Review: Benriach Malting Season and Smoke Season 2021

Benriach only just recently completed its lineup overhaul and it’s back once again with two new products, Malting Season and Smoke Season. These will both be annual releases and neither will carry an age statement. Some details: The first edition of Benriach Malting Season is created with a unique process that brings out the wholesome, creamy flavor…

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Review: Redemption Bourbon Cognac Cask Finish

Redemption Whiskey recently announced a few new bottlings as part of a new Whiskey Specialty Series (alternately called the Cask Series), including a wheated bourbon, a rum cask finished bourbon, and this bottling, which is finished in Ferrand Cognac casks. It’s all rye-heavy MGP bourbon to start with, as it’s always been, and there’s no…

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Review: Hampden “Great House” Rum Distillery Edition and “The Younger” Rum 2021

Jamaica’s Hampden continues to crank out special edition rums, including this pair of highly limited offerings which hit at the tail end of 2021. Let’s dig in. Hampden “Great House” Rum Distillery Edition 2021 – Great House got its start with the 2020 edition — which we loved — and now edition #2 is here.…

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Review: Chicken Cock Cotton Club Rye 20 Years Old

Grain & Barrel Spirits, the company behind the Chicken Cock brand’s revival, continues to push the brand upmarket, releasing limited expressions of all kinds of (sourced) whiskeys, revolving around bourbon and rye. This latest expression is a doozy: A 20 year old Canadian rye named in honor of Harlem’s Cotton Club, where the original Chicken…

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Review: Wines of Girard, 2018 Vintage

Girard Winery has been producing in Napa Valley for more than 40 years, focusing on the big reds iconic to this area. While the winery is long on tradition, it also has an experimental edge. It’s zinfandel and petite sirah wines are intriguingly aged in fusion barrels made by integrating 1/3 each of Hungarian, French…

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Review: Equiano Rum Light

We loved the original Equiano, a dark rum made in Mauritius, aged in Cognac barrels, and blended with Foursquare rum from Barbados, so hopes are high for this first line extension from the brand: a light rum that’s made in basically the reverse way. Equiano Light starts with pot-distilled molasses rum from Barbados’s Foursquare, aged…

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Recipe: Downhill Daring

While a cocktail like the Full Monte can be considered a form of the “Reverse Manhattan”, purists will argue that a true Reverse Manhattan is one in which vermouth (and not some other modifier like amaro) forms the backbone of the cocktail. While I’m always happy to kick up the amaro or liqueur (within reason)…

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Review: The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao

The Macallan is out with a new whisky series, and the backstory is a real doozy, so pay attention for a minute. The new Harmony Collection launched this fall to highlight the brand’s devotion to sustainable packaging. Per the press release: Sustainability has been a constant guiding principle for The Macallan since it began crafting…

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