Review: Sunshine Reserve American Whiskey

Remember Manhattan Moonshine? These folks, based in New York, have now turned their attention to real (aged) whiskey. There’s a certain family resemblance here, of course: Sunshine Reserve uses the exact same bottle. If you think this is another MGP bourbon or another young single malt, think again. Sunshine Reserve is primarily made from oats, with…

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Tasting the Wines of Smith Story, 2018 Releases

Smith Story has a fun claim to fame: It’s the first winery in the U.S. to be successfully crowdfunding, a Kickstarter success story that is now celebrating its fifth year in business. Operated by married couple Eric Story and Ali Smith-Story, the Sonoma-based operation has a surprisingly robust portfolio, and in a live tasting a group of…

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Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3

Don’t get confused — Octomore 10 may have arrived in early 2017, but this series in the Octomore line, called Octomore 8 (technically “Masterclass_08”) is actually the most recent set of whiskies in Bruichladdich’s continuing exploration into just how much peat a distiller can jam into a spirit. There are four releases in the Octomore 8…

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Review: Talbott 2015 Chardonnay Kali Hart and 2016 Pinot Noir Kali Hart

Two new releases from Talbott, which can be found in California’s Carmel Valley. These Kali Hart bottlings hail from vineyards in Monterey. 2015 Talbott Chardonnay Kali Hart – A bit gamy, but notes of kiwi, banana, and some melon give this otherwise straightforward chardonnay a lift. The finish offers some minerals amidst the bacon notes,…

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Recipes for National Margarita Day 2018

February 22nd is National Margarita Day — the day to serve up pitchers of margaritas along with some Mexican delights, like our Mexican Spiced Chicken Thighs. Since most people have a good grasp on making the basic margarita, today we want to showcase a few interesting variations. Vanilla Pear Margarita by Lauren Lester, Wicked Spatula…

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Review: Minute Mixology Craft Cocktail Mixers

The big new trend in home cocktailing? Powdered cocktail mixers that give you a true “just add booze” method to cocktail crafting. Taking a cue from the Crystal Light model, Minute Mixology comes in a box of single-serve packets designed to dispensed directly into a glass, with the addition of the appropriate liquor, ice, and…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Distillery Series Double Double Oaked (2018)

Back in 2015, Woodford Reserve launched its Distillery Series, one-off whiskeys that were (and are) only available at the distillery. One of the first whiskeys in this collection was the Woodford Reserve Distillery Series Double Double Oaked, which starts with Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, and finishes it for an additional year in a second, heavily toasted lightly…

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Review: Chisholm Trail/Stölzle Lausitz Jarritos Tequila and Mezcal Glassware

Does glassware make a difference? Whether wine or spirits, you bet it does. And that’s probably why Romeo Hristov has turned his attention to glassware for tequila and mezcal, where aroma plays a key role in a high-end tasting. Hristov explains: Since late 2016 Stölzle Lausitz GmbH (a German glass manufacturer that makes, among other items,…

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