Review: 2014 Don Miguel Gascon Malbec Reserva Mendoza

This “purple label” bottling is the upscale release from Gascon. The mint on the nose is dense to the point of coming across a bit like spearmint gum, backed up with violet florals. The palate offers more in the way of fruit, though it features a semi-sweet, caramel-inflected core that takes it to a sweeter…

Read More about Review: 2014 Don Miguel Gascon Malbec Reserva Mendoza

Review: Brora 34 Years Old Limited Edition 2017

Another release in the Diageo Special Releases series from Brora, which was shuttered in 1983. This Highlands bottling was distilled in 1982 and has spent its entire life in ex-bourbon hogsheads. (Oddly, that’s the only photo we were provided, above.) Brora is always a highlight of the Diageo Special Releases, and this year is no…

Read More about Review: Brora 34 Years Old Limited Edition 2017

Review: Carnivor 2015 Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon

It’s the first wine ever designed solely for the meat eater who can’t spell! Turns out Carnivor’s intentional typo is the least of its problems… 2015 Carnivor Zinfandel California – A beefy zin that’s been pumped up with jam straight from the Smucker’s factory. Brambly blackberry and blueberry notes initially smell appealing, but on the…

Read More about Review: Carnivor 2015 Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon

Review: Blair Athol 23 Years Old Limited Edition 2017

Diageo’s Special Releases of Scotch whisky for 2017 are here, and as we do every year, we’ll be featuring a review of one each day for the next 10 days. As always, these represent some truly rare stocks, with prices commonly hitting four figures per bottle… of which only a few thousand or even hundred…

Read More about Review: Blair Athol 23 Years Old Limited Edition 2017

Make It a Boozy Christmas with Secret Spirits’ Advent Calendars

There’s no shortage of booze-centric Christmas gifts out there, but short of giving your loved ones a bottle of Pappy, one of the most exciting presents is an Advent calendar full of miniature bottles. The idea, in case you’re not in the know, is to open one little package on each day leading up to…

Read More about Make It a Boozy Christmas with Secret Spirits’ Advent Calendars

Review: Bloomery Cre Liqueur

West Virginia’s Bloomery is best known for its SweetShine liqueurs — moonshine infused with various botanicals, fruits, and whatnot. Bloomery’s Cre, the company is careful to note, is something entirely different. Just don’t ask, exactly, what it is: This earthy flavored, bontanical liqueur different in proof and profile from Bloomery’s SweetShines, yet identical in quality…

Read More about Review: Bloomery Cre Liqueur

Review: Wines of Outlot, 2017 Releases

Outlot is a new brand from Accolade Wines, best known for Geyser Peak and novelty brands like XYZin. A trio of initial releases, sourced from the Sonoma area, are now hitting the market. We tried them all. Thoughts follow. 2015 Outlot Chardonnay Sonoma County – Whoa, someone turned up the “oak” dial and forgot to shut…

Read More about Review: Wines of Outlot, 2017 Releases

Peat, Phenols, and ppm: Why Scotch Tastes Smoky

My first taste of peaty whisky was Talisker 10, and like they say with other things, you never forget your first. I wasn’t sure if I liked it, it was like someone had put a bonfire in my whisky. Now, I love it and feel like smoky notes give a complexity to many whiskies, especially…

Read More about Peat, Phenols, and ppm: Why Scotch Tastes Smoky