Review: Crispin Hard Cider – Original, Pacific Pear, and Bourbon Char

New stuff from the cider mavens at Crispin, including a new limited release called Bourbon Char, and two of the company’s primary offerings, which are now available in standard six packs. We looked at all three. Thoughts follow. Crispin Original Hard Cider – A fresh, apple-loaded classic, semisweet and fruity, but restrained with notes of crisp…

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Review: Four Pillars Rare Dry and Navy Strength Gin

Four Pillars is a new distillery based near Melbourne, Australia. Inspired by American craft distilling, the company is focused exclusively on gin — with at least eight expressions under its belt in just three years — and its products are now coming to the U.S. (The four pillars in question are largely symbolic (the fourth…

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Review: Skyy Infusions Bartlett Pear Vodka

Sorry, Bosc! The latest Skyy vodka flavor is designed to taste like Bartlett pears — Bartletts only! What does one do with pear vodka? Well, try it in anything where you’d otherwise use apple, for starters. Or check out the cocktails at the end of the post for additional ideas. Pear-flavored spirits always come across a bit…

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Review: Lost Spirits Distillery Navy Style Rum (2017)

Lost Spirits (which I’ve written about extensively) never seems to rest, and the company’s scientific obsession with the science of accelerating aging is second to none. Case in point: Head honcho Bryan Davis is the only distiller I know that has given a TED Talk. In shorts, no less. While Lost Spirits is hard at…

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Book Review: The Bar Cart Bible

Enduring Mad Men symbology and ’50s/’60s nostalgia are bringing back yet another nifty idea from yesteryear: The rolling bar cart that lets you turn cocktail hour into a moveable feast. The Bar Cart Bible (no author listed, oddly), is designed with simple cocktails in mind. The 350 drinks included can all be made on the go,…

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Review: 2014 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel

Our third bourbon-barrel aged wine comes from Fetzer, which recently launched a new label: 1000 Stories. Unlike previous bottlings from Mondavi and Apothic, this is a straight zinfandel instead of a cabernet sauvignon or a blend (respectively). Need deets? Says Fetzer: The wine (sourced from Mendocino) is “aged in a combination of new bourbon barrels…

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Review: Old Ezra Straight Bourbon 7 Years Old

Luxco has been behind several popular bourbon releases recently, including Blood Oath (Pact No. 1 and Pact No. 2) and Rebel Yell Single Barrel 10 Years Old. Luxco’s lesser-known Ezra Brooks line, of which Old Ezra is a part, is also quality bourbon for the price point, but before I get into what’s inside the bottle…

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What’s the Difference Between Cognac and Armagnac?

Even if you’ve got a pretty good handle on the world of spirits, Cognac can come across as opaque. It can be hard to tell where Cognac fits into the broader spectrum of spirits, and that’s even before you’re introduced to Armagnac, Cognac’s lesser-known sister spirit. So what are you actually getting when you buy…

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