Review: El Bandido Yankee Tequila Blanco

The El Bandido Yankee Tequila Company launched in mid-2021, offering a blanco and reposado available regionally (namely in Illinois, Texas, and Michigan). Founded by former NFL player James Robert Morris and NHL Hall of Fame hockey player Chris Chelios, it’s another semi-celebrity tequila that aims to produce a high-end, 100% agave spirit which is —…

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Recipe: Remember the Maine

Don’t remember your history? The Maine was a battleship that exploded and sank in the harbor of Havana, Cuba in 1898, after which the U.S. — goaded by yellow journalism — at last entered into war with Spain. Decades later the true cause of the explosion would be revealed — “self-inflicted” — all of which…

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Review: Southern Comfort Black

When we last explored Southern Comfort way back in the mid-2010s, it had traveled an uncomfortable distance from the iconic liqueur popularized by Janice Joplin. Under the ownership of Brown-Forman, SoCo had become a vehicle for several heavily flavored aberrations, including Lime, Gingerbread Spice, and Black Cherry. That a version flavored with Tobasco was actually…

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Review: Bomberger’s Declaration Bourbon and Shenk’s Homestead Whiskey (2021)

We’re back with the 2021 editions of Michter’s Legacy Series annual releases of Bomberger’s and Shenk’s, albeit once again a few toe dips into the new year. Again availability is highly limited with just 1,735 bottles of Bomberger’s Declaration Bourbon and 2,232 bottles of Shenks’ Homestead Sour Mash Whiskey hitting the shelves in late fall,…

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Review: 10 Barrel Brewing All Ways Down Double IPA

While double IPAs are often sweet and even cloying, Bend Oregon-based 10 Barrel Brewing’s latest DIPA is surprisingly down to earth, showcasing more of a west coast style with hearty notes of forest floor and alpine tree bark. The beer finishes with a touch of citrus and cookie dough, upping the sweetness component, but not a…

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Review: Gold Bar Original Whiskey, Black Bourbon, and Rickhouse Cask Strength Bourbon (2022)

We first encountered this odd San Francisco-based operation’s whiskeys in 2018, when Gold Bar Original was the only expression on the market. Now Gold Bar has expanded to three offerings, including two bourbons. Only one is packaged in the “gold bar” decanter — although the “gold bar” bourbon is painted black — all of which…

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Review: Wines of Zenato, 2022 Releases

Zenato can be found in the region of Lugana in northern Italy, a fairly obscure wine region on the shore of Italy’s largest lake, Lake Garda, as well as nearby Valpolicella. In fact, the Zenato family was one of the first to plant in Lugana, and the rich history of the company is in clear…

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Review: Procera Gin

Distilled in Nairobi, Kenya, Procera harvests botanicals from countries across Africa. Additionally, the base spirit comes from Kenyan sugar cane which grows around Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile River. Altogether, this makes for a distinctively African gin. The most notable ingredient in the gin is the one from which it draws its name,…

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