Review: Saint Brendan’s Salted Caramel Irish Cream Liqueur

  Saint Brendan’s is one of the least expensive Baileys Irish Cream alternatives, and for a while there it was impressively authentic, made with just Irish whiskey and cream. Alas, things have changed for the old Saint. The standard bottling is made with Irish whiskey, cream, and “other spirits.” And in this new line extension,…

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The Top 10 Rums of 2023

Top shelf rum is becoming easier and easier to find — and harder and harder to pin down into a cohesive top 10 list. For the fifth year, we’ve tried all the same, looking back at the year that just ended to select our 10 favorite bottlings. Sadly, many of the price tags on these…

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Review: Brooklyn Brewery Black Ops (2023)

Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Ops is back again in pint-sized cans — again relying on Four Roses barrels to age its hearty Russian Imperial stout for nine months before release. I found the 2023 expression rather fruitier than prior editions, and quite a bit less fizzy. Brooding with notes of prunes and macerated figs, the beer…

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Review: Ardnamurchan ArdnAmerica, Madeira Cask, and Paul Launois Cask

Last fall, we got our first taste of the single malts of Ardnamurchan, a new distillery from Adelphi, a longtime independent bottler who decided to finally get fully into the Scotch whisky game. The distillery makes both peated and unpeated spirit aged in a mix of ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and European oak, and it’s located so…

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Review: 2022 Cantina Zaccagnini Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo

We recently had the pleasure of trying both the Tralcetto Montepulciano and the Pinot Grigio from Cantina Zaccagnini, with both wines showing commendable qualities. Now we have the good fortune to try the Cerasuolo varietal from this Abruzzo-based winery. The wine pours a hue of medium salmon and presents aromas of cherry and strawberry complemented…

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Review: Old Forester 1924 and The 117 Series – Scotch Cask Finish

Old Forester surprised us all this winter with the announcement of a fifth edition in the Whiskey Row Series, a collection of whiskeys intended to evoke old timey styles of bourbondom dating variously to 1870, 1897, 1910, and 1920. The 1910 and 1920 bottlings are some of our favorite bourbons ever, so the addition of…

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Review: 2022 Susana Balbo Crios Sustentia Chardonnay

Say the name “Susana Balbo” to a Malbec obsessive and their ears are likely to perk with interest. Her contributions to making the Mendoza region of Argentina a global Malbec epicenter could fill a hardcover coffee table book. Her work under the BenMarco, and Crios lines as well as her eponymous label have received numerous…

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Review: The Beverly Reserve Whiskey

Last fall, boutique bourbon label Beverly Spirits doubled their portfolio to two offerings with a rare (only 550 bottles) cask strength edition of their flagship The Beverly High Rye, dubbed The Beverly Reserve. A refresher for those of you who don’t live on Rodeo Drive, this is a blend of 60% straight bourbon distilled by…

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