Review: Cooper River Petty’s Island Rums and Cooper & Vine Brandy

Cooper River Distillers is the first legal distillery in Camden, NJ — ever! This outfit produced its first product, a rum, in 2014, and since then it’s been adding more rum expressions, brandy, and whiskey. We received a variety pack from the company — three rums and its brandy — and put them all to…

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What Botanicals Are Used to Make Gin (and Why)?

Our recent martini taste test has lit a juniper-scented fire under us here at Drinkhacker HQ, so we’ve decided to once again explore gin, the most aromatic of spirits. Today we’ll be giving an overview of the different botanicals that go into your favorite gin; unlike wine, which can have aromas and flavors of a…

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Review: 2014 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga

The latest release of Chateau Montelena’s signature cabernet is somewhat rocky, rather closed off on first blush, revealing tight, oaky tannins and some vegetal notes. Give this one some time or decant — I let it sit in glass for more than an hour before coming back to it — and the wine shows a bit…

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Tasting the Symington 2015 Port Lineup (And Retrospectives) – Graham’s, Dow’s, Quinta do Vesuvio, and Cockburn’s

For the most part, the hot, dry, and low-yielding 2015 will not be a declared vintage from the major vintage Port houses. Even though the year wasn’t perfect, it hasn’t stopped Symington, which owns Graham’s, Dow’s, Quinta do Vesuvio, and (since 2010) Cockburn’s from releasing 2015 vintage-dated Ports in some fashion. Recently the Symington family…

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Review: Lubanzi 2016 Chenin Blanc and 2015 Red Blend

Lubanzi is a brand new venture from Walker Brown and Charles Brain, designed to bring high-quality South African wine to the U.S. at affordable prices. Named after a stray dog who joined their 100 mile hike across South Africa’s Wild Coast, the brand donates 50% of profits to The Pebbles Project, a charity benefiting low-income…

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Review: Diageo Orphan Barrel Project Rhetoric Bourbon 23 Years Old

Diageo’s Rhetoric brand, part of the Orphan Barrel Project, is now on its fourth of six total expressions. The 20 year old arrived in 2014, followed by annual updates in the form of the 21 year old and 22 year old versions. Today we look at #4, Rhetoric 23 Years Old. As a refresher, as the story goes, Rhetoric…

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Review: Copper & Kings Blue Sky Mining Brandy and Zmaj Absinthe

Two new releases, both limited editions, from Louisville-based craft distillers Copper & Kings — a muscat-based brandy and (another) absinthe. Let’s dig in! Copper & Kings Blue Sky Mining Brandy – This is a limited edition “7-year-old pure muscat American brandy aged 30 months in a Kentucky hogshead barrel.” The first four and half years…

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Review: Westland Winter Release 2016

Seattle-based Westland Distillery makes only American single malt whiskey, but they have produced a range of variations on this theme to date including Sherry Wood and Peated, as well as more creative offerings like Garryana, part of the Native Oak series in which they age their single malt in oak sourced from the Pacific Northwest. In the winter…

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