Review: GlenDronach Original 12 Years Old (2018)

GlenDronach, dark for many years, started up again in 2002, which means that the 12 year old whisky on the market today was actually produced there since the reboot. (When we last saw GlenDronach’s standard lineup in 2010, the spirit would have been older stock pulled from the warehouse.) GlenDronach has a laser-like focus on “richly…

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Why Every Drinker Should Try Something New

Over the last year I’ve gotten a little bit into wine. As a whisky guy, my goal was to be able to read a wine list in a restaurant but I quickly became absorbed in a new world, not too dissimilar to the way I fell down the whisky rabbit hole. This process of learning…

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Review: Michter’s US-1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye 2017

Michter’s Toasted Barrel whiskey releases are arguably its most sought-after spirits. The whiskeys are unique in that they are first aged in new oak, then finished in barrels that have not been charred but rather just toasted — lightly torched, but not burnt to a char. As this is a single-barrel, cask strength release, proof…

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Review: Virtue Cider Michigan Harvest

Virtue Cider’s Michigan Harvest is an entry-level cider, “made from all sorts of Michigan-grown apples, fermented deep in our cool cellar and aged in French oak, then blended with this year’s fresh-pressed juice.” (The similar-sounding Michigan Apple, not reviewed here, is also a semi-dry cider but is made from different types of apples.) The cider is…

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Review: Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum Sherry Finish

Papa’s Pilar is out with a limited release of 8400 bottles of a new expression of its sourced rum. It all starts with a custom version of Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum: The team of Master Blenders created this special edition expression of custom barreled Papa’s Pilar Dark, with seven different hand-selected rums up to 25 years old, which are both pot…

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Review: Drake’s Dark Wing IPA

This latest from Drake’s is an IPA without comparison. A black IPA made with 2-Row Pale Malt, Crystal Malt, and Black Malt, and Denali, Cascade, and Warrior hops, it’s an immediately weird experience. Chewy, burnt toast/overdone pretzel notes up front lead the way to a kind of gravelly, yet intensely bitter body. The finish evokes chewed-up asparagus…

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Review: Redwood Empire American Whiskey

Graton Distillery Company, the Sonoma, California-based company behind D. George Benham’s Sonoma Dry Gin, has launched its first whiskey. Redwood Empire is a “proprietary blend of house-distilled and Port barrel-rested rye whiskeys [that] includes mature stocks of four, five and eleven-year-old bourbon aged in classic, high-toast American oak casks.” Functionally, this is a blend of microdistilled rye…

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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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