Review: Clontarf 1014 Irish Whiskey (2011)

Clontarf Classic Blend has been rebranded and upgraded to Clontarf 1014, named now in honor of one of Ireland’s most famous battles (the Battle of Clontarf, as it were) — and released just in time for a 1,000-year anniversary. As for the whiskey, nothing seems to have changed since the old version. My notes —…

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Review: Berrys’ Own Panama Rum 10 Years Old

Berry Bros., a UK wine and spirits merchant, is branching out into rum production, bringing in a variety of rums from all over the Caribbean and Latin America. We received one of the seven bottlings the company is importing, a 10 year old rum from Panama. On first blush, it’s very hot — all heady…

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Review: Montanya Colorado Platino and Oro Rum

As previously mentioned, one of my top discoveries at this year’s Ministry of Rum event was a pair of rums not from the Caribbean or South America but rather from Colorado. Yeah, that Colorado. In the U.S. These “High Mountain Rums” from Montanya (Montaña is Spanish for “mountain”) are distilled from sugar cane (not molasses)…

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Review: Tequila Gran Dovejo, Complete Lineup

This new highland tequila is a single-estate spirit, double-distilled in copper alembic stills. It is, of course, from 100% blue agave… the pinas of which are “fermented with the use of champagne yeast while the harmonious sounds of music play in the background as this is found to optimize the sugar conversion.” Hmmm. We tasted…

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Review: High West Silver OMG Pure Rye and Western Oat White Whiskeys

The white whiskey market had a rocky start — mainly because a lot of producers were simply bottling straight-off-the-still moonshine, stuff with no real craft behind it, and selling it for premium prices because of the novelty value. Results: Lots of rotgut on the market. Finally, there are a couple of white whiskeys — High…

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Review: anCnoc 12 Years Old

Don’t let the crazy spelling/capitalization fool you: “a-nock” is all you have to say. It even says so right on the bottle. This 12 year old malt (the distillery’s entry level whisky) from the northeast corner of Scotland is very youthful and light, heavy on the grain and malt character. There is charm here, but…

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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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