Review: Puncher’s Chance The Unified Belt

This is our fifth round with a Puncher’s Chance whiskey release, and this time out we’re getting something different from the brand’s creators at Wolf Spirit: The Unified Belt is a blend of three whiskeys — two bourbons and an Irish whiskey. This is the first transcontinental blend from the brand, though Irish-American combos are increasingly…

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Review: Pollinator Crimson Amaro

New York’s Pollinator Spirits is the company behind Crimson Amaro, a Campari-like offering that is made entirely with ingredients grown in the state. The product starts with Pollinator’s own vodka — made from local corn and wildflower honey (hence “Pollinator”), and infused with a “secret blend of more than 15 botanicals, among them juniper, wormwood,…

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Review: Suerte Blanco Tequila Still Strength

Suerte has emerged as a solid choice for 100% agave tequila, a Highlands offering with a fairly straightforward, balanced approach — and reasonable pricing. If you want to break away from the usual trio of expressions, consider this newish release from the brand — Suerte Blanco at “still strength,” a cracking 52% abv. There’s not…

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Review: Duke Kentucky Straight Bourbon (2023)

The John Wayne-inspired Duke spirits brand got its start back in 2015, complete with a stylized portrait of the man on the label, just so you didn’t get confused about which Duke they were talking about. Since then, the Duke lineup has expanded from a single bourbon to more American whiskeys as well as tequila,…

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Review: Balcones Cataleja

Waco’s Balcones Distilling recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, and to mark the occasion it, what else, released a new whiskey. Cataleja is a new, limited edition single malt that head distiller Jared Himstedt says is “one of the most complex and unique whiskies we’ve made.” Here’s how Cataleja, Spanish for spyglass, is produced. Made with…

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Review: Brugal Rum 1888 and Coleccion Visionaria Edicion 01, Cacao (2023)

The latest rum brand to move upmarket is the Dominican Republic’s Brugal, which recently dropped its first ultra-premium limited edition release, the first in a new line of rums called Colección Visionaria. The idea here: use a new “Aromatic Cask Toasting technique” to infuse barrels with an unexpected but complementary flavor — in this case,…

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Review: Wines of Portugal’s Alentejo, Winter 2024 Releases

One of our favorite places to revisit and explore is the southern Alentejo (ah-len-tay-zhoo) region of Portugal. Renowned for its versatility, the region cultivates over 250 varietals across a range of climates and altitudes. It is also a very budget-flexible region, offering something suitable at a wide range of price points. Before adjourning for the…

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Review: Copper & Kings Kentucky Straight Bourbon

The spirits portfolio from Kentucky’s Copper & Kings has been a bit all over the place since they started distilling a decade ago. While mostly focusing on brandy in numerous forms and finishes, they’ve also dabbled with gins, absinthe, and even triple sec. But despite distilling in downtown Louisville, the beating heart of America’s bourbon…

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