Review: Bacardi Torched Cherry Rum

The problem with cherry flavored spirits, of course, is the cough syrup connection. Cherry flavoring is so endemic in over-the-counter throat and lung remedies that most drinkers immediately want to climb back in bed once a cherry liquor hits their lips. Bacardi bypasses that problem with its new cherry rum by “torching” it — now,…

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Tasting Report: Wines of Madonna Estate, 2010 Releases

Madonna Estate is very centrally located between Sonoma and Napa — it’s one of those wineries you pass by a thousand times when you’re driving through the wine country, but you never stop there. I finally did on a recent drive in the area and tasted their wines, the vast majority of which are grown…

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Review: Riazul Tequila, Complete Lineup

This new line of tequilas comes from the Jalisco Highlands — said to be harvested from land held by a single family for more than 200 years — and is imported into and distributed from Houston, Texas. All three expressions are of course 100 percent agave and 80 proof. Riazul Silver Tequila – This blanco…

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Review: Reál Sangria White Sangria

Most of us know red sangria — with fruit a-bobbing in the pitcher — all too well. Reál Sangria is now offering a pre-mixed white sangria, a relatively obscure spin on the classic, which uses white wine instead of red to achieve a lighter, fruitier taste. This white sangria is relatively simple, but quite refreshing.…

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Review: Germain-Robin Craft-Method Brandy and Coast Road Reserve Brandy

These Germain-Robin brandies — crafted in California — showed up unannounced, in minimally-marked sample vials, with no additional information about their manufacture or sale. [UPDATE: Notes have been found, and info below has been updated. These are new products.] They are reviewed here without further knowledge — I’m unclear whether the first brandy is the…

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Review: Bakon Bacon-Flavored Vodka

There are two schools of thought on Bakon — an honest-to-God bacon-flavored vodka — and never the twain shall meet. One school says this is awesome, at a way to get that highly-prized bacon flavor into an alcoholic spirit. The other school says it is disgusting. I won’t be able to sway you either way,…

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Roundup: Affordable Dessert Wines, 2010 Releases

With party season getting underway, it’s time to look at dessert wines, no? (OK, so party season is nowhere near arriving, but these wines have been sitting here all year and I finally had the time to properly review them.) This hodgepodge of wines basically have nothing in common except higher alcohol (usually), sweetness (some…

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Review: Ursus Vodka, Straight and Flavored

Everyone needs a gimmick, but the vodka industry, where product is legion, needs it more than anyone. Ursus Vodka, which hails from the Netherlands and is distilled “from grain,” is a budget brand with a trick: Like Coors Light’s newer bottles, the bears on the label turn from white to blue when it’s chilled. (It…

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