Review: Sandeman Tawny Port 20 Years Old (2010)

Here’s a fresh look at this tawny, last reviewed in 2008. A good, old 20 year old tawny port with a ruddy brick-red color, Sandeman’s affordable porto is an easy and accessible entry to the style. Port’s traditional raisin and prune characteristics are present, but they are considerably muted beneath wood notes, smoke, and some…

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Review: Don Q Coco Rum and Mojito Rum

Don Q is a huge rum brand from Puerto Rico. It’s now producing three flavored versions, two of which we were fortunate enough to review. Flavorings are natural and the proof level is rock bottom, so drink all you want. Don Q Coco Rum is (obviously) a coconut-flavored rum (aged at least one year). Quite…

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Review: 1921 Tequila, Complete Lineup

From the Jalisco highlands, 1921 is a line of 100 percent agave tequilas… plus a tequila liqueur. I tasted them all while trying to figure out what the symbolism of “1921” was… and failed. The line is unusual in that the agave undergoes a double fermentation process, said to offer more smoothness and a wider…

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Review: 2006 Markham Single Vineyard Estate Cabernets

For years Markham has been a standby of supermarket shoppers: Relatively reliable, affordable, and always on the shelves. The mass-market bottlings are nothing that will knock you over (I have a string of reviews in my notes, mostly B+ ratings, dating back to the 1990 vintage), but in a pinch, they’ll do fine. Now Markham…

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Review: Slane Castle Irish Whiskey (2010)

It’s not just a drawing on the label of this whiskey. There really is a Slane Castle. It’s even in Ireland, thank the stars. Slane Castle Irish Whiskey is a new whiskey on our shores, and it’s now becoming available on the eastern seaboard. Created by the good folks at Cooley Distillery, it’s a young…

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Review: 2007 Domaine de Fabregues Coteaux de Languedoc

The French wine region of Languedoc is attempting a renaissance of late, highlighting the carignan grape — a workhorse of this region’s wines and something which is also making a bit of a comeback as a standalone varietal in the U.S. No one will argue that Languedoc’s biggest selling point is value, and this 2007…

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Review: El Dorado Rums – 12, 15, and 21 Years Old

Hailing from Guyana, El Dorado makes what is known as demerara rum, which is simply a rum from the Guyana area that is made using demerara sugar, aka turbinado sugar — you probably know the coarse brown crystals best under the trade name Sugar in the Raw. El Dorado isn’t Rum in the Raw, though:…

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Review: Ty Ku Soju

The only sane thing to do here is to explain what soju is. It’s not sake, though sake drinkers will notice some similarities in the flavor profile. While sake is more akin to wine or beer, soju is a Korean distilled beverage, more like vodka. But not exactly: At just 48 proof (Ty Ku’s alcohol…

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