Review: Whiskeys of Ragged Branch

Virginia-based Ragged Branch is a craft distillery that makes bourbon — and lots of it: The brand has five different bourbon expressions — and one rye — all produced in house and aged for at least four years (though no formal age statements appear on its bottles). Aside from that, there’s limited available information about…

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Review: Clown Shoes Rainbows Are Real

This is our first encounter with Clown Shoes, a Boston/Vermont-based craft producer of unusual brews, and one of our first experiences with terpenes, those “aromatic oils found in natural botanical sources (including cannabis and hops) that are said to have therapeutic benefits.” There’s no cannabis in Rainbows Are Real, but the brew does include Beta-Pinene…

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What Makes up a Vegan-Friendly Wine, and How Do You Find One?

ADVERTISEMENT Do you love wine and your vegan lifestyle? No problem, you can be both a wine lover and a vegan. It’s easy if you know where to look. But wine is just grape juice, why would it not be vegan friendly? Winemakers and wine drinkers prefer their wines clear. Young wine is hazy due…

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Review: Appleton Estate Rum 8 Years Old Reserve

Recently, Appleton — the pride of Jamaica — announced a new permanent addition to its lineup of rums. The new 8 Year Old Reserve, from Master Blender Joy Spence, is designed to be “Appleton Estate’s most versatile expression of aged rum.” It also coincides with a relaunch of the entire brand, which features new bottle…

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Review: Pyramid Brewing Blazing Bright and Outburst

If you see a bolder, more eye-catching pyramid on the stacks next time you’re in the beer aisle, don’t be alarmed: Seattle’s Pyramid Brewing has revamped the packaging in its entire lineup, with more iconography-driven graphics in lieu of its older, more traditional illustrations. Neither of the beers we review here today are ultra-new releases,…

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Review: Stray Dog Wild Gin

As well as some excellent wines, Greece is known mainly for its indigenous spirits like ouzo, raki, tsipouro, and Metaxa. But gin? Not at all. There are only 2 or 3 made in the whole country, and only one currently available in the USA: Stray Dog Wild Gin. The first part of the name is…

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Review: NV Domaine Bousquet Natural Origins Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon

Boxed wines continue to push up-market, the latest entry coming from Domaine Bousquet, an Argentine operation. Fresh from the vineyards of Argentina’s Uco Valley in the upper reaches of Mendoza, meet Natural Origins Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, South America’s first 3-liter box wines made exclusively from organically grown grapes. Fruit comes from the Uco Valley’s…

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Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch B520 (May 2020)

The latest of Elijah Craig’s 12 year old Barrel Proof bourbons was bottled in May 2020 and bears the B520 batch code. At 127.2 proof, it’s got the third-lowest abv of the entire series. How does that change the final analysis? Let’s find out. The nose is heady with classic rickhouse aromas — dark chocolate…

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