Review: Rootstock Spirits Applejack 5 Years Old

Rootstock Spirits is a craft distillery in western New York that focuses on the many fruits grown in this region, especially apples. One of the specialities of the operation is, of course, applejack. This bottling is a 5 year old expression (the black label in the photo above), which is an upgrade over the distillery’s…

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Review: Rod & Hammer’s SLO Stills Distiller’s Reserve Rye Whiskey

The SLO in Rod & Hammer’s SLO Stills Rye isn’t a typo, it’s a (widely used) acronym for San Luis Obispo, the anchor city in California’s Paso Robles region. The produces four different whiskeys — two ryes and two bourbons; today we’re looking at its Distiller’s Reserve Rye, which is distilled from a mash of…

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Review: 2020 Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

Whitehaven’s 2020 sauvignon blanc at last tempers the brash character we’ve seen in recent years and provides a more balanced if straightforward expression of New Zealand sauvignon blanc. Plump with pineapple but crisp with lemony acidity, it settles into a groove that evokes chewy, slightly funky guava on the finish. Nothing here will blow your…

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Review: Bombay Bramble Flavored Gin

Bombay Bramble is Bombay Sapphire‘s first new expression 10 years (since the launch of Bombay Sapphire East in 2011). It’s also the most unorthodox gin to come out of Bombay, a red-hued spirit flavored with “the essence of fresh blackberries and raspberries harvested at their ripest moment.” For the most part, that’s not hyperbole: The…

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Review: Dignified Single Malt Whiskey

South Mountain Distillery is located in the South Mountains of North Carolina, where generations of Smiths have lived since the 1700s. The Smiths claim a long history of distilling spirits that dates back to the Gold Rush of the mid 1800s, including operation during the Prohibition era. They still distill whiskey and rum, although they…

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Review: Swilled Dog Bourbons and Rye

Launched in 2016, Swilled Dog is a family-owned cider and spirits company based out of West Virginia. What started as a family basement operation has since grown into an independent cidery and tasting room in Upper Tract, WV, where they offer everything from tastings to craft exhibitions and a regular series of “Yoga & Cider”…

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Review: Distillery 291 “M” Colorado Whiskey

Several years ago Drew introduced us to Colorado’s Distillery 291. Now we’re back with a look at its latest whiskey, which starts as 291 Colorado Rye Whiskey, aged in new American white oak barrels and finished with aspen staves. From there, the whiskey is finished for four months in barrels previously used to barrel-age Wisconsin…

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Review: Ron Abuelo XII Anos Two Oaks and XV Anos Finish Collection

It’s hard to believe but it’s been 12 years since we’ve seen any of the rums of Ron Abuelo, at the time earning a well-deserved Best Value award for its incredible quality to price ratio. Now Ron Abuelo has been back at work pushing its products into more exotic (and pricier) categories, with the recent…

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