Review: 2015 Kaiken Ultra Malbec Mendoza Las Rocas

Initially overpowering with that unmistakable malbec funk — tobacco, graphite, leather, tar, and a fistful of dried spices — but Kaiken settles down quickly enough into a groove that showcases a richly fruity core, layers of blackberry and baking spice adding more body and nuance that cuts through the otherwise massive amount of tannins, revealing…

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Review: Avua Cachaca – Jequitiba Rosa and Still Strength

Brazil’s bustling cachaca brand, Avua, is back with two new expressions, further expanding its lineup. Details on each follow in the commentary for each option. Both remain distilled from local sugarcane Avua Cachaca Jequitiba Rosa – Another native wood expression from Avua, this one is aged in barrels made from Jequitiba Rosa wood, a common tree…

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Review: Greenbar Fruitlab Orange Liqueur

From Greenbar Distilling, the L.A.-based makers of one of our favorite new amaros, Grand Poppy, comes Fruitlab Orange Liqueur, a sweet and juicy concoction meant to compete with your rack bottle of $6 triple sec. (This appears to be a rebranding and perhaps an update of Citry, which was made when the company was known…

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Winter Cocktails for 2018

What, you haven’t sworn off drinking as a New Year’s resolution? We still swear that when the weather is dreary outside, there is nothing better to warm you than a nice winter cocktail (and perhaps a big bowl of chili — our favorite recipe follows). Enjoy these cocktails as you dream of spring! Winter Rose…

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Review: William Hill 2015 Chardonnay and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

William Hill experienced minor damage in last year’s NorCal wine country fires, but the winery described it is merely cosmetic. Nothing stopped the outfit from sending us its latest passel of releases, an iconically California chardonnay and a cabernet sauvignon. 2015 William Hill Chardonnay Benchland Series – A rich Cali chardonnay, though it’s dialed back…

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Review: Eau Claire Distillery Parlour Gin and Prickly Pear Equineox

Eau Claire Distillery calls Alberta, Canada its home, and this little outfit is turning out an increasingly diversified variety of spirits, including single malt whiskey and rum. Today we look at two of its straight white spirits, a gin and a unique spirit flavored with prickly pear. Both are 80 proof. Thoughts follow. Eau Claire…

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Review: 2014 Psagot Merlot Jerusalem

Congrats, new world capital! Now you have a new world class wine to show off! Psagot Merlot is made from 100% Israeli merlot grapes and is aged for 13 months in French oak before release. This is a rich and earthy wine, almost brambly as it layers in notes of blackberry and currant, very dark, very…

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Review: BenRiach 10 Years Old and Curiositas 10 Years Old (2018)

In 2016, Speyside-based BenRiach was acquired by Brown-Forman, making it one of just a handful of Scotch distilleries owned by an American concern. Built in 1898, closed in 1900, and reopened in 1965, it’s a worhorse of a distillery that doesn’t get as much credit as it should. Today we look at a couple of…

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