Busch Up, Bud Down

A sour economy is boosting the fortunes of cheap beer: Sales of Busch and Miller High Life are up and the last year, while sales of “premium” beers like Budweiser and Miller Lite (yes, in the beverage world these are considered premium products) are down. In the case of Bud, by 7.4 percent since a…

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Review: The Macallan Fine Oak 15 Years Old

It is difficult to go wrong with a dram of Macallan in any of its forms, and the distillery’s 15-year-old Fine Oak expression is no exception to that rule. The Fine Oak line is aged in a combination of three casks — ex-sherry casks from European oak, ex-sherry casks from American oak, and ex-bourbon casks…

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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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