Review: Wines of (Illinois-Based) Cooper’s Hawk Lux, 2017 Releases

Cooper’s Hawk is a restaurant chain and winery based in Countryside, Illinois, which is a strange place for a vineyard, no? Rest easy then: Cooper’s Hawk trucks in fresh grapes from California, Oregon, and Washington, then crushes and vinifies them in Illinois before bottling. These wines are non-vintage stated, and some don’t even reveal the grape…

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Review: Songbird Craft Coffee Liqueur

Hey, it’s something from Indiana that’s not whiskey from MGP! Bloomington, IN is the home to Cardinal Spirits, and Songbird Craft Coffee Liqueur is one of the company’s most noteworthy products. What’s in the bottle? Let me allow Cardinal to explain: Most coffee liqueurs taste one dimensional – like sugar. But ours tastes like coffee,…

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Review: Col. E.H. Taylor Four Grain Bourbon

For 2017, Buffalo Trace’s Col. E.H. Taylor line is pulling out a relatively rare style of whiskey: bourbon made with four grains instead of the usual three… corn, barley, rye, and wheat. The whiskey is aged 12 years and bottled in bond. Some notes from the distillery on this ninth release in the E.H. Taylor…

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Review: Mikkeller Black Hole Imperial Stout

The enigmatic minimalism of Mikkeller’s Black Hole label cleverly disguises the complexity of what lies within the bottle. As promised, this Russian imperial stout is as dark as its gets in color, with a beautiful nose of roasted chestnuts, coffee, and dark chocolate. That perfect storm trio carries on throughout the palate with faint wisps…

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Review: Seventeen Twelve Spirits North Carolina Bourbon

The craft whiskey business is a brutal waiting game. While large distilleries continue to churn out quality product, often at a lower cost to the consumer, craft whiskey makers are forced to simply watch barrels full of money age in their warehouses, hoping their gin or vodka (or someone else’s whiskey in their bottles) will keep the…

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Review: Country Boy Brewing Nacho Bait Habanero Blonde Ale

While Kentucky is largely known for its bourbon (and rightfully so), not much has been made of its contributions to the beer world. Breweries from around the nation travel to my old Kentucky home to pick up used barrels for finishing purposes. That said, for the last several years there has been a quiet movement…

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Review: Magnum Highland Cream Liqueur

Turns out Ireland doesn’t have to have a lock on the whiskey cream industry. Introducing Magnum Highland Cream Liqueur, which is made from Speyside Scotch whiskey plus cream sourced from Holland and bottled in what is easily a lock for the best packaging of the year. We tasted it. But first, how about a little…

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A Visit to Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, located in the heart of Nashville, is a young distillery but it has an incredibly old story. When we visited, brothers Charles and Andy Nelson took us back to their great, great, great grandfather, (also named) Charles Nelson, who was making whiskey in this part of Tennessee back in the 1860s. He…

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