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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Review: 2014 Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

Under the relatively recent ownership of Jean-Charles Boisset, Raymond has emerged as a jewel in the California crown of this enfant terrible of the winemaking world. In honor of the winery’s 40th anniversary, Boisset has pulled out all the stops, bottling this Reserve Collection cabernet with a red, crushed velvet label. (Visit Raymond or at…

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Review: The Singleton of Glendullan 12, 15, and 18 Years Old (2017)

My first experience with the Singleton of Glendullan whisky line, back in 2008, seems remarkably simplistic now. The Singleton line actually includes three distilleries, not just the Speyside-based Glendullan, all made by the Singleton family, but Glendullan seems to have the focus. To that end, the original Glendullan, which started with only a the 12 year…

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Review: Spytail Black Ginger Rum

Rum from France? Who knew? Biggar & Leith is an independent spirits merchant that brings us this unique product, a Caribbean rum that is aged with fresh ginger root and spices in the barrel. Based on a 19th century French recipe, the aging, spicing, and blending all takes place at a small family distillery in the Cognac…

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Review: Deanston Highland Single Malt 14 Years Old Organic

Deanston, a southern Highlands distillery not far from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, often gets short shrift in the whisky world. While its 12 and 18 year old expressions are fairly well known, Deanston also has a limited edition portfolio, including this 14 year old made from certified organic barley. (As a bonus, all Deanston releases…

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