What’s the Deal with Independent Whisky Bottlers?

Recently a reader made a comment on our┬áDebate Over Age Statements dispatch, essentially asking what the story was with independently bottled whiskies. Why would a 25 year old Bladnoch from Alexander Murray cost less than a 25 year old whisky directly from Bladnoch? What’s the difference between the independent bottling and the distillery bottling, anyway?…

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Review: 2016 Double Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills

Washington-based Double Canyon recently released its 2016 cabernet sauvignon, and it’s definitely a worthwhile bottling at an outstanding price. The wine opens up softly, with introductory layers of mint and chocolate. Supple notes of strawberries and blueberries inform the lively, slightly peppery, palate, which opens the way toward a long and silky finish. A heavy…

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Review: Siempre Tequila Plata

Siempre is that rarest of tequila brands: One which is headquartered in Canada. The tequila of course comes from Mexico, specifically near the town of Jesus Maria in Jalisco’s Valle region — which, as the name implies, makes this a Lowlands-based spirit. Siempre has a full line of tequilas on the market now, but we…

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Review: Cruzan Watermelon Rum

Cruzan’s latest flavor is one normally seen in vodka, not rum: watermelon. It’s a limited edition offering for 2019, with $1 from every case of rum sold (so, about 8 cents per bottle) going to the Island Spirit Fund. Per the distillery, “Cruzan Watermelon Rum takes the sweetness of a fresh cut, juicy watermelon, and…

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Review: The Glenrothes 10, 12, 18 Years Old, and Whisky Maker’s Cut (2019)

Late last year The Glenrothes embarked on a bold rebranding, revamping much of its vintage-dated whisky and converting it to age statemented releases called the Soleo Collection (a reference to the 100% start-to-finish sherry cask aging used in all the whiskies in this lineup). Soleo spans five expressions, including 10, 12, 18, and 25 year…

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Review: Wines of Marques de Caceres, 2019 Releases

Marques de Caceres is a large, value-oriented wine brand in Spain’s Rioja region. Today we take a spin through Caceres’ 2019 releases, including its sparkling wine. Thoughts follow. NV Marques de Caceres Cava Brut – Instantly big with apple juice notes and a touch of lemon peel; this sparkler immediately reminds me of holiday parties.…

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Review: Shinobu Blended Whisky Mizunara Oak

Hey Japanese whisky fans, if you’re frustrated by your inability to find Suntory and Nikka products, there’s a new option on the market to consider, called Shinobu. Formally billed as The Shinobu Blended Whisky Mizunara Oak, Shinobu is made by the eponymous distillery in Niigata Prefecture, about 200 miles north of Tokyo. Shinobu isn’t distilled…

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Review: Cocktail Squad Canned Cocktails – Complete Lineup

Cocktail Squad is a series of ready-to-drink canned cocktails created by a Boulder, Colorado-based couple, Lauren and John Maggio. Now numbering six different products, these are all made with real spirits — no malt liquor here. Cans are 355ml and designed for single-serving use. Thoughts on the full lineup follow. Each product is canned at…

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