Review: Copalli Rum – White and Barrel Rested

Copalli is an organic rum distilled in Belize from heirloom sugar cane (not molasses). The brand was launched in 2018 and it’s finally finding broader distribution in the U.S. Two varieties are available, and the production details vary for each. Let’s try both. Copalli White Rum – This is a double distillation of pot- and…

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Review: 2013 Cotes de Ciel Merlot, Nebbiolo, and Cabernet Sauvignon

Cotes de Ciel makes its wines from its own Ciel du Cheval vineyard in Washington’s Red Mountain AVA. It’s hard to believe, but the 2013 vintage wines reviewed below are all current releases. Let’s try them. 2013 Cotes de Ciel Merlot Ciel du Cheval Vineyard – Supple and effusive, this wine shows that it has some…

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Review: Mortlach 21 Years Old Limited Edition 2020

This year’s Special Edition from Mortlach is a true rarity from the brand, finished in Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks and aged 21 years in total. Compare to 2019’s all-sherry-aged expression. The nose is classically rich, not just exuding the essence of Mortlach but also that Pedro Ximenez casking, which gives it a distinctly…

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Review: The Singleton of Dufftown 17 Years Old Limited Edition 2020

Last year’s Diageo Special Releases bottling from The Singleton was actually from Glen Ord, not Dufftown Distillery, which is in a completely different part of Scotland, so it’s a bit of a cheat to call this one from the same distillery, though it is from the same brand. This bottling is the first ever Singleton…

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Book Review: The Japanese Sake Bible

Sake has been on the rise with champagne cellar master collaborations and delivery services. There is also a growing number books to build upon the foundations set by John Gauntner’s The Sake Handbook and Sake Confidential. The latest book is The Japanese Sake Bible by Brian Ashcraft. The title reminds me of Karen MacNeil’s The…

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Review: Hooten Young American Whiskey 12 Years Old

Hooten Young is a new whiskey brand founded by Tim Young and former Special Operations officer Master Sgt. Norm Hooten who was famously part of the ‘Black Hawk Down’ operation. (Eric Bana played him in the movie.) But that’s in no way the most interesting thing about this brand because the whiskey in this bottle…

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Review: Cragganmore 20 Years Old Limited Edition 2020

Next up for the 2020 Diageo Special Releases is a bottling from Cragganmore, unique because a 20 year old expression has never before appeared as a distillery bottling. (It’s not nearly as unique as the 2019, however, which was an experimental, moderately peated edition.) This 2020 expression is matured in refill ex-bourbon and new fresh-charred…

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Review: 2019 Attems Pinot Grigio Friuli DOC

Attems is a classic pinot grigio producer from Italy’s Venezia region. This 2019 vintage release is surprisingly dry — very crisp, with lots of mineral notes I don’t usually expect to find in pinot grigio. Fruit percolates as the wine warms and opens up, but it keeps the focus on lemon and grapefruit, with a…

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