Review: James Ownby Reserve Tennessee Bourbon

With James Ownby Reserve Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Gatlinburg, Tennessee-based Ole Smoky Distillery takes another step away from its moonshine roots, with a real Tennessee whiskey — or Tennessee bourbon, as they call it — now on the market. The whiskey is sourced stock from unstated parts — though it has to be in Tennessee…

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Review: NV Cameron Hughes Lot 841 Lambrusco

And now for something completely different from America’s favorite negociant, Cameron Hughes: a Lambrusco. I can’t recall Hughes diving deep into the sparkling wine world, and definitely anything made with this oft-maligned grape. If you need a primer, just ask your grandparents or parents; they made Lambrusco one of the top-selling imports during the ’70s…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Special Release 2021 – Coy Hill High Proof

Jack Daniel’s has been putting out special release whiskeys for a few years now, and its 2021 release is a doozy: Coy Hill High Proof, aged on the top ricks of its oldest barrel houses, which are located on Coy Hill, the highest hill on the Jack Daniel Distillery property in Lynchburg, Tennessee. These barrels…

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Book Review: The Dogfish Head Book: 26 Years of Off-Centered Adventures

Drinking a well-made beer is a simple joy often taken for granted. There are so many possible ways a brewmaster can deliver a beer that ruins the graceful experience. Overly hopped, out of balanced, excessively syruped, for example. There’s also the very real possibility that someone can write a book that makes drinking beer feel…

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Review: Luxardo Bitter

We’ve previously covered (and loved) Luxardo Bitter Bianco. This is the OG version, a Campari clone that’s red, not clear. Big, herbal, and bitter as the name would suggest, the Padova, Italy-made Luxardo Bitter stands as a solid alternative to the 48 proof Campari any day of the week. Ingredients aren’t disclosed, but the liqueur…

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Review: Pressice Barware Ice Ball Press

Prove me wrong: There’s categorically no better way to improve the presentation of a cocktail than by serving it with a spherical ice ball. The trouble is making them. Spherical ice molds are a massive pain in the butt, and hand-carving spheres is something best left to highly trained Japanese cocktailing masters. For the rest…

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Review: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon Single Barrel 5 Years Old (2021)

Smooth Ambler’s Old Scout line helped to put the small craft distillery on the map more than 10 years ago. I recounted in my review of the new Old Scout Bourbon how the distillery, after briefly running out of aged MGP stock, resurrected the line in 2019 with a significantly larger, if more youthful, stockpile…

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Recipe: Witch Word

Liquore Strega is a sweet herbal liqueur with a fascinating and lengthy history, and on a recent Zoom event, the brand walked a group of booze writers through the spirit’s background — with a particular eye on how to use it in cocktails. The recipe of the day is called the Witch Word — Strega…

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