Review: Merlet Amerisse Bitter Aperitif

As amari-style liqueurs go, Amerisse is wholly unique. This bitter aperitif starts off with a base of Merlet’s creme de cassis which is combined with bittering elements including gentian, angelica, sagebrush, and rhubarb — plus “other berries and citruses.” The result is Amerisse “Liqueur Amere au Cassis,” a dark purple liqueur that will have you…

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Review: Elvis Whiskey – The King Rye and Tiger Man Tennessee Whiskey

Yes, that Elvis. Charleston, South Carolina-based Grain & Barrel Spirits is producing this Elvis Presley inspired duo of whiskeys, joining numerous other brands in the G&B lineup, including Chicken Cock Whiskey, Dixie Vodka, and Virgil Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey. The two expressions of Elvis are sourced from two different distilleries in different states — neither in…

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Review: Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Craft Beers, Red Wine, and Sangria (2022)

We’ve dived into the non-alcoholic offerings of Gruvi in the past, with mixed and sometimes lackluster reception (see reviews of releases from 2020 and 2021). Today we visit with them once again, with a recent round of mostly limited releases. Let’s see how they’re coming along in this journey. All are 0.05% abv. Gruvi Golden…

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Review: Walker’s Cay Bourbon

Walker’s Cay — complete with a marlin on the label — sure does sound like a rum. Surprise: It’s bourbon, made in Kentucky, finished with sherry cask staves, and bottled by King Spirits in Owensboro, KY. The owner of King Spirits is Steven Busch, the son of August Busch III, and clearly more of a…

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Review: 2018 Crossbarn Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County

Here’s a straightforward, plummy cab born in Sonoma that lets its fruit flag fly, at least up front, with notes of red plums and a cherry element giving way to some spicy pepper character as the wine develops on the palate. Moderate oak and notes of tea leaf and cola inform an experience that ultimately…

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Review: Bladnoch Vinaya, 11 Years Old, and 14 Years Old (2021)

The Bladnoch expressions keep coming, as we turn to three newly available bottlings — the new permanent edition Vinaya and two whiskies that will be released annually — an 11 year old and a 14 year old. All the pertinent details follow as we taste. All are bottled at 93.4 proof. Bladnoch Vinaya – From…

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Recipe: Keeneland Breeze

It’s almost time for the Kentucky Derby, a famously short sporting event with a famously long pre-party (and after party for those who can make it that long). The venerable Mint Julep has become the obligatory tipple for the crowds at Churchill Downs and armchair tailgaters across the country, but the Keeneland Breeze, while newer…

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Review: Whiskeys of Starlight Distillery: Carl T. Huber’s Bourbon and Old Rickhouse Whiskeys

Starlight Distillery in Indiana, just across the Ohio River from Louisville, is one of the more unique craft distilleries I’ve encountered. It’s the latest innovation to emerge from Huber’s Orchard, Winery, and Vineyards, a 600-acre farm now in its 7th generation. If you looked up “agritourism” in the dictionary (remember those?), I imagine there’s a…

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