Review: Rhum Barbancourt 4 Years Old

We’re working our way backwards through Haitian rum producers Barbancourt, now hitting the 4 year old expression, also known as Rhum Barbancourt 3 Stars. Like other Barbancourt rums, it’s made in the agricole style from fresh sugar cane juice. This expression is quite young, and the aggressive nose bears that out: hot and smoldering, with…

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Review: Waterford Distillery Organic Gaia Edition 1.1

We recently reviewed a handful of Waterford’s Single Farm Origin releases, which showcased the distillery’s obsession with terroir. With all of the fuss about soil and farms, it’s probably not surprising that Waterford is working diligently with its partner growers towards organic barley production. In total, there are some 86 different farms across Ireland that…

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Review: 2018 Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Mount Veeder’s latest is a classically structured Napa cabernet sauvignon, rich with blackberry and currant but filtered through a fine layer of bittersweet tannins. Gentle notes of rosemary and thyme emerge as the wine develops in the glass, but the finish runs to a fresher red berry character, infused with a hint of tart cranberry…

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Review: 2018 Biltmore Estate Limited Release American Malbec

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wine billed as “American” in origin, but this malbec from Biltmore — a historic estate and winery based in North Carolina, originally built by George Vanderbilt — does just that. It’s a rather soft and lightly sweet wine, fruity with notes of plums, crushed blueberries, and blackberry jam,…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Tasters’ Selection – Jamaican Allspice

Entry #6 in Jack Daniel’s experimental Tennessee Tasters’ Selection lineup is here and it’s perhaps the most unusual of the series to date. Per JD: “The Jamaican Allspice product takes Jack’s Old No. 7 and finishes the whiskey with Jamaican allspice wood for 180 days. It features a nose of fruit, smoke, and sweet tobacco…

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Recipe: Ballard Bridge

There are whole library shelves out there full of cocktail books, which means it’s almost impossible for every craft cocktail bar, even the best of them, to have every obscure amaro or vermouth or bitter, let alone tincture, shrub, or syrup, to make every conceivable cocktail. As a result, the craft cocktail boom has seen…

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Reivew: 2017 Maddalena Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles

This budget bottling from Paso Robles-based Maddalena is a bruiser of a wine, a monster that is overwhelming with notes of smashed, overripe currants and blackberry jam, sweetened to within an inch of its life with notes of brown sugar and milk chocolate. Utterly overwhelming at times, Maddalena’s cabernet comes across almost like a dessert…

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Review: 2015 Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port

Recently we reviewed Dow’s LBV Port from 2015, now it’s Taylor Fladgate’s turn. This is Fladgate’s 50th year producing Late Bottled Vintage Port, so — well, that’s something to celebrate, right? This expression is bright and fruity in keeping with the usual style of LBV Port wines. Big cherry, strawberry, and raspberry notes hit first,…

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