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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Review: Fire & Ice Vodka Original

This Swiss vodka is made from organic wheat and is proofed with local water, yet it hits the shelf for $20 a bottle or less. To be sure, there’s not a hell of a lot to it. The nose is clean but moderately medicinal and lightly earthy, with notes of Band-Aids mixing with hints of…

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Review: Castle & Key Small Batch Bourbon Batch 1 and 2 and Restoration Rye 2022 Batch 1

Now for the moment some of us have been waiting for since first signs of re-awakening appeared at the abandoned Taylor distillery off McCracken Pike. After several years of patience, time, and change, the inaugural batches of Castle & Key’s bourbon have been delivered. The first round of Restoration Rye went live in early 2021,…

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Review: Wines of Thacher, 2022 Releases

Thacher is one of the wineries leading the charge of “Paso Robles’ new school” — lower alcohol, higher acidity, new types of grapes not often found in this region. We recently received a quartet of wines from the operation for review, all new releases. 2020 Thacher Own-Rooted Chenin Blanc Shell Creek Vineyard – Approachable and…

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Review: Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey 12 Years Old

Bushmills — the Irish operation which proudly boasts being the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world — has added a new whiskey to its permanent lineup. Bushmills Single Malt Whiskey 12 Years Old takes two single malts that are fully matured separately for at least 11 years in Oloroso sherry and bourbon barrels, then…

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Review: 4 Devils Backbone IPAs, 2022 Relaunch

Devils Backbone, based in Roseland, Virginia, has relaunched its family of four IPAs, “with both re-released classics and new favorites with a new face.” That face includes DB’s new IPA mascot: “Buck Tradition,” which is a cartoon deer that wears sunglasses and a visor. Let’s dig in to the full lineup, which is also available…

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