Review: 2007 Robert Oatley Shiraz South Australia

This line of wines, founded by 80-year-old Robert Oatley, who originated the Rosemount Estate brand, marks a return to U.S. soil from the Australian impresario. A selection of varietals — Chardonnay, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio,  a Cabernet-Merlot blend, and a Sangiovese Rose — are being made available, all with an avowed “modern” approach to…

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Review: Cofia Hazelnut/Espresso Vodka

Man that’s good stuff. Threading a fine line between a standard coffee-flavored vodka and Frangelico, Bendistillery’s Cofia is about as good as flavored vodkas get. Actually, at just 50 proof it’s practically more a liqueur than a vodka, but that just goes to show how much flavoring goes into this spirit. Those flavors — all…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery The Abyss Aged Stout 2008 Edition

The Abyss is insane beer. It is obviously named for its coal-black color and deep, deep flavor profile. It’s a limited edition beer that you’ll have trouble finding, but if you’re a dark beer lover (and I’m talking dark beer), you’re going to dig this one hard. Vintage dated (this bottle was released in November…

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Review: Tequila Tierras, Complete Lineup

One last look at tequila before this year’s Cinco de Mayo fades into the history books. This one a new brand in the States, Tierras. Staking its claim as the first USDA Organic tequila available in the U.S. — although 4 Copas is also organic, it’s not USDA certified to that effect — Tierras comes…

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Review: Gran Centenario Rosangel Hibiscus Tequila

We’ve gone through flavored vodka and flavored rum. Now you can start adding flavored tequilas — hitting the market in earnest now — to the mix. Unlike, say, Agave Loco, Centenario’s Rosangel is a much more subtle product. The only similarity is the original base spirit: Reposado tequila, rested for two months (in Port barrels…

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Whisky Goes Nuclear

How do you tell whether an old bottle of Scotch is legit or a phony? Well, you could send it to me and I’ll drink it and let you know… or you could run it through a whisky Geiger counter: Scientists have found that minute levels of radioactive carbon absorbed by the barley as it…

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Tasting Report: 2008 California Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Samples

What!? We’re writing about 2008 wines when many wineries are still tricking out their 2006 vintages!? That’s right: Barrel sampling season is underway for the 2008 vintage of California Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines have been in oak for a few months now and are starting to show their true colors. I spent several hours tasting…

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Tito on Tito

Fun little interview with Tito Beveridge, of Tito’s Vodka, in this month’s Texas Monthly. Says Tito: To me, a good vodka should have a taste that tells you a little story. It shouldn’t burn or make you squinch your face—nothing like that. You have to be able to sip it. Excellent advice, vodka distillers out…

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