Review: Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka

Caramel is a tricky flavor to begin with: Basically it’s burnt sugar, and that carries with it all kinds of challenges. Godiva makes a pretty good caramel/chocolate liqueur, but Van Gogh raises the stakes with a naturally-flavored vodka that’s straight up caramel, and 70 proof to boot, leaving much less room for flavoring agents. This…

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Review: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2009 Edition

Hey, who doesn’t like a birthday? The bourbon gurus at Old Forester like it enough that every year they celebrate by releasing a new, special-edition bourbon to celebrate the birthday of their founder (September 2), something they’ve done every year since 2002. For this 8th edition of the Birthday Bourbon, Old Forester offers a whiskey…

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Pabst Blue Ribbon Sales up 25% in 2009 (Prices, Too)

The hipster backlash has begun! Per Advertising Age: For starters, PBR isn’t that cheap any more. The brand hiked prices this year, and a case of PBR now costs $1.50 more than MillerCoors’ Keystone, $1 more than Anheuser-Busch’s Busch and Natural brands, and 50 cents more than Miller High Life. And it’s growing at a…

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Review: Wines of Olson Ogden, 2007 Vintage

Our friends at Olson Ogden were kind enough to send their full lineup of 2007 wines for our review now that they’re on the cusp of actually being released. I’ve tried four of the five at wine events previously and found that in most cases I found the wines had improved after a few months…

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Review: The Yamazaki 1984

With just 300 bottles coming to the U.S. this fall, odds are good you are not going to be drinking any of Suntory’s Yamazaki 1984 vintage whiskey — the first vintage-dated whiskey the company has released in the U.S. And that’s a shame, because based on what is the teeny-tiniest sample of a whiskey I’ve…

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Review: Apollo Single-Serving Blender and Grinder

Smoothies for one? Who wants to break out the giant blender, then clean up the mess afterwards, just for a single-serve drink? Enter Tribest’s Apollo AP-200, a pint-size blender with vessels that let you mix drinks or grind solid objects in single-serve doses. The AP-200 is so simple it doesn’t even have an on-off switch.…

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Tasting Report: Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandels, 2007 Releases

Had the chance to sit down with Ravenswood Winery’s founding winemaker Joel Peterson this week and sample his 2007 old vines lineup. The son of a woman who worked on the atomic bomb and a trained immunologist, Joel is full of stories, but most involve his love of wine, for which he developed a taste…

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Review: Jefferson’s Presidential Select Bourbon 17 Years Old

Produced in the final years of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, this high-end bourbon rounds out the Jefferson’s line of Kentucky whiskeys, though supplies will be limited, to say the least. Plus, it’s Jefferson’s Presidential Select, which means it was selected personally by Thomas Jefferson. Right? This is a big bourbon, fragrant with roasted nut…

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