Review: Mad Bean Hard Coffee – Mocha and Vanilla

By now, you have definitely heard of hard seltzer. But what about hard coffee? Well, it’s a thing now, too. Mad Bean bills their boozy coffee in a can as a unique twist on the traditional Irish coffee. It’s also a naturally caffeinated alternative to the Four Lokos of the world. If your first thought…

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Review: Talisker 57 Degrees North

Like most single malt producers, Talisker began introducing more no-age-statement (NAS) offerings into their portfolio in the early 2010s, hedging their bets against a potential global whisky shortage. By most accounts that shortage never really materialized (outside of Japan), perhaps thanks in part to that increase in no-age-stated whiskies. Probably the most well-known NAS Talisker,…

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Review: Wines of Clos du Val, 2020 Releases

Here are four new releases from Napa-based Clos du Val, representing their more summery bottlings, made with fruit from the winery’s Carneros-based estate vineyards or its properties in Yountville to the north. 2019 Clos du Val Estate Pinot Noir Rose Carneros – A rather doughy expression, this rose offers fairly muted strawberry notes, with an…

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Reviews: Eda Rhyne Amaro Flora and Appalachian Fernet

Eda Rhyne Distilling Company in Asheville has a portfolio that currently consists only of different Italian-style liqueurs (at least one whiskey is in the works). The focus on herbal spirits is a bit strange given that they are located in the heart of moonshining country in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. Such spirits, however,…

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Review: Dragon Diamond Glass

The Diamond Glass is Dragon Glassware‘s best-seller, a striking tumbler that is designed to, well, tumble. You’ve probably seen glasses like this before: It doesn’t sit upright, but rather rests at an angle — on one of the glass’s eight beveled edges. It makes for a dashing and original vessel, but it also makes me…

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Review: New Belgium The Purist Clean Lager

Lager doesn’t get any cleaner than this, and New Belgium telegraphs that by packing The Purist in a baby blue can shaped to mimic the tall, narrow design common to hard seltzers. At a mere 3.8% alcohol and 95 calories, this organic lager has one less calorie than a can of Miller Lite. But… how…

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Review: Hepple Gin

Originally launched in 2015, Hepple Gin is the result of a “pursuit of a gin to make the perfect dry martini,” culminating in a “complete rethinking” of how gin is made. The British gin is made using a three-step process that distills the spirit in three different ways. Step one is a fairly standard but…

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Review: Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits – Amaretti, Aperitif Rosso, and American Malt

Non-alcoholic beer and wine have been around for some time. Now non-alcoholic spirits are becoming a thing. Lyre’s makes nearly a dozen non-alcoholic knockoffs of just about everything on your back bar, from gin to whiskey to spiced rum. What’s this stuff made out of? Mainly water and sugar. A typical ingredient list looks like…

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