Review: Ellington Blended Canadian Whisky (2018) and Ellington Reserve

We previously mentioned Ellington in our Drinking the Bottom Shelf series; the brand seems to be an exclusive bottling for Total Wine stores. We thought we’d take a deeper (or at least a separate) dive into this spirit, looking at a 2018 bottling — which is to say, a plastic mini we picked up at…

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Review: Haku Japanese Vodka

Hot on the heels of Roku Gin comes Suntory’s stab at vodka, Haku. “Made under the philosophy of monozukuri craftmanship and representing the nature and spirit of Japan, this premium craft vodka is made from 100% Japanese white rice. In a process completely unique to Suntory, the rice distillate is filtered through bamboo charcoal, which…

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Review: 2016 Francis Ford Coppola Eleanor Red Wine

Eleanor is named after Francis Ford Coppola’s wife of many, many years, and it’s a high-end red wine blend, made from a hodgepodge of 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Syrah, and 22% Petite Sirah grapes sourced from both Napa and Sonoma County. Said to be styled after Penfolds Grange, the wine is officially sourced 63% from…

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Review: Diageo Orphan Barrel Project Forager’s Keep Single Malt 26 Years Old

The latest release in Diageo’s Orphan Barrel Project — the 13th in the lineup — is perhaps its most unusual to date: It’s a single malt Scotch. Diageo owns a town of Scotch brands, so while it’s sort of logical to drop one of these into the Orphan Barrel brand, it’s also a little confusing.…

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Review: 2015 Sosie Roussanne and Pinot Noir

Sosie means “twin” or “lookalike” in French, and it’s an apt name for this Sonoma-based winery, which focuses on French varietals and “old world wine making” techniques. Wines are made with no additives and minimal sulfur, attempting to focus as fully on the terroir and the grapes themselves. Here’s a look at two fresh releases…

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Review: Booker’s Bourbon “Teresa’s Batch” 2019-01

The first batch of Booker’s Bourbon special releases is on tap for 2019: “Teresa’s Batch,” coded 2019-01. Who’s Teresa? A longtime Beam distillery employee, Teresa Wittemer has been an invaluable member of Beam family…and it all started from a quick 15-minute interview with 6th Generation Master Distiller Booker Noe over 30 years ago. During her…

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Review: 2018 Domaine de Cala Rose Wines

Domaine de Cala is a Provence-based winery spearheaded by chef Joachim Splichal. Now in its third vintage, the winery focuses exclusively on rose wines. A little extra info: After a monumental career in the hospitality industry, followed by years of searching for the perfect vineyard and a lifelong dream of opening a winery, Splichal launched…

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Review: Rihei Ginger Shochu

Billed as a “totally new class of Japanese craft spirits,” Rihei Ginger is undoubtedly a different animal than most shochus, and the explanation is right there in the name: 20% of the mash that goes into this spirit isn’t composed of grain, but rather local heirloom ginger. Some explanation is in order: Rihei Ochiai, the…

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