Review: Vara High Desert Gin

Recently we brought you reviews of Taylor Garrett whiskeys, an accelerated-aging spirit line produced in New Mexico. Vara is a gin made at a sister distillery, and since it’s unaged, there are no tricks up any sleeves with this one. The double-distilled gin includes a bill of botanicals that are fairly straightforward but heavy on…

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Review: Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 Years Old

Julian Van Winkle III, by all accounts the godfather of today’s bourbon hysteria, put the family name on more than just bourbon. While the annual 15-, 20-, and 23-year-old bourbon releases are some of his most sought-after inventions, a slightly lesser known, but no less coveted, rye whiskey sits among the “Pappy” lineup. The Van…

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Review: Montelobos Mezcal Joven – Tobala

Montelobos recently expanded its mezcal lineup with a second expression, this one made in Puebla from tobala agave. It’s also higher in alcohol than the earlier espadin-based expression — and quite a bit different all around. The nose here is pungent, but not in the way you think. It’s actually just mildly smoky an vegetal,…

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Review: Port Askaig 12 Years Old – Bourbon Cask and Sherry Cask Marriage

Today we’re in for a fun treat, tasting Port Askaig Islay whisky at 12 years of age, but with two very different barrel treatments. (As a reminder, the Port Askaig brand is made up of whiskies sourced from other Islay distilleries — never named, but bottled as Port Askaig.) Details on the two spirits —…

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Review: Natural Light Sour Seltzers, Complete Lineup

Natty Light, the brand you know and love, is spreading its wings with numerous new products including, of course, a malt beverage-based seltzer, which is available in four flavors. The twist? They’re all sour — the first ever sour seltzer, per the company — so fans of the mouth-puckering stuff may find them a refreshing…

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Review: The ImpEx Rum Collection Edition One – Long Pond 2007, Long Pond 2005, and Clarendon 2007

Recently we looked at the single malts of the new ImpEx Collection, at which point I noted we’d soon get to the collection’s trio of independently bottled, single barrel rum releases from two famed distilleries: Long Pond and Clarendon, both located in Jamaica. Well, here we are. Let’s visit a different, more tropical island this…

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Review: In Good Taste Summer Sips Collection

In Good Taste is looking to reform the wine industry by offering “small batch” wine in small wine bottles that are, well, quite cute looking. Interestingly enough, the bottles are not sealed with a regular wine cork, rather it’s a glass stopper, which is then secured by a piece of plastic. That’s great for convenience…

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Review: Grey Goose Essences, Complete Lineup

Grey Goose makes standard flavored vodkas, and now it expands those offerings with a spinoff line called Essences, part of the new craze in vodka that sees brands relying on real fruit and natural ingredients — and no added sugar in the case of Essences — to create unusual flavor combinations that at least give…

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