Review: Mount Gay XO Cask Strength Rum

As a celebration of 50 years of Barbados independence comes Mount Gay XO Cask Strength, its most luxe bottling to date. This is a limited edition, overproof expression of its existing Mount Gay XO bottling, which is itself a blend of rums 8 to 15 years old. This expression is a deep and brooding rum…

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Recipes: Thanksgiving Cocktails 2016

Once again, the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. However, this year seems a bit more unusual for those of us accustomed to having our team serve as the butt end of football jokes: the Detroit Lions are sitting atop the NFC North in first place. Here are a few recipes we’ll be putting to good…

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Review: Del Maguey Wild Papalome and San Pablo Ameyaltepec Mezcal

Del Maguey hits this month with not one but two of its Single Village Mezcals – Wild Papalome and San Pablo Ameyaltepec. Let’s try both. Del Maguey Wild Papalome Mezcal – A 100% agave papalome bottling from the Mixteca Alta region. A definitively sweeter style of mezcal, its barbecue-smoke nose layers in notes of citrus…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Jubelale Winter Ale 2016, The Dissident 2016, and Conflux Collage #2

Deschutes Brewery Jubelale Winter Ale 2016 – Jubelale is always the first taste of Christmas for me each year, and for 2016 the brewery’s winter ale seems particularly pleasing, a warming experience that builds on a malty base with gentle notes of raisin and fig, mulling spices, and vanilla. What Jubelale has in spades this year…

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Review: Whiskeys of Cedar Ridge – Iowa Bourbon, Wheat, Rye, Malted Rye, Single Malt

As the first distillery in the state since Prohibition, Iowa’s Cedar Ridge makes everything from gin to rum to apple brandy. Today we look at five of the company’s whiskeys (it makes at least eight), which are all distilled on site (not sourced) but which are bottled without age statements. Cedar Ridge makes heavy use of Iowa-grown corn…

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Review: 2016 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

I’ve been hearing good things about the 2016 Beaujolais Nouveau releases — and can now confirm that, yes, they might be on to something. As usual, Georges Duboeuf is first out the gate with this ultra-young, ultra-fruity wine, but the nose features a lightly bitter astringency that one doesn’t usually find in Nouveau. While the nose is…

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Review: Usquaebach An Ard Ri Cask Strength

Usquaebach’s first new release in nearly 25 years is here: Usquaebach An Ard Ri Cask Strength, a blended malt composed of more than 20 single malts (and no grain whisky), each aged 10 to 21 years, packaged in a blue glass version of its traditional flagon decanter. Says Usqy: Carefully crafted by longstanding Usquaebach blenders,…

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Review: Nautical American Gin

Vertical Spirits is a new company (founded in 2015), and Nautical Gin is its first product. It’s actually made by Massachusetts-based Berkshire Mountain Distillers on behalf of Vertical, which is based in Nashua, New Hampshire. Though billed as an “American” gin, stylistically it is harder to peg. The botanicals do hold some curious surprises, the…

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