Review: Tequila Tromba, Complete Lineup

Here’s a fun fact: Tequila Tromba is the top-selling independent tequila… in Canada. A Highlands-born spirit, Tromba is now tiptoeing its way into the U.S., where all three traditional expressions are available. We tried them all. Here goes. All are 80 proof.┬áNOM 1547. Tequila Tromba Blanco – Very light-handed on the whole, this silver tequila…

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Review: Inspiro Tequila Luna Blanco

Looking at the bottle above, you might expect Inspiro to be a vodka. I promise this is not but rather a blanco tequila, which launched in the U.S. in late 2021. The brand was founded by Mara Smith, a former Chicago attorney, who fell in love with tequila and recruited Ana Maria Romero Mena to…

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Review: El Mayor Tequila Extra Anejo – Sherry Cask Aged

El Mayor has been cranking out special editions like mad, including multiple spins on its extra anejo bottling. This one is particularly unique, spending 38 full months in sherry casks. It isn’t finished, it’s completely matured in sherry casks — though the type of sherry is not disclosed. It’s a powerhouse bottling that melds two…

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Review: Firestone Walker STiVo Keller Pils, Hopnosis IPA, and Cali Squeeze Beers

Two new brews — neither of which spent a second in a bourbon barrel, for once — from California’s Firestone Walker, plus the introduction of Cali Squeeze, which doesn’t carry Firestone branding and which is confusingly a new line of both beers (all hefeweizens) and seltzers, all made with California fruit. We only received the…

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“History Itself in a Bottle”: An Interview with Raj Bhakta

Perennial spirits entrepreneur Raj Bhakta has already cemented himself as one of America’s most ambitious booze salesmen. He founded WhistlePig and helped create an entirely new generation of whiskey drinkers, with a heavy focus on premium rye. His second foray into the premium category took a decidedly upmarket turn with Bhakta, a brand based around…

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Review: Rossi d’Angera Genziana Spitz

Genziana Spitz is an Italian-born blend of “hydrated alcohol, sugar, gentian herb, and genuine vegetable natural substances,” per the label, anyway, but what it really is is a lighter, sweeter style of aperitif with its bitterness clearly evident, yet never overwhelming. The distillery offers some additional details, which go like this: This Gentian Root liqueur…

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Review: 2021 Sonoma-Cutrer Rose of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Sonoma-Cutrer’s pinot-driven rose offers a classic Provence-style construction, a mere 11.9% abv, driven by white flowers, ripe strawberry, and lingering vanilla notes as the wine develops in glass. Lemon notes emerge late in the game, the lightest layer of florals lifting the otherwise vanilla-laden, nougat-like sweetness, just a touch. This wine never tends toward complexity,…

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Review: Bently Heritage Juniper Grove Atrium Gin

Do you like flowers? Have I got a gin for you! Atrium Gin — one of three gins from Nevada’s Bently Heritage — is made with 10 botanicals. At first blush, everything seems fairly straightforward and traditional, the botanicals including juniper, lavender, orris root, chamomile, cardamom, grapefruit zest, angelica, gentian, lemon balm, and orange peel.…

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