Review: Marina Cvetic 2015 Iskra and 2016 Riserva

It’s been quite a few years since we’ve delved into the wines of Abruzzo’s Marina Cvetic, and today we look at a pair of big reds, both crafted from montepulciano grapes in this northern Italian region. 2015 Marina Cvetic Iskra Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG – Made from 100% montepulciano grapes from a single vineyard…

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Review: Reverend Bourbon

Newcomer Reverend Spirits hit shelves earlier this year in Virginia, the passion project of Norfolk-based restaurant owner Karl Dornemann. Karl named his distillery, R.D.Wilhelm Distilling Co., and its spirits line for his own father, an Episcopal priest. The lineup for Reverend Spirits coming out of the gate is understandably limited, consisting of a vodka, gin,…

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Recipe: Improved Whiskey Cocktail

Digging through older cocktail books, you may have come across a recipe with the rather uncreative title of Improved Whiskey Cocktail. While the name leaves a lot to the imagination, the cocktail itself is as classic as they get, created by Jerry Thomas, the founder of American mixology, way back in 1876 when Ulysses S.…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack Whiskey Sour Cocktail Mixer

This mixer lays claims to being one-half the key to “the smoothest whiskey  sour” — the other half being 2 ounces of Gentleman Jack whiskey to back it up. Now, a whiskey sour is hardly the pinnacle of craft cocktailing, and there’s really nothing in this ingredient list — lemon juice, water, sugar — that…

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Review: West Cork IPA Cask Matured Irish Whiskey

Irish whiskey matured in an IPA barrel has been done before, a couple of years ago in Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition. Now West Cork is picking up the idea with its own whiskey finished in IPA casks. (Note that the label calls it “IPA Cask Matured,” but this whiskey does spend its first four years…

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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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