Review: Sangre de Vida Tequila Blanco (2018)

We should probably start with the bottle. That’s a human heart, pressed out of red-tinted glass. Inside is blanco tequila, the brand name Sangre de Vida, which previously made some of those cute Day of the Dead skull-themed decanters as well. Sangre de Vida was sued by KAH for copyright infringement and ultimately lost its…

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Review: Centenario Rum 7, 9, 12, 20, 25 and 30 Years Old

Centenario Rum, also known as Ron Centenario (and not to be confused with Gran Centenario Tequila), is based in Costa Rica, where the company produces a massive number of expressions, all made from local sugar can and aged in oak. Centenario sent its core lineup of six rums for us to review (there’s also an 18 year…

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Review: KO Distilling Battle Standard 142 Navy Strength Gin

Before you get too excited, note that the 142 doesn’t refer to the strength of this gin, from Manassas, Virginia-based KO Distilling. It refers rather to a story about 142 cadet-midshipmen merchant marines who died in WWII. Says the company: “Our founders’ alma mater, the USMMA, is the only federal academy authorized to fly a…

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Review: 2015 Big Smooth Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon

With its velvet labels and funky scripting, first impressions of Big Smooth wine mainly run to raised eyebrows and tempered expectations, even though it is part of the Don Sebastiani & Sons empire. Made from grapes grown in Lodi, the wine is actually produced and bottled in Napa. We tasted both expressions available from the wine’s 2015…

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Review: Old Forester Signature 100 Proof and Perfect Old Fashioned Syrup

Old Forester, “America’s First Bottled Bourbon” has partnered with Bourbon Barrel Foods to launch its line of Cocktail Provisions, a collection of three bitters, two syrups and one tincture, all designed to elevate (but simplify) the home cocktail experience. Created by Louisville-based Bourbon Barrel Foods and Old Forester Master Taster and Bourbon Specialist Jackie Zykan,…

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Review: Godelia 2015 Godello-Dona Blanco and 2012 Mencia

You’ll find Godelia in the Bierzo region of Spain, north of Portugal, near the Rias Baixas region. Some details: Godelia is a relatively young project, at least in its present form.  Over half of Godelia’s 86 acres of vineyards were planted in 1989.  Yet, the remaining 40 acres feature 100-year-old bush vines planted on the…

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Review: Spreewood Distillers Stork Club Straight Rye Whiskey

Although it may seem like it, the explosion in craft whiskey distilling over the last decade hasn’t been confined to America alone. Even countries without a tradition of whiskey-making have started to get in on the game. Germany’s Spreewood Distillers is a great example of this trend. In a country better known for schnapps and…

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Review: Evans Brewing Co. Son of a Beach, Joaquin Dead, Breakfast Black, and Chocolatte

Evans Brewing sent more of its offerings for our consideration. We tasted them all from 16 oz cans, but they’re available in bottles of various sizes, too. Evans Brewing Co. Son of a Beach Blonde Ale – This foamy blonde ale is bursting with lemon notes, something like a shandy on steroids. Honestly it doesn’t…

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