman Inaugural 100% Islay

We’ve been covering the quarterly releases from Kilchoman — established in 2005, it’s the first distillery built in Islay for 124 years — since mid-2010, and finally the distillery is releasing its “Inaugural” whisky. That, of course, is a bit of a misnomer, since Kilchoman has released at least eight whiskys that I’m aware of…

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Review: Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper

You’ve probably been wondering about this for years: Why doesn’t Southern Comfort partner with Tabasco on a liqueur? You’re reading everything right: SoCo now comes in a “Fiery Pepper” version, bringing, uh, the best of two worlds together. SoCo isn’t the first company to try this. We’ve reviewed several pepper-infused tequilas in the past. But…

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Review: Weyerbacher Insanity

How can a brewery improve on its already successful barleywine? Weyerbacher suggests throwing it in some bourbon barrels. Weighing in at 11.10% abv, Insanity is Weyerbacher’s twist on the English Barleywine style, letting its normal Blithering Idiot age in oak casks to pick up a slew of new, complex characteristics. Upon first sniff, Insanity seems…

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Review: MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky “Shackleton”

In 1907 Ernest Shackleton was setting off on his “Nimrod” expedition to the South Pole. Along for the ride: 25 cases of whisky from the Glen Mhor Distillery, to keep the spirits of the sailors up. Shackleton didn’t quite make it to the Pole on this trip, and he had to leave behind some of…

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Review: Wente Heritage Block Series Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Releases

These two new releases come from Wente’s Heritage Block series of simpler, everyday wines. 2010 Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay Arroyo Seco Monterey – Traditional in style, with that hugely buttery body, grilled and smoked meats on the nose, and a long, savory finish. B / $20 2009 Wente Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley –…

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Review: 2007 Conn Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Lineup

Conn Creek is a Napa-based winery founded in the 1970s that makes wines almost exclusively from Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux grapes. Today it produces dozens of wines, including many single-vineyard wines from all over Napa Valley (called the AVA series). We checked out four of these wines, plus the less expensive, blended “Napa Valley”…

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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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