Review: 42 Below Honey Vodka

The only honey-flavored vodka I’m encountered, 42 Below’s Honey Vodka is flavored with Manuka honey, which uses honey from bees that feed on New Zealand’s native Manuka bush. I don’t know what Manuka honey itself tastes like, but I can at least report on the vodka made using it. The nose on this clear vodka…

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Review: Tanqueray, Tanqueray No. Ten (2010), and Tanqueray Rangpur Gin

A reader recently complained (or kvetched, perhaps) that I didn’t review enough accessible products, stuff that you’d find on the shelf of your average liquor store and didn’t cost five figures. Fair enough, so here you go. It doesn’t get much more mainstream than Tanqueray, the British gin (produced in Scotland, actually) which is one…

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Review: Bacardi Rock Coconut Flavored Rum

As it did with “Torched Cherry,” Bacardi continues its tradition of double-flavoring rums and giving the finished product one, nonsensical name. Bacardi Rock Coconut is naturally flavored with rock melon and coconut water, hence, I guess, “rock coconut.” Rock melon, by the way, is a fancy name for cantaloupe. As for the character of this…

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Review: 12 Noon to Midnight Sparkling Beverage – Original and Rouge

Never mind the name — which is proof perhaps that everything is taken by now — what exactly is a “culinary beverage,” as 12 Noon to Midnight claims to be. I’ve yet to figure out the nuance of the term, but here’s what I can tell you: 12 Noon to Midnight is a non-alcoholic, sparkling…

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Review: WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey 10 Years Old

A whistle-pig is another name for a groundhog. It is now also a compelling straight rye whiskey from Vermont — hardly the first state that comes to mind when you talk whiskey. When they say straight rye, they mean it. WhistlePig is a rare 100% rye, aged for 10 years and bottled at 100 proof.…

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Review: 2007 Virage Napa Valley

Virage aims to emulate — and they are very specific about this — the great Right Bank Bordeaux wines. With the inaugural 2007 release of this new winery’s juice — 71% Cabernet Franc, 24% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon — I’m not sure it has the Bordeaux character Virage is looking for, but it is…

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Tasting Report: San Francisco Vintners Market 2010

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a different sort of wine show — one designed not just for sampling the wines on tap but for buying them, too. The San Francisco Vintners Market showcased hundreds of wines, all of which you could buy on the spot. I was there not to shop of course…

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Review: Three New 2008 Rosenblum Zinfandels

With nearly 20 Zinfandels — and dozens of other wines — Rosenblum has a mammoth profile of wines to its name. We tried three of its latest releases, all Zins from the 2008 vintage. 2008 Rosenblum Old Vine Zinfandel Sonoma County – Bright fruit, sugary like a strawberry pie for dessert. Some herbal character in…

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