Review: 2004 Coto de Imaz Rioja Reserva

Don’t let the price fool you: Coto de Imaz’s 2004 Reserva Rioja is a surprisingly drinkable, mature, and enchanting wine. Inexpensive Spanish wine is not normally something I’d recommend, Coto de Imaz is impressive for something at this price. Dark burgundy in color, this 2004 Rioja — which spent 18 months in oak and 24…

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Review: Wines of Eric Kent, 2009 Releases

Massive apologies to my friend Renee Humphrey for being so terribly slow at getting this tasting report online from our visit over a week ago. Renee (who refused to be photographed) led me through two of the winery’s upcoming 2007 vintage releases and an already-out 2006. Eric Kent specializes in pinot noir, syrah, and chardonnay;…

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Review: Bache-Gabrielsen Hors d’Age Cognac

The top shelf bottling of the Bache-Gabrielsen lineup, here’s a cognac that’s worth its fancy bottle, its wire-sealed lid, and its wooden box. This pure Grande Champagne cognac includes spirits that date back to 1917 — the youngest was distilled in 1960. That’s 49 years old at least, and it’s obvious once you pour the…

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Review: CurrantC Black Currant Nectar

I can’t speak to the claim that “black currants have twice the antioxidants of blueberries,” but as mixers go, CurrantC actually works well for those looking to up the health quotient of their intake, alcoholic or not. CurrantC is, as the name suggests, nectar of black currants, 43% juice and the rest water and agave…

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How It’s Made: Johnnie Walker Black Label

Ever wonder how blended Scotch whisky is made? Well tomorrow I get the opportunity to find out firsthand by blending my own. Johnnie Walker sent this awesome kit (see right, click for large version) full of single malt and grain whiskeys, and during an hour-long session we’ll be blending our own Black Label under the…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2009 Edition

Once again Buffalo Trace brings us five limited-edition whiskeys, and for 2009 they carry the same names as last year. However, the formulations and barrels from which these whiskeys have been drawn are different, making them unique expressions that you’ll only get in 2009… and while supplies last. Sazerac Rye 18 Years Old 2009 –…

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Review: Deanston 12 Years Old

This Highland Scotch whisky is hardly a major name in the spirits world, and production has stopped and started several times in the last few decades. Now Deanston is back and going strong, and its 12-year expression is likely the most common one you’ll find. Deanston 12 is a very light whisky, somewhat oily in…

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Review: Conjure Cognac

If nothing else, I recommend you get your hands on the press book for Conjure Cognac, a new spirit brought to you by rapper/actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. Filled with pictures of Bridges sniffing samples at France’s Birkedal Hartmann while surrounded by dapper Frenchmen, it’s as bizarre a promo for a spirit as I’ve encountered. As…

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