Review: American Freedom Distillery Horse Soldier Bourbon – Complete Lineup

Horse Soldiers? American Freedom? If you’ve pegged a military connection to this new whiskey brand, you’ve got your finger on the pulse. The distillery was started by a group of Special Forces Veterans who were the first soldiers in Afghanistan after 9/11. Horse Soldier is a reference to the Green Berets who were featured in…

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Review: The Balvenie Stories – American Oak, Week of Peat, and Dark Barley

Here’s a quirky oddity of sorts to come from The Balvenie, a trio of whiskies called The Balvenie Stories, designed to “tell a story” about the origins of this beloved single malt and the people behind it. The three whiskies are spins on past releases — some larger, some smaller — but all essential Balvenie…

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Review: Single Prop Original Rum

Single Prop is a new rum brand with a new way of doing things: Rather than proof its rum with regular water, it uses coconut water, inspired by a popular cocktail combo (coconut water and rum) among Caribbean locals. Single Prop is careful to note that this is not a flavored rum a la Malibu:…

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Review: Cabernets of Freemark Abbey, 2019 Releases

Napa’s Freemark Abbey has released four new cabernet sauvignons, the “low end” Napa Valley bottling (a mere 60 bucks), and three AVA-designated bottlings, designed to spotlight hyper-local characteristics. Let’s see how these bottlings from the 2014 and 2015 vintages pan out. 2015 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – Surprisingly underdeveloped, this cabernet starts off…

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Review: Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin

Gin and the country of India are irrevocably tied together — British soldiers in the country received a gin ration, where gin and tonic was regularly consumed to ward off malaria — so it only makes sense that gin produced in India would become a thing. Though consumption remains high, surprisingly few brands of gin…

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Review: 2017 Wente Chardonnay Riva Ranch Vineyard

Wente’s 2017 Riva Ranch chardonnay offers a surplus of flavors — almond butter, mango, lemon peel, and chamomile — all melding into a surprisingly apt summery concoction. The palate is big and buttery, while notes of cardamom and vanilla inform the finish. It’s a crowd pleaser, but it drinks with more authority than you’d think…

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Review: Grand Mayan Reposado Tequila

We first encountered Grand Mayan in 2016 and were reasonably impressed with its “Very Special” Lowlands tequila that was — uniquely — triple-distilled instead of seeing the usual double distillation. Now Grand Mayan is expanding its footprint with a reposado version of the above. (An “Ultra Aged” expression, already on the market, has not been…

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Review: 2018 RIFF Pinot Grigio

Alois Lageder’s RIFF label is designed to be an ultra-affordable option for those looking for the mountain-grown wines of northeast Italy (which means namely pinot grigio but RIFF also has a merlot-cab blend). Notes Lageder: Riff stands for reef, a reference to the terroir of the foothills of the Northern Italian Alps, where grapes for…

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