Review: Havana Club Anejo Rum 7 Years Old

Smoother and more balanced than the Anejo Reserva bottling of Havana Club, this version of the Club carries a seven-year age statement, and the difference shows. This is a perfect example of Cuban style rum (fitting since it’s actually from Cuba): There’s a huge amount of rich caramel character on the nose, with a light…

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Review: Argentina Malbecs – Kaiken and Bodega Tamari, 2010 Releases

Two Argentine Malbecs go head to head today, showing just how variable this grape and this region can be. 2008 Bodega Tamari Mendoza Malbec Reserva is a burly, smoky beast, a brute that’s a real powerhouse of a wine. Despite a ripe cherry core, the wine tastes a little oxidized, strange considering its youth. Overall…

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Review: The Dalmore 18 Years Old (2010) and Isle of Jura Prophecy

These two whiskys from Dalmore (Isle of Jura is part of its empire) were both launched late last year, but they weren’t available when Richard Paterson recently came to town to show off the Dalmore line. Recently he sent along samples of both for our review. Comments follow. The Dalmore 18 Years Old (2010) –…

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Review: 2007 The Federalist Zinfandel

I can’t speak to the wisdom of naming your wine after Alexander Hamilton — and putting a picture of him on the label — but this Dry Creek Valley Zin is certainly worth a try. With a medium body and big fruit flavors of currant jam, the wine offers a touch of pepper and cola…

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Review: CalNaturale 2009 Chardonnay and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

+Get rid of glass and you can jam much more wine into the same amount of space. CalNaturale uses Tetra Pak cartons to put one liter of wine into a compact and sturdy package — essentially a boxed wine, just in a much smaller box than the usual 3-liter container. For good measure, both of …

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Review: Two Muscadet Wines – L’Aubiniere and Michel Delhommeau, 2010 Releases

You may not realize it, but you’ve probably had wine made from Melon de Bourgogne grapes, and probably more than you realize. That’s because all wines from the Muscadet region of France’s Loire Valley are made from Melon de Bourgogne, though you will likely never find the name of the varietal on any wine label.…

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Review: Bruichladdich Organic 2003, Links 15, Oloroso Sherry Edition 1998, and Peat

Islay’s Bruichladdich keeps pumping out whisky faster that I can drink it. Here’s a look at four recently-released expressions from the vaunted distillery. Bruichladdich Organic 2003 – A young whisky — it’s unclear exactly how young since the spirit carries no age statement, but it’s 7 years old at most — this light spirit is…

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Review: Azuñia Tequila Platinum Blanco

This new tequila hails from fields near the town of Amatitan in Jalisco. Available in all three traditional expressions, we sampled Azuñia Platinum Blanco. 100 percent blue agave of course, this tequila is twice distilled and unaged, then bottled at 80 proof. The nose is full of agave, a blast of herbal character that leaves…

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