Review: Yao Ming Family Wines, 2020 Releases

We first tasted the wines of Yao Ming over 10 years ago, when the former Houston Rocket basketballer had just launched his wine brand. Now Ming — who is personally involved in the final blending along with winemaker Tom Hinde — is still cranking out ultra-premium bottlings of primarily cabernet, produced from various Napa-based vineyards. We…

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Review: Few Spirits Immortal Rye

For its next trick, Evanston, Illinois-based Few Spirits has dropped Few Immortal Rye, a version of its cask-strength Few straight rye whiskey (70% rye, 20% corn, 10% malted barley) that’s proofed to bottling strength “with cold-extracted “8 Immortals” tea from renowned Denver-based tea purveyor, The Tea Spot. Immortal Rye is thought to be the first…

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Review: Wines of Poliziano, 2020 Releases

The commune of Montepulciano — where Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is produced — can be found in southeast Tuscany. It’s often confused with Abruzzo’s montepulciano grape varietal, but wines from the region of Montepulciano are actually made from   from Abruzzo, Vino Nobile is made largely from sangiovese — known locally as prugnolo gentile. Poliziano is…

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Review: Baltimore Spirits Shot Tower Gin and Barreled Shot Tower Gin

We’ve already explored several offerings from East Coast craft producer Baltimore Spirits, from their Epoch Rye to several unique American amari. Also included in their extensive and varied portfolio is a line of gins under the Shot Tower label, named for the famous downtown Baltimore landmark used to make musket balls which was, until 1846,…

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Review: Finlandia Vodka – Classic, Grapefruit, and Raspberry

Finlandia — which is legitimately made in Finland, distilled from Suomi barley — has been around forever, but the brand got a shakeup a few years ago, such that none of the Finlandia expressions we’ve previously reviewed are still available in the U.S. Today, the States have just three versions of the vodka to experience:…

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Review: High West Barrel Finished Cocktails – Old Fashioned and Manhattan

I may be one of the few people who remembers High West’s first pair of barrel-aged, bottled cocktails, The Barreled Boulevardier and The 36th Vote, both of which have been off the market for years (and which were apparently only available at the distillery). Now High West is back with a pair of new and…

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Review: Abelha Cachaca – Prata and Ouro

Abelha is a Brazilian cachaca that got its start in 2009, but which is only just now making its way into U.S. distribution. (It’s currently available in a handful of states in the northeast but has national availability online.) The organic, pot-distilled cachaca is available in two expressions, a standard silver and an ouro which…

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Review: Westward Single Malts – Stout Cask and Pinot Noir Cask

It’s been far too many years since we’ve revisited the offerings of Westward American Single Malt Whiskey, formerly bottled under the House Spirits brand in Portland, Oregon. (Once things open up again, it’s a great place to visit and taste.) Westward’s stout-finished whiskey was in its infancy when we last visited in 2018, and now…

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