Review: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye

Five long years in the making, I have to give credit to Jack Daniel’s for being ultimately transparent with the creation of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye. JD didn’t call up MGP for rye stock to bottle. They made their own from scratch. In 2012 a sampling was released of unaged white dog. In 2014…

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Understanding the Different Styles of Tequila

Like rum, tequila is a versatile spirit: it can be consumed straight or mixed into a wide variety of cocktails, it can make sweet drinks or savory, it’s appropriate for a night on the town or curled up by the fire at home. But there are so many different styles of tequila, it can get…

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Review: Mad River Maple Cask Rum and PX Rum

Mad River Distillers is based in Warren, Vermont, where it was founded in 2011 by John Egan, Brett Little, and Maura Connolly to produce high-quality, handcrafted spirits using locally-sourced, non-GMO ingredients and local spring water. The company now has four rums, three whiskeys, and a brandy in its lineup — and more stuff is on…

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Review: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2017 Edition

Old Forester’s annual Birthday Bourbon — celebrating the birthday of founder George Garvin Brown — has arrived. Some details: The 2017 Birthday Bourbon barrel selection was drawn from 12 year old barrels from different warehouses and floors on May 27, 2005. 93 barrels matured together on the 4th floor of G warehouse, yielding an extremely spice…

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What Grains are Used to Make Whiskey (And Why?)

You might think that there’s not much to making whiskey: it’s just grain, right? Like beer, but distilled? But there’s actually more to it than that, and like gin, what goes into the whiskey can wildly change the taste of what you get in the bottle. It’s true that, at its simplest, whiskey is just…

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Review: Sparkling Wines of Martini & Rossi, 2017 Releases

You’re probably singing it right now — Martin and Rossi / Asti Spumante. Well, Italy’s Martini & Rossi is still around and, it turns out, is trying to slowly move upmarket, God bless ’em. Yes, Asti Spumante is still here too — they just call it Asti now — but the brand has its sights on grander…

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Review: Port Askaig 110 Proof

Before you book a flight to Islay, know this: There is no distillery at Port Askaig. This whisky is rather “created from carefully selected casks from distilleries across Islay. All whiskies from Port Askaig are truly ‘small-batch’ with as few as two, and no more than 40, casks used for each bottling.” Since it’s billed…

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Review: Wines of Kelley & Young, 2017 Releases

Recently we attended Kelley & Young Winery’s first Meet the Winemakers Dinner and enjoyed a selection of this California-based operations products. Here’s our impression of the wines served. 2015 Kelley & Young Sauvignon Blanc finishes fermenting at a lower alcohol content a month after crushing the grapes. This Sauvignon Blanc has a clear pretty yellow…

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