Review: Winter Palace and Emperor Vodka

The tzar of Russia’s vodka… where might it come from? If Emperor’s Brand (which brought us Giorgio G Cognac) is right, it’s… France. Winter Palace and Emperor may not be the original deal, but at the very least they are inspired by Old World recipes, both distilled (six times) from French wheat and cut with…

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Review: A. de Fussigny Cognac Selection and Superieur

Fussigny Cognac has been made since 1814 but it’s been absent from the U.S. for years, lacking an importer. Now Castle Brands has picked it up and is bringing Fussigny back to the states. We tried two of the three main expressions that this independent Cognac house is offering here. (Tragically our XO sample broke…

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Review: NV Domaine Carneros Cuvee de la Pompadour

This sparkling rose from Carneros is a good mix of sweet and savory: A mildly yeasty nose with touches of floral character is followed by a mildly sweet, berry-forward body. Quite a lot of fizz to it, the body is more foamy than creamy. The finish is easy and lasting, fading toward a little bitter…

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Review: Ron de Jeremy Rum

Perhaps this was inevitable: Infamous porn star Ron Jeremy now has a rum. Makes sense, of course: Ron is Spanish for rum and Jeremy is actually from that noted bastion of rum production: Queens, New York. Hrmmmm. Ron de Jeremy is actually an aged, seven-year rum from Panama. If it didn’t have Jeremy’s mug on…

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Review: 2006 Bodegas Roda Rioja Reserva

A rare Rioja: Fruit-forward, lush, and easily drinkable without requiring a big hunk of meat to back it up. Blackberry and fleeting Port-like characters play with hints of tar and tobacco. Moderate body, but smooth, and with a pleasing, rounded finish. Really lovely. A / $45 / roda.es Related Stories: Review: Beronia 2011 Rioja Crianza…

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Review: American Harvest Organic Spirit (2011)

The folks at Sidney Frank — the company that made billions by giving us Grey Goose — is back at it. Its new vodka is a bit of a curiosity: It doesn’t actually say “vodka” on the label, it says “organic spirit.” What is an “organic spirit?” It’s organic vodka (column distilled from organic winter…

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Review: 2006 Antinori Agricola Bramasole La Braccesca Syrah Cortona

Syrah is traditionally considered a New World grape, but here Antinori has found a plot of the stuff in Tuscany. Old World Italian Syrah? For real, folks, and it’s a bracing change of pace from traditional Italian reds and, more strikingly, the Syrah and Shiraz to which you’re likely accustomed. The character is distinctly Italian,…

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Review: Wemyss Malts Smooth Gentleman 8 Years Old and Peat Chimney 8 Years Old

Wemyss (pronounced “weems”) is well known for its blended (aka vatted) malts and its aggressive approach to picking a variety of single malt casks to reach various specified outcomes. Wemyss even names its malts — which are not blended Scotch, by the way, since they contain no grain spirit, just malted barley — to give…

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