Review: Barrell Armida

Barrell Bourbon may be 25 batches into the straight bourbon blending game, but in recent years, the company has also been looking for even more interesting ways to build a unique product, from infinity bottles to exotic finishes. They really kicked things off on the finishing front in 2019 with Dovetail, but now comes Armida,…

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Review: 2018 August Kesseler “The Daily August” Pinot Noir Rheingau

German red wines are scarcely known for their subtlety, but this bottling of pinot noir from the Rheingau-based August Kesseler is surprisingly light on its feet, offering notes of fresh cherry and blackberry to counter some lingering (and otherwise fully expected) notes of roast beef, mushroom, and turned earth. It’s all done very gently, however,…

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Review: The Glenlivet Double Oak 12 Years Old (2020) and the Malbon x The Glenlivet Golf Collection

Surprisingly, it has been quite a bit — 12 years — since we last evaluated the 12-year single malt from The Glenlivet. So with the arrival a freshly minted partnership with luxury golfing line Malbon, we took a minute to evaluate a select few pieces of the clothing collection, as well as refresh the glencairn…

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Review: Ciroc White Grape and Pineapple Vodka

France’s Ciroc, which distills its vodka from grapes, recently launched two new flavors. Pineapple is part of the permanent lineup, while White Grape is a “limited edition” flavor — although it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. We tried them both, and our thoughts follow as always. Both are 70 proof. Ciroc White…

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Review: 2018 Kara-Tara Pinot Noir Western Cape

This South African pinot noir, from the Western Cape region, is quite light in color, a character which is immediately at odds with the intense, earthy nose, redolent with barnyard notes — even more so than is typical of South African reds. Black pepper emerges ahead of a lightly balsamic finish, which comes across as…

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Review: 2018 Escudo Rojo Cabernet Sauvignon and Gran Reserva

Escudo Rojo is a Chilean winery founded by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, based in the country’s Maipo Valley. Cabernet sauvignon and syrah are the focus here, but the winery blends a range of varietals into its Gran Reserva bottling, which is reviewed below alongside its cabernet, both from the 2018 vintage. 2018 Escudo Rojo Cabernet…

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Review: Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Drumshanbo is increasingly well-known for its delightful Gunpowder Irish Gin, and now the brand is moving into a spirit more associated with Ireland: Single pot still whiskey. This spirit is very traditionally made with unmalted and malted barley and Irish oats in the mash, triple copper pot distilled, and aged in a combination of Kentucky…

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Review: 2018 Tinto Negro Malbec Uco Valley

I didn’t find the 2017 bottling of this wine to be particularly interesting, but the 2018 offers a dramatic reversal. While dry and earthy, with some of the same forest floor notes I encountered in ’17, its notes of licorice, allspice, and clove are just prologue to a finish that finds a lot more room…

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