Review: La Marielita Rum 18 Years Old

A new rum has hit the shelves in Florida, California, and New York (available nationally online), and it has a pretty powerful backstory. To wit: Led by Janet Diaz-Bonilla, the first Cuban-American immigrant woman to found and own a rum brand, La Marielita is a proud collaboration of Janet Diaz-Bonilla and fellow Cuban rooted masterminds…

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Review: Dutcher Crossing 2019 Costello Chardonnay and 2018 Proprietor’s Cabernet Sauvignon

Two new wines from our friends in Sonoma’s Dutcher Crossing. 2019 Dutcher Crossing Chardonnay Costello Vineyard – This Alexander Valley chardonnay bursts with notes of coconut and guava, then moves into Meyer lemon and baking spice notes. A bit doughy and unctuous, as you’d expect from a Sonoma chardonnay, the oak influence drops ample vanilla…

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Review: Sagamore Spirit Creator’s Cask Rye

American whiskey fans have long been stricken with single barrel fever. And for a community based around comparing and contrasting opinions on flavor, that really comes as no surprise. Barrel picks allow us to explore a single producer’s range, all while admiring the variety that can emerge when sipping otherwise identical distillate side-by-side. Some hallmark…

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Review: Wines of Cloudy Bay, 2022 Releases

New Zealand’s Cloudy Bay recently sent us a trio of wines — with both the 2021 and 2022 vintages of its iconic sauvignon blanc represented. Let’s dig into all of them. 2020 Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir Marlborough – A pedestrian pinot, slightly beefy with distant, demure fruit that tries only fitfully to break through the…

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Review: Basil Hayden Red Wine Cask Finish

The march of Basil Hayden whiskey releases continues with yet another special expression, this one starting with standard Basil Hayden bourbon, then finishing it in California red wine casks. There’s no information on the finishing process (or much else) beyond that descriptor, so let’s simply dive in. The dissonance here is immediate. The nose is…

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Review: Malbecs of de Negoce, Fall 2022 Releases

We receive comments on de Négoce at a steady clip (and feel free to keep them coming). While we aren’t here to play judge and jury over our readers’ uniformly dismal experiences — our original reviews were all based on media samples — I decided to take a spin myself and purchase a few bottles…

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Review: El Tesoro Tequila 85th Anniversary Edition

El Tesoro loves to celebrate big anniversaries. In 2017 we saw its outstanding 80th Anniversary Edition arrive. Now — has it already been five years? — we’re back with an 85th. We received a small sample to put through its paces. For this release, distiller Carlos Camarena joined forces with Jim Beam’s Fred Noe to…

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Review: Aberfeldy 18 Years Old Finished in Tuscan Red Wine Casks (2022)

Aberfeldy has been releasing an 18 year old expression each year for three years now, every one finished in a different type of red wine cask. That’s a slavish devotion to a particular — yet slightly different — type of finishing, and results have been decidedly mixed. After two years in France, this year Aberfeldy…

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