Review: Navan Vanilla Liqueur

Vanilla is an essential part of any good dessert, and it’s equally essential as part of any good dessert cocktail. (Check out how often I use Licor 43 in my dessert drink recipes if you don’t believe me.) The challenge is that there are very few vanilla-based spirits out there. The aforementioned Licor 43 is…

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Review: saké2me Sparkling Cocktails

My first challenge in this review is not how to describe what saké2me tastes like. It’s how to categorize it in this blog. saké2me is a blend of sake, natural flavors, and sparkling water. It comes in ready-to-drink bottles 187ml in size and weighs in at a beer-like 7% alcohol, comparable to malt liquor-based beverages…

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Review: Gordon Biersch Dunkelweizen (with Dan Gordon)

Dan Gordon (pictured), proprietor of Gordon Biersch, stopped by today with his latest brew, a real rarity in America (or anywhere else, for that matter). Dunkelweizen is a dark wheat beer. The brewing process is basically the same as Hefeweizen, but Dunkelweizen uses 40% dark malted wheat in the malt blend, along with 3% caramelized…

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Review: Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey (2008)

Jameson isn’t the only name in Irish. With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, let’s share the love with Bushmills, the other major name in Irish whiskey, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. Bushmills — aka Bushmills Original — has a very typical Irish flavor: The honey of Scotch and but without…

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Review: Milagro Tequila – Silver and Reposado (2008)

I tried two of Milagro’s tequilas today (the silver and the reposado; didn’t have the anejo). Rather disappointing on the whole. Both are 80 proof. Milagro Tequila Silver (2008) – The Silver is a traditional, 100% agave blanco tequila, but it’s awfully harsh, even for a silver. Most super-premium, traditional silvers are surprisingly smooth, but…

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Review: Gordon Biersch Pilsner

This golden lager is a crisp and classic brew, but thicker in mouthfeel than most lager-type beers. It’s got some real weight to it, which makes it pair well with food that has a little spice in it. Czech and German in ancestry, I found it fit perfectly with a seasoned pork chop and asparagus,…

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Tasting Report: Jameson Irish Whiskey Lineup – 12 Years Old, Gold Reserve, 18 Years Old, and Rarest 2007

Amidst the crushing shelf space given over to Scotch and Bourbon, you (and by you, I mean myself) can be forgiven for not knowing all that much about Irish Whiskey. But did you know that Irish Whiskey was once the most-consumed whiskey in the world. Unfortunately, those days ended with Prohibition, and Irish has never…

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Review: Ypioca Empalhada Prata & Ouro Cachaca

After my recent review of Beija cachaça, the good souls at challenger Ypióca (don’t ask me how to pronounce it) sent a volley across my bow, obliquely throwing down a little smack by claiming “every day there seems a new U.S.-made designer brand… wanting to be the next Grey Goose of the category.” Them’s fighting…

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