Review: Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Maple Wood Finish

Another semi-experimental Bourbon from Woodford Reserve. The spin this time (it’s the company’s 5th installment in the Master’s Collection) is the use of maple wood in the finishing barrels. This is big news because it had been felt, according to Woodford, that maple wood couldn’t be used to make a barrel because of certain characteristics…

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Review: Tranquila Relaxation Shots

Tranquila isn’t the first “relaxation” shot on the market, but it is, to my knowledge, the first one without the word “chill” in the name. The format is familiar: Little plastic vial holding 2 fluid ounces of super-sweet liquid. Tranquila is available in two varieties, with quite different formulations (but both with zero calories, sweetened…

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Review: Emperor’s Brand Giorgio G XO Limited Edition Cognac

Hardly a household name in America, Emperor’s is slowly stretching its legs into our shores. We had a chance to try the company’s Giorgio G XO cognac, a 35-year-old blend of over 70 eaux de vie from Grande Champagne. The results are a success. A tabby orange spirit, Giorgio G XO is lush with orange…

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Review: 2007 Anka Pargua II Maipo Valley

From Chile’s Maipo Valley, Vina Pargua ‘s “Anka Pargua II” is built from an odd blend of 30% Cabernet Franc, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 11% Syrah, 6% Petit Verdot, and 2% Carmenere — all organic. The results are intriguing. Extremely dry at first blush, it opens up after a few minutes in the glass,…

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Book Review: Whiskypedia

The beauty of books about whiskey (vs. books about wine) is that they needn’t be replaced quite so often with new ones. Compared to the wine world, the whiskey world is relatively plodding in speed, and the Black Label you drink today is going to taste and be made an awful lot like the Black…

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Review: Yorkville Cellars Mendocino 2006 Wines

Mendocino’s Yorkville Cellars is a unique little oddball in the wine world. It produces classic Bordeaux varietals (plus Carmenere), but it’s based in Mendocino, known mainly for Zinfandel production (which Yorkville doesn’t make). Then, it doesn’t blend those varietals: It bottles them separately. In fact, Yorkville says is Rennie Vineyard is the only place in…

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Review: Martin Miller’s London Dry Gin

One can hardly talk about Martin Miller’s gin without talking about Martin Miller. Miller is a self-described “gypsy” who often compares himself to Richard Branson — presumably because of the flowing locks both of them share. Miller made his money in mail-order dating, an antiques guide book, and a bed and breakfast before turning to…

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Review: Kilchoman Summer 2010 Release

In the world of Scotch whisky, Kilchoman is tiny. It’s one of the smallest distilleries in the country, producing about just about 130,000 bottles of whisky each year. It’s also one of the newest distilleries around, having opened its doors in just 2005 — the first all-new distillery in Scotland in over a century. Kilchoman,…

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