Review: Patron El Alto Reposado Tequila

“Prestige” tequilas — you know the ones in impossibly tall bottle and with impossibly high prices — are a rapidly growing category, and with El Alto, Patron makes its long-awaited first entry into the category. It’s instantly unusual for being a reposado — albeit one aged in 11 types of barrels, “mostly hybrid barrels of American…

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Review: Daru Canadian Whiskey

Daru has a picture of a lion on its label and a map of India on its reverse but — surprise! — it’s actually a Canadian whiskey. “Inspired” by the flavors of Indian whisky and created by the two children of an Indian emigrant, the brand dates back to 2020. The brand’s only bottling is…

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Review: Boondocks Bourbon Signature Selection 18 Years Old

Six years ago we had our first round of Boondocks whiskey, a small project from industry veteran Dave Scheurich. His pair of light whiskeys were fine but not overly remarkable, which is the common state of things with the light whiskey world. We promised at the time that additional, limited edition expressions would be arriving…

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A Visit to C.L. Butaud Wines

Texas has a reputation for friendliness — as long as you aren’t driving on the highway, at least — but few places I’ve visited in the wine world were as downright inviting as C.L. Butaud. Butaud is a husband-and-wife operation headed by Randy and Brooke Hester. After stints in wine distribution and sales, both of…

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Review: Slainte Irish Whiskey

The phenomenon of celebrity owned libations continues. Sláinte was founded by Richard Davies, who serves as director of the brand, along with actor Liev Schreiber of Spotlight and Ray Donovan fame. The whiskey is distilled, matured, and blended at The Great Northern Distillery in County Louth, Ireland, and it has a rather unusual barrel aging…

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Review: Duck Pond Cellars 2022 Pinot Gris and 2021 Pinot Noir

Established in the Dundee Hills and Willamette Valley AVAs and a member of the Great Oregon Wine Company family of wines, winemaker Julia Cattrall uses the Duck Pond line to place an emphasis on sustainability and all-natural wines. In 2020, it produced its first Natural Path Production wines certified by the Clean Label Project which,…

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Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch A123 (January 2023)

Like clockwork, it’s time to check in again with Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, which recently launched its first release for 2023. This uncut bottling arrives at 62.8% abv, about in line with the last release, C922. I get a rather beefy note on first blush on the nose, complemented by black pepper and notes of…

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Review: 2021 LifeVine Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Oregon’s LifeVine wines should be rightfully commended for their commitment to full and unapologetic transparency, with their website declaring their line pesticide-free, organic, and sugar-free. LifeVine is one of the first wine brands to post both serving facts and full ingredients on its label. It’s also keto-friendly, lab tested for any contaminants and over 200…

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