Review: Ferrand Renegade Barrel No. 3

Cognac Ferrand launched its Renegade Barrel collection — in which its brandies were finished in various types of different casks — back in 2018. This edition, #3, is our first encounter with the line. It begins with vintage 2011 Ferrand Premier Cru Cognac and finishes the brandy in Plantation 1996 Jamaica HJC rum casks (which…

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Book Review: The Cocktail Cabinet

Aimed at the beginning or aspirational mixologist who can sort of craft an Old Fashioned or G&T, Zoe Burgess’ The Cocktail Cabinet offers up a comprehensive orientation to some of the most fundamental cocktails, plus with a few refreshing twists along the way. Burgess takes time, about a fourth of the book, to explain the…

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Review: New Riff Malted Rye Sherry Finish

New Riff Distillery hasn’t been slowing down one bit. They recently completed a significant expansion at their Newport, Kentucky distillery, increasing production capacity by 50%, and they’ve added the necessary barrel warehousing at a nearby site. They also increased their distribution footprint to include whiskey-hungry Florida and Illinois. And they remain, as ever, dedicated to…

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Review: White Wines of Portugal’s Alentejo, Summer 2022 Releases

As I write this review longhand during a summer heatwave-induced power blackout, it is quite uncomfortable outside. The heat index surpassed triple digits before noon, humidity is swamp thick, and there is zero sign of relief until well into the evening hours. I’m sure this is a scene familiar to many, and it is another…

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Review: Bushmills Single Malt Pedro Ximenez Cask 29 Years Old

It hasn’t even been a year since the first release in Bushmills new “The Rare Casks” series, and here we have a second, even older installment. Wonders never cease. For round two, the Irish whiskey powerhouse is releasing a 29-year-old expression distilled in 1992 and matured in hand-selected bourbon barrels for over a decade before…

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Review: 2019 Masseria Surani Primitivo

We sampled a range of Italian primitivo-based wines last year (check that post for a discussion on the origin and character of the grape). Today we are sampling another primitivo, this one from the same region in southern Italy, Puglia, as those earlier wines. Let’s give it a try. The nose is a bit restrained,…

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Review: Bear Fight Single Malt Whiskey

Next Century Spirits (NCS) is a fairly new producer based in Raleigh, NC, which launched in 2018. The genesis and purpose of NCS has such an interestingly transparent take, it’s worth an introduction in their own words: Established in Raleigh, NC in 2018, Next Century Spirits blends together traditional techniques and unique finishing technologies to…

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Review: Parch Agave Non-Alcoholic Cocktails – Prickly Paloma and Spiced Pinarita

Parch is a new line of non-alcoholic, agave-based, ready-to-drink canned cocktails with such careful consideration of approach to the ubiquitous NA category that I will let them introduce themselves: In developing Parch, we studied ancient beverages, rituals and botanical infusions across Mexico and the Southwestern US, drawing inspiration from traditional plant-based beverages enjoyed as alternatives…

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