Review: Quarantine Vodka

Our friends at Flaviar and Caskers are known for their limited edition whiskey, rum, and even brandy releases, and with Quarantine, the company is moving into the vodkaverse. It’s made in San Diego and distilled six times, but otherwise details are scant. If you want to get down to it, the most distinctive aspect of…

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Review: 21st Amendment Tropical Sparkale

Brewed with pineapple, coconut, and apple, Tropical Sparkale is the latest in a long line of fruit-centric beers from San Francisco-based 21st Amendment. This one’s billed merely as a “sparkling beer,” and is crafted to reduce both alcohol and gluten. And hey, I hope you like fruit. This is a monster full of coconut and…

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Review: Gran Centenario Plata Tequila (2020)

The last time we encountered Gran Centenario’s Plata tequila was way back in 2008! Has 12 years changed anything about this unique joven-esque tequila, which spends a short 28 days in French Limousin oak barrels before bottling (and rendering it a very pale yellow in color)? (One thing that’s changed is the price, driven down…

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Review: Ciroc Summer Watermelon Vodka

Ciroc has been making a play for the tropical fruit vodka market, with an enjoyable Mango Vodka and now a re-release of its Summer Watermelon vodka. Calling it a Limited Edition maybe adds a little cachet to what could otherwise be just another flavored vodka, but it does mean that when it’s gone, it’s gone……

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Review: Four Gate Bourbon Batch 6 The Kelvin Collaboration II

We only recently had our first round with Four Gate Whiskey Company, a custom blending operation in Louisville. We’re skipping ahead here from batch 4 of its unique bourbons to batch 6, which is in turn an update from its inaugural batch 1. (Not reviewed here, alas.) Like batch 1, the whiskey is made from…

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Review: Black Stallion 2018 Heritage Chardonnay and 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Gaspare Vineyard

Here’s a yin-yang of wines from Napa’s Black Stallion Winery, a low-end chardonnay alongside one of its vineyard designate cabernets. 2018 Black Stallion Heritage Chardonnay Napa Valley – This is Black Stallion’s entry level chardonnay, and if you’re a fan of oak, well, you’ll love it. The overwhelmingly buttery wine features a heavy extraction of…

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Review: New Riff Backsetter Bourbon and Backsetter Rye

Kentucky’s New Riff prides itself on putting a “new riff” on tried-and-true American whiskey traditions. As more and more craft distilleries push the creative limit to stand out on the shelves, these “riffs,” like their use of malted rye, have started to seem a little less innovative. Still, New Riff has kept a few unique…

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Review: Ninkasi Peach Maiden the Shade Summer IPA

This is a spin on Ninkasi’s prior summer seasonal, Maiden the Shade, and as the name implies, it’s an IPA — with Alpha CO2 Extract, Centennial, Crystal, Palisade, Amarillo, Simcoe, Columbus, and Chinook hops — that has peach puree and flavoring added. Ninkasi isn’t messing around with the peaches here. They’re sweet and juicy and…

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