Review: Diageo Scotch Whisky Special Releases 2023

Diageo’s annually released Special Releases are always treasures, but they don’t always shake up expectations, often relying on slight twists to some well-worn formulas in the world of Scotch — some added age, virgin oak, higher proof, and so on. With 2023, that’s all changing. With this “Spirited Xchange” collection, Diageo is leaning on its…

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Review: Glenfiddich Perpetual Collection Vat 03 15 Years Old

Glenfiddich’s duty free/travel retail lineup is designated its “Perpetual Collection,” as all of the whiskies in the lineup (four to date) are aged in solera vats. How many solera vats — which are constantly refilled, leaving some percentage of older stock behind — does Glenfiddich have? I’ve only seen the one — which is used…

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Review: Wines of Montecucco, 2023 Releases

Montecucco isn’t a wine region I expect most people are familiar with — I wasn’t — so let me introduce you to this small part of the Maremma area in Italy, a locale you’ll find between Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano. Sangiovese is of course the grape of choice here, but blending grapes…

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Review: Chivas Regal XV 15 Years Old

According to the company, Chivas Regal is “shaking up the Scotch whisky category in the U.S.” with the launch of a new product: Chivas Regal XV. While standard Chivas is 12 years old, this one is 15. So, you know, shaking things up. All Chivas bottlings are blends that are built around Strathisla single malt,…

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Review: Chalk Hill Sonoma Coast Wines – 2021 Pinot Noir and 2022 Chardonnay

We always light up when new releases from Chalk Hill arrive. This pair is from the winery’s Sonoma Coast operations and both represent some of the bet value wines Chalk Hill sells. 2021 Chalk Hill Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – A rather workmanlike wine from Chalk Hill, this rather beefy offering has a certain Vienna…

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Review: Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon – Limited Edition (2023)

We’ve been writing about the cask strength version of Angel’s Envy‘s now-classic Port-finished bourbon for as long as I can remember, and as I mentioned in 2022, it’s a remarkably consistent product. Even the proof tends to change only slightly from year to year. For 2023, I am happy to report no surprises await the…

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Review: Cantina Zaccagnini Tralcetto 2021 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and 2022 Pinot Grigio

Situated slightly northeast of Rome, Italy’s Abruzzo region has many a delight to offer wine lovers and those looking for an adventure slightly off the tourist-beaten paths. While it is tempting to carry on about the beauty of the Giulianova seaside or the simple joy of smelling fresh, hand-picked batches of saffron, today we focus…

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Review: New Riff Sour Mash Single Malt Whiskey

American Single Malt is only just now on the verge of becoming an official category, but Kentucky’s New Riff has already begun applying their trademark tinkering to the style. And they’ve been doing it for a while, apparently. The distillery is no stranger to unique malted whiskeys, delivering impressive bourbon and rye expressions over the…

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