Review: Twisted Tea Original and Half & Half

The march to imbue just about any type of liquid with alcohol continues with a natural next step: Alcoholic iced tea. Twisted Tea is a “malt beverage with select teas and natural flavors,” which is better than many of these types of things, which often don’t contain any of the actual ingredient they’re trying to…

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Review: James Eadie’s Trade Mark “X” Blended Scotch Whisky

Scotland has no shortage of lost brands and silent stills, and it’s always fun when one re-emerges. The latest is James Eadie, a self-styled “ancient Scotch mixture” (read: blended Scotch) that is returning to the market after 70 years. James Eadie’s Trade Mark “X” first retailed in 1854 and was trademarked 1877. Today’s expression includes stock…

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Review: Wines of Barefoot, 2018 Releases

Hardly the first name in high-end wine, Barefoot has made a major name for itself in the world of wines served exclusively at baby showers. But seriously, the number of wines this mass producer is churning out is incredible, and today we look at no fewer than six of them, none priced above $9.99, including…

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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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