Review: Grand Brulot Liqueur

Grand Brulot is not your everyday coffee liqueur — far from it. In fact, it’s only 49% coffee liqueur. Crafted from 51% VSOP Cognac and 49% liqueur de cafe, this blend from the Tardy Cognac house is really a coffee-flavored brandy, not the other way around. The spirit, as the name suggests, is a tribute…

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Recipe: Aviation Cocktail

You’ve loaded up on violet liqueur, now what do you do with it? The #1 (and for many drinkers, the only) use for creme yvette or creme de violette is in the Aviation, a delightful little drink and not just because of its color. The key is to keep the violet liqueur dialed back —…

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Review: High West American Prairie Bourbon Flaviar Barrel Select (2019)

American Prairie is one of High West’s more affordable bottlings, a blend of sourced bourbons at least two years old. The current composition includes spirits 2 to 13 years old, including whiskeys with these mashbills/sources: 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley from MGP; 84% corn, 8% rye, 8% malted barley from an undisclosed source; other…

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Review: Dewar’s Ilegal Smooth Mezcal Cask Finish 8 Years Old

I’m already on record as being not a fan of the use of “Smooth” in a product’s official name (or, for that matter, as a descriptor of any spirit), but I will say that Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth Rum Cask Finish Blended Scotch was at least a credible product. Buoyed by that product’s success, now Dewar’s…

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Review: 2017 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Krug’s 2017 cab is surprisingly lean and already hitting maturity. The wine (a blend of 87% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot, 5% petit verdot, and 3% petite sirah) is dry and very herbal, with a slight oxidized note and lots of green pepper/green onion sitting heavy atop the otherwise straightforward core of currants. Quite tannic as…

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Review: Oak Farm 2018 Albarino and 2017 Zinfandel

Lodi’s Oak Farm Vineyards produces a surprisingly wide range of wines, including many made with classically European varietals, one of which we cover in this two-fer review. 2018 Oak Farm Albarino Lodi – This is a surprising wine from Lodi, full of tropical fruit, Cape gooseberry, and lemon peel notes. Bursting with fruit and sweetness,…

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Review: Kirkland Speyside Single Malt 22 Years Old Sherry Cask Finish

It’s been a minute since we last reviewed a mystery, Costco discount dram, so here’s a recent one, Kirkland Speyside Single Malt 22 Years Old. Alexander Murray, which currently bottles these bargain beauties, has occasionally deviated from the sherry-finished path (this 16-year-old from 2016, for example), but this one stays the course, finished for a…

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Recipe: Manhattan Transfer

If you happen to be a whiskey drinker, like me, you probably love a good Manhattan. But as a whiskey-lover, I have a hard time sticking to just one brand or type of whiskey, and that translates to my Manhattans, too. I’m always looking for new and different variations. The Manhattan Transfer is my latest…

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