Review: A. Smith Bowman Abraham Bowman Oak Series: French Oak

Virginia’s A. Smith Bowman Distillery has been on fire of late with its limited editions. The annual Cask Strength releases, each impressive, have become instant unicorns, and the most recent Abraham Bowman, a rum-finished 15-year-old bourbon released in 2021, was similarly spot on. After a two year hiatus, Abraham Bowman has returned with the first…

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Review: Gracias a Dios Mezcal Tobala and Tepextate

We previously reviewed Gracias a Dios Mezcal Espadin, and today we swing around to try two of their mezcals, alternately made from Tobala and Tepextate agaves. These varieties differ from Espadin in that they are not domesticated and are only cultivated where they grow wild. They also require more time before they are ready to…

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Book Review: Bourbon Land

Bourbon is often said to be America’s native spirit. Bourbon can appeal to a wide spectrum of individuals who all come via different routes. Are enthusiasts drawn to bourbon because of geographic proximity to the heartland of bourbon? Perhaps a bourbon lover enjoys the Kentucky chew because the affinity was passed down through the family?…

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Review: Natterjack Cask Strength Irish Whiskey

We tasted Gortinore Distilling’s flagship Natterjack Irish Whiskey last spring and found it to be exceedingly approachable but not exactly earth-shattering on the flavor front. A cask strength version dropped around the same time, but a sample only recently found its way onto our desk. As a reminder, this is a younger Irish whiskey (under…

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Tasting the Wines of Quinta do Vesuvio, 2024 Releases

Did you know: In 1868, Quinta do Vesúvio became the first single estate Port wine — and it’s still going strong in 2024. Though not exactly a household name, Vesuvio makes some outstanding Port wines — and it’s also got an impressive dry, table wine operation going on, too thanks to 328 acres planted to…

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Review: Starward Lagavulin-Finished Single Malt Australian Whisky

Of all the whisky team-ups I could imagine, Scotland’s Lagavulin and Australia’s Starward was nowhere near the top of my list (despite Diageo having a not insignificant interest in the latter). Sure, the two countries have some cultural history. There’s a better than zero chance that a couple centuries ago an illicit distiller from Islay…

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Review: Left Bank Bordeaux from Ch. Larrivet Haut-Brion and Ch. Olivier, 2020 Vintage

Discussions about the merits of Bordeaux’s Left Bank and Right Bank — separated by the Dordogne and Garonne rivers — are as old as modern winemaking itself. And while many will endlessly debate the quality of the two factions, there are some key differences in winemaking between the two regions. When it comes to reds,…

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Review: Balcones Mirador Eclipse

Hey, remember that eclipse we had just a few weeks ago? Iconic Texas distillery Balcones dropped a limited edition whisky to commemorate the moment — which offered full totality in its hometown of Waco. So they say: “Mirador Eclipse is a reflection on the sacred trance driven out of a solar eclipse – recognizing that…

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