Review: Turi Vodka

Türi is Estonia’s only vodka exported to the U.S. For that, it’s got some novelty cred. But I’m not entirely sure it’s worth the $20 a bottle it costs… if you can find it at all. Türi is another rye-based vodka, but it isn’t the flavor that immediately hits you: Türi is especially thick and…

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Review: Pravda Vodka

Regularly marketed as ultra-luxe and advertised as besting every major brand in vodka tastings, Pravda is a Polish spirit, distilled five times from rye and bottled at 80 proof. It shares a lot of the characteristics of other rye vodkas, but Pravda is smoother than most and bears a stronger citrus flavor up front that…

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Review: Jose Cuervo Platino Tequila

From the biggest name in the tequila business comes an ultra-premium bottling, Jose Cuervo Platino, a silver tequila that’s priced to the skies. Made using the innermost part of the agave, the piña, the tequila is meant to evoke agave in the extreme. And it certainly does. While it’s impressively smooth, it packs quite the…

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Review: 2004 Clos du Bois Zinfandel North Coast

My expectations for a $10 Zin don’t exactly run high, but Clos du Bois’s latest is just fine for a weekday quaff. It overwhelms with berry aromas the minute you open the bottle, cherry and raspberry filling the room. There’s less to impress when you drink it: It goes down easy but there’s nothing complex…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack (2008)

Few liquor brands are as heralded as Jack Daniel’s, but it’s never been a favorite of mine. Too harsh for sipping and lacking character even in a Coke, Jack has just not been a big winner for me. And not for lack of trying. You can’t go to a bar or a party without being…

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Original Recipe: The Shrubb Rush

I had a mango. This is what I came up with. Use as ripe a mango as you can. Add sugar as needed if it isn’t sweet enough. The Shrubb Rush 1 mango, chopped 2 pineapple spears, chopped 6 oz. pineapple juice 6 oz. rum (I used Jamaican Sea Wynde) 1/2 oz. Creole Shrubb (or…

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Tasting Report: Bonhams Pre-Auction Event, January 2008

Hit another tasting event this week (check out September 2007’s report here). My notes are less copious this month; the wines were good on the whole, but nothing knocked me off my feet. Here are some thoughts on what was especially interesting over the course of the evening. Nothing of exceptional note among the whites,…

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Review: Dewar’s Special Reserve 12 Years Old

A cut above standard grade Dewar’s, this 12-year-old blended Scotch is as smooth as they come. Honey is brightest on the palate, and a smoky, tobacco-laden aftertaste lingers on the finish. Light and almost crisp (imagine biting into a fresh apple), this is a whisky that’s best straight up, without water or ice. At just…

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