Tasting Helfrich Alsatian Wines with Anne-Laure Helfrich, 2010 Releases

Anne-Laure Helfrich isn’t your typical European winemaker. At 23 years old, she’s probably the youngest person I’ve ever encountered in this business, yet she’s known the wine trade all her life. A third generation beverage-maker (grandpa started with Kirsch and dad moved the family into wine), Helfrich spends much of her time on the road,…

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Review: Harlem Kruiden Liqueur

A new liqueur called Harlem is making a splash in the cocktail scene, its goal nothing less than knocking Jagermeister off its precious perch at the top of the “grimace and swallow” shot category. That’s an awfully tall order: Jager has 70 years of history and sick college students behind it, all unabashedly downing ice…

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Review: Smirnoff Peach and Mango Vodka

Smirnoff keeps cranking out the flavored vodkas, its two latest being the exotic mango and the humble peach. Both are 70 proof bottlings and are naturally flavored. Smirnoff Peach Vodka – Peach is a common fruit, but it’s not often used in spirits (perhaps due to its legacy with SoCo?). As a vodka flavoring, it…

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Review: 2008 Frescobaldi Tenuta di Castiglioni Toscana

This is something you don’t often see in Italian wine: A rich and supple wine that’s fruit forward, full not with over-ripe fruit but with a deep and nuanced melange of fresh berries and dried citrus — or perhaps fresh citrus and dried berries, I’m not entirely sure. Marchesi de’Frescobaldi’s Tenuta di Castiglioni, from Chianti…

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Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Years Old (2010)

Knappogue Castle has long shunned traditional age statements, instead vintage dating its whiskey with a year instead of telling you how long it’s been sitting around. That is changing, as Knappogue is finally moving from vintages to age, in order, as the company says, to better communicate to the customer how old these whiskeys are.…

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Review: Vision Vodka

This boutique vodka comes from a curious pedigree: It’s the brainchild of awards designers, the team that created the Golden Globe statuette and the MTV Video Music Award. What do they know about vodka? Nothing, really, but it turns out the spirit they’ve come up with — produced in small batches at the rate of…

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Review: Camus Cognac, Complete Lineup (2010)

You have certainly never heard of Camus cognac. But what if I were to tell you it was a major worldwide brand, the fifth largest cognac house on the globe — with its major markets Asia and Eastern Europe. Now Camus is coming to America at last, with retail in 15 states and more to…

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Review: Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon 2010 Edition

Four Roses is back with another Small Batch release, of which a mere 3,600 bottles will be made, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the distillery’s Lawrenceburg structure. Crafted from three of Four Roses’ recipes, it includes whiskeys aged 15 years, 11 years, and 10 years, married together and bottled at barrel strength — 110.1 proof,…

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