Review: Balcones Texas Bock (2020)

If any beer is synonymous with Texas (outside of Lone Star, maybe), it’s Shiner. I spent nearly a decade in Austin swilling Shiner Bock, which is easily the brand’s most visible bottling. Well, here’s a twist: Balcones Distilling figured they’d take Shiner Bock and distill it into a straight malt whiskey. Now, making whiskey from…

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Review: Signatory Bruichladdich 1992 22 Years Old

Blessed are the independent bottlers, for they provide rich diversity and much needed perspective in the world of single malts. Some folks take the position that any bottle from an IB is suspect and a gamble in terms of quality, and there is some merit to that argument. On the other hand, there’s Signatory, whose…

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Review: Izo Mezcal Joven Cenizo

Izo is a new mezcal brand, and while a collection of spirits is planned for the future, the present of Izo is a single product, a joven style mezcal made from wild Cenizo agave grown in Durango, Mexico. Izo has put a lot of effort into standing out from a packaging standpoint — the bottle…

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Review: Benromach Peat Smoked Sherry Cask Matured 2010

Benromach’s reputation for being a reasonably priced, sturdy single malt is well earned, especially in an age where distilleries are frequently in favor of pushing well-aged stock and ultra premium product affordable only to a select clientele blessed by capitalism’s benevolence. So it came as a bit of surprise to see a Benromach strut itself…

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Review: Johnny Drum Bourbon

We’ve covered most of Willett’s expansive whiskey portfolio, but somehow, we missed this bottle, Johnny Drum Private Stock Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon. Willett is slowly replacing many of its sourced brands with its own stock (see the new Old Bardstown and Willett Family Estate lines), but Johnny Drum remains a sourced product made at an…

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Review: Wines of Lula Cellars, 2020 Releases

Anderson Valley’s Lula Cellars has taken advantage of the current economic lull to refresh its labels, giving them a cleaner and more upscale look. If this lineup of four new releases is any guide, they’ve also use the time to double down on quality, with some dazzling wines filling out the lineup. Thoughts follow. 2019…

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Review: Knob Creek Bourbon 9 Years Old and 12 Years Old (2020)

Since its introduction in 1992, Knob Creek has stood as a reliable and high-grade bourbon — if a fairly sleepy brand. Knob Creek offered a 9 year old age statement until 2016, when Beam was forced to remove it due to shortages of stock. Meanwhile, myriad line extensions (including a rye) and special editions hit…

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Review: First Landing Bourbon

Most people don’t associate Maryland with bourbon, but the founders of Tobacco Barn Distillery would argue that Maryland was actually ground zero for America’s native spirit. It’s true that icons of bourbon history like Basil Hayden and Henry Wathen lived in the Chesapeake Bay region of southern Maryland before heading west to what would become…

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