The Top 10 Gins of 2021

For the third year, we enter spring with gin on our mind, excited to break out the tonic and cool down with the season’s most essential cocktail. That said, if you can’t shake those wintry Negronis yet, we won’t judge you. Either way, we’ve got you covered, with a look at our ten favorite gin…

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Review: Ferment Brewing Nitro Dry Stout

A relatively new brewery, Ferment Brewing Company opened in 2018  in Hood River, Oregon. They offer a range of beers in various styles, including ales and lagers. Today we’ll be trying their Nitro Dry Stout, brewed in the tradition of Irish stouts. Ferment also brews an Imperial stout which boasts 11% abv – much heavier…

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Review: Westward Single Malt Cask Strength

Portland’s Westward Whiskey — nee House Spirits — has recently added a new whiskey to its permanent lineup, the fourth expression now on offer. Westward Single Malt Cask Strength is a full-proof expression of its original American Single Malt, which we last reviewed under its old House Spirits branding (a two year old whiskey at…

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Review: Kentucky Owl St. Patrick’s Limited Edition Bourbon

Kentucky Owl jumped into 2021 with a bit of an odd holiday-themed release, Kentucky Owl St. Patrick’s Edition. Before you get too befuddled about being persuaded to substitute a Kentucky bourbon for the Irish whiskey typically used to celebrate the occasion, allow Kentucky Owl to explain: For this special release, Kentucky Owl Master Blender John…

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Review: Brandy Sainte Louise

Brandy Sainte Louise hit the scene in 2018, designed for bartenders as “a classic, Old-World style brandy with a balanced, fruit-forward flavor profile.” It’s made in France by a Cognac cellarmaster but most of its grapes (classic ugni blanc) come from just outside the Cognac AOC region. The spirit is pot distilled and aged in…

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Review: Five Brothers Bourbon

The five brothers in question are the Shapira brothers, one of whose son is now the president of Heaven Hill, which is making this under-the-radar bottling. Max Shapira’s father and his brothers started Heaven Hill back in 1935 — the date’s on the label of the bottle — and this new release is produced in…

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Review: Ancient Peaks 2019 Renegade and 2018 Oyster Ridge

You just can’t stop these guys. We’re back again with two fresh looks at the wines of Paso Robles-based Ancient Peaks, both red blends. 2019 Ancient Peaks Renegade Paso Robles – A weird blend of 57% syrah, 33% petit verdot, and 10% malbec. Initially daunting, I slowly gravitated to this wine with ample time in…

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Review: 7 Malibu Rum Expressions (2022)

Once synonymous with coconut rum — and only coconut rum — the Malibu Rum empire now spans 9 different flavored rums, ready-to-drink canned cocktails, and even punch-in-a-bag concepts. The catch? Today, very little of this has coconut flavoring in it. What’s Malibu made of? You might be surprised to know for starters that it’s made…

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